Since 2010, 201 anti-Sharia law bills have actually been introduced in 43 states. In 2017 alone, 14 states presented an anti-Sharia legislation bill, with Texas and also Arkansas enacting the legislation.

You are watching: Is sharia law practiced in the united states


One the the most successful far-right conspiracies to accomplish mainstream viability, the mass hysteria bordering a so-called danger of “Sharia law” in the United states is largely the occupational of anti-Muslim groups such as the American freedom Law facility and ACT for America (ACT), one SPLC-designated hate group. In June, so-called “anti-Sharia” rallies organized by ACT were held throughout the country and attractive white nationalists, armed right-wing militias and even neo-Nazis. 

David Yerushalmi, the dad of the anti-Sharia movement, serves together co-founder of the American flexibility Law Center (AFLC) and also General Counsel the the Center for defense Policy. AFLC has actually pushed that initiative, American regulations for American court (ALAC, principally authored by Yerushalmi, because 2010Politicians in just eight states have actually not joined this concerted task of stoking fear of Islam. Man Rodgers, the former executive manager of ACT for America, the largest grassroots anti-Muslim team in the country, concedes the there is no real affect of Islam in courts yet says, “Before the train gets too much down the monitor it’s time to put up the block.”

The majority of anti-Sharia legislation introduced across the nation incorporates the American laws for American Courts model legislation published ~ above the American Public policy Alliance’s (APPA) website. This sort of language commonly includes a i prohibiting foreign law in American courts where it would an outcome in a conflict with rights guaranteed by the structure of the state or the united States. This regulation is entirely useless — the U.S. Constitution currently expressly denies government to any kind of foreign law. In fact, Yerushalmi himself admits:

If this point passed in every state without any type of friction, it would have actually not served its purpose. The function was heuristic — to get human being asking this question, ‘what is Shariah?’

What is “Sharia law”?

The ax “Sharia law” is a misnomer because sharia is no actually a law or a universally-defined legal code, but a collection of guiding principles to living a ethical life collection out in the Quran. Many representatives, in their arrival of anti-“Sharia law” bills, mention the “invasion” that ‘sharia law’ and also the urgent must stop that from entering American courts.

Upon additional inspection the Yerushalmi’s project to develop a are afraid of Sharia, it is not so much fetched the the general public is falling because that it. The SPLC has actually previously documented the problematic findings of simple Google searches such as, “what is sharia,” and also “sharia and also the united state constitution.” Anti-Muslim propaganda represent the majority of the findings.

Similar to other spiritual scriptures, sharia may be thought about in court matters (although rarely and infrequently), including family members disputes and torts with international countries, but federal and state laws always take precedence. Still, Yerushalmi has drafted numerous iterations the anti-Sharia bills. In 2006, he drafted anti-Sharia regulation with his organization, society of american for national Existence (SANE), i beg your pardon stated:

“It shall it is in a felony punishable by two decades in prison to knowingly plot in furtherance of, or to assistance the, follow to Shari"a.”

Speaking on the object of Muslims, he added: 

The Mythical ‘moderate’ Muslim … the Muslim who embraces traditional Islam yet wants a calm coexistence through the West, is properly non-existent.

However, in 2010, a referee in new Jersey make an error in his translate of this diverse religious legal tradition, and also Yerushalmi has actually exploited this to offer his bigger anti-Muslim movement ever before since.

In 2010, a Moroccan Muslim woman, who gotten in into one arranged marital relationship with her Moroccan Muslim husband simply two months before, asked for a restraining order versus him, alleging he had been raping her. The husband allegedly said he didn’t believe he to be doing noþeles wrong because they were married and “this is according to our religion.” The brand-new Jersey referee did not give the restraining order, citing lack of criminal intent.

The brand-new Jersey Appellate Court reversed the decision shortly after, recognizing the the factor to consider of religious beliefs is no applicable there is no the authorization that American law. In other words, the U.S. Structure prevents any type of foreign law from mostly being offered in the joined States.

Nevertheless, the anti-Sharia activity led by Yerushalmi, AFLC, APPA and other anti-Muslim organizations have actually taken benefit of this overruled decision in their American laws for American Courts initiative rather of learning from the short-lived mistake of one brand-new Jersey judge.

The damage of anti-Sharia legislation

“Anti-Sharia” bills space rarely clearly labeled together such. Many legislators include the phrase ‘foreign law,’ and present bills together the equipment to a larger affect of all international countries and religions. However, APPA clearly says this regulation was created, “to defend American citizens’ constitutional rights against the infiltration and also incursion of international laws and foreign legit doctrines, specifically Islamic Sharia Law.”

It is not just the drafting the this law that is problematic, but additionally that anti-Muslim institutions are working straight with legislators to pass this sort of bill. Through entities prefer ACT and Center because that Security policy on the frontlines of this movement, they are additionally heavily boosting anti-Muslim rhetoric.

The climb in legislation and also anti-Muslim rhetoric within state legislatures is no without repercussion for Muslim communities. In fact, dislike crimes versus Muslims increased through 67 percent according come FBI statistics released in 2015. In March, 3 Muslim student attempted to visit Rep. Man Bennett in the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. Prior to meeting with them, Bennett insisted they fill out a questionnaire about Islam which consisted of questions like, “The Koran, the sunna the Mohammed and Sharia legislation of all schools say the the husband can beat his wife. Execute you agree v him?”

Experts including professors, attorneys, politicians, and the American Bar combination (ABA) have been fast to denounce anti-Sharia law bills. In solution to an uptick in anti-“Sharia law” bills presented in 2010 and 2011, the ABA published a officially letter of dissent, speak in part:

"The American Bar association opposes federal or state legislations that impose blanket prohibitions on consideration or usage by court or arbitral tribunals the the whole body of law or doctrine of a certain religion,” adding, “… American courts will certainly not apply Sharia or other rules (real or perceived) that room contrary to our public policy, including, because that instance, rule that room incompatible with our notions of gender equality."

The ABA further questioned the involves of highly publicizing this form of legislation. The mass hysteria developed by this organizations and also further perpetuated by political leaders at state and federal levels, is alarming. The misconstrued knowledge of both Sharia and also the United says constitution through these teams has seek to develop an actionable score of exterminating Islam. Part states, including Tennessee, have explicitly named ‘Sharia organizations’ and also Muslims, the enemy.

See more: Is Gas An Early Pregnancy Symptom S, Am I Pregnant

“The threat from sharia-based jihad and terrorism gift a real and also present peril to the lawful governance of this state and also to the peaceful enjoyment of citizenship by the inhabitants of this state;” adding, it additional authorizes the attorney general to designate “Sharia organizations,” characterized as “two (2) or much more persons conspiring come support, or acting in concert in support of, sharia or in furtherance the the imposition of sharia within any kind of state or region of the united States. Everyone who gives material support or resources to a designated Sharia organization could be charged through a felony and face up to 15 years in jail.”

Driven by dislike groups, the ALAC initiative has created unfounded fear, and also has sought come demonize Islam and also American Muslims across the nation through legislation and also rhetoric.