By Ryan Mauro
Shoulder-to-Shoulder, an interfaith coalition allied with the Islamic Society of North America, is mobilizing its supporters against state legislation that stops foreign law from superseding the Constitution. The Islamists’ non-Muslim allies are helping frame it as an unnecessary, bigoted initiative that threatens all people of faith.
The coalition is holding a webinar on February 27. The announcement correctly notes that current legislation does not mention Shariah, though it is covered under the terminology of “foreign law.” Seven states have passed such bills since 2010.
Shoulder-to-Shoulder’s description makes it sound like the legislation is a ban on foreign law influencing judges’ decision altogether. It states:
“Most religious laws that influence these contracts (like Jewish Halakha, Catholic Canon law, or Islamic Shariah law) were not developed within the United States and would be considered foreign law under such legislation. While anti-Muslim sentiment is still the motivating factor behind these laws, Americans of every faith should be concerned about their impact on religious freedom.”
This is an easily refutable misrepresentation of the bills, based on the American Laws for American Courts draft legislation. It does not ban religious contracts like those mentioned by Shoulder-to-Shoulder, not is it a blanket ban on foreign law. It only applies when there is a conflict between the U.S. Constitution and foreign law in court and it victimizes no one, especially not Muslims because Muslim-Americans are benefactors of it.
A 2011 study found 50 cases where Shariah or foreign law based on Shariah influenced the court case…