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Sharia Court in Texas: What Could Go Wrong?

By Patrick Poole

Yesterday I was interviewed by the Glenn Beck Show on Blaze TV following up from Glenn’s interview on Monday with two of the imams responsible for the sharia court that they’re opening up in Dallas, Texas.

A sharia court in Texas? What could possibly go wrong? Well, I can think of a few things…

In this segment of Glenn’s interview with the imams, Taher El-Badawi claims that cutting off heads is not just something they do in Islam, but it’s practiced everywhere, including the US (!!!), and that cutting off hands for theft in America would be economical…

…One of the other important issues covered my interview was about the imam’s claims that the court will only handle “family issues, includes manners, behavior characters, including marriage divorces, including inheritance law…”.

Contrary to sharia apologists, these courts are not just about whether you pray five times a day or which foot you enter a bathroom with. It is precisely where U.S. family law conflicts with Islamic law that is one of the greatest concerns some have with the establishment of sharia courts in the US.

In 2013, the BBC program Panorama went undercover in sharia courts operating in the UK and found systematic discrimination against women in these courts and regularly telling women suffering from domestic violence not to go to police against UK public policy.

You can view the full Panorama program here:

When Glenn asked whether divorces by U.S. courts would be recognized, the imam admitted that women would also need to get an Islamic divorce, and that her US court divorce would not be recognized if she traveled to Islamic countries (the imam specifically mentions US ally, Jordan). So US civil law, even by their own admission, isn’t recognized by Islamic law, here or abroad.

And what about the testimony of women in Islamic court? The imams tried to brush it off that it only related to financial transactions, but you only need to go to the IslamQA website where they defend the principle that the testimony of women isn’t the same as that of men.

As I noted in my own interview, a 2011 survey of Middle East countries by UNICEF found only in Tunisia and Oman (one could also add here Israel) is the testimony of women fully admitted in all judicial proceedings. In most Middle Eastern countries, a woman’s testimony is regularly limited in family and financial matters. This is hardly a secret.

I recall the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Barack Obama’s favorite US Islamic group, used to publish a ruling on their website by one of the top Islamic jurists in the US expressly forbidding Muslim women from marrying non-Muslim men, saying “It is better to a slave, bondsman than get married to a non-Muslim.”…

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