Sharia protests took place across the United States last weekend. I find it pathetic that the anti-Sharia protestors, most of which probably were Donald Trump supporters, are largely ignorant of what Sharia really is.
I also find it amusing that these flag-waving “patriots” are blind to one basic fact: Article 1 in the First Amendment of the Constitution which reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
This means that their twisted, ignorant version of Sharia can’t be forced on the citizens of the United States, just like Christianity cannot be mandated as the state religion, either. For all their ranting about the sanctity of the Constitution, you’d think they’d know this. No, their utter hatred of Muslims blinds them.
The U.S. Constitution is concerned with balancing conflicts between church and state, giving no religion precedence over another. The anti-Sharia crusade is completely devoid of any constitutional principles. It’s outright discrimination and bigotry.
What IS Sharia Law? Put simply, it’s a code of conduct, very similar to the tenets of Christianity’s Ten Commandments or Judaism’s teachings. “It’s the principle of treating other people justly, of making sure that the financial system treats people fairly, and most importantly the basic principles of Islamic fate,” says Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman. Additionally, Sharia is not a legally enacted body of law in the United States.
In translation, Sharia means “way” or “path,” covering personal conduct and moral code and teachings from religious law. It’s a broad term, but basically encompasses applications in daily life: belief, character, and actions.
- Belief in God, angels, prophets and other aspects of the faith.
- Character, in relation to mankind, striving for humility, compassion, service to the community, kindness, & to avoid lying and pride.
- Actions, which relate to prayer, fasting, pilgrimage & areas concerning other humans such as marriage, crime, and business.
Changes in society from its first implementation in the 10th century, Sharia scholars have been forced to look at it anew to update fatwas (religious edicts) and legal opinions.
Where US judges have made reference to Sharia law, they do so within long-established parameters in American legal precedent. The court does not interpret religious law. If and when religious laws conflict with American law, the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment prohibit American government, including the courts, from substituting religious laws for civil law or following religious laws that violate civil law. This prohibition applies to all religions equally. Additionally, Sharia must accommodate the law of the land; whatever country its adherents live in.
These Americans fretting about being subjected to Sharia Law are ignorant of Islam and religious freedom it affords from the Constitution.
Mark Twain once said:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
~ from Innocents Abroad