Veil Of Politics
Women can drive in Kansas. The stoning of adulterers is not condoned, nor is removal of the right hand of thieves.
Yet the Kansas Legislature overwhelmingly passed and Gov. Sam Brownback recently signed a ban against state courts or agencies making any ruling based on foreign laws — read, Shariah.
The word Shariah means “path,” and in many parts of this country it is leading not to the least, but the most, resistance.
“Many people use the word Shariah and don’t know what it means,” said Jacquelene Brinton, an Islamic specialist in religious studies at the University of Kansas. “They don’t know what they are banning. They are going by the extreme examples in some other countries.”
Such cases, from beheadings of murderers in Saudi Arabia to family “honor” killings of women in Pakistan, attract censure from the West, but they tend to spring from specific cultures.
Shariah is a complex system for regulating the conduct of devout Muslims. Shaped by history and regional customs, codes and religious texts, it is more flexible than Westerners might believe, tempered by modernism, and of course, a nation’s laws.
“American Muslims are not trying to replace the U.S. Constitution with Islamic Shariah,” said Riyaz M. Lareef, director of Outreach for Islamic Circle of North America-Kansas City. “American Muslims want to have the liberty and freedom like other religious groups — such as Jews and Catholics — to follow Islamic religious principles in personal lives and private contracts.
“These rights include praying, fasting, giving to charity, building places of worship, being honest, being generous, wearing Islamic clothing, marriage, inheritance and business transactions.”
A bill passed in Tennessee, however, contends Shariah would promote “the destruction of the national existence of the United States.” Newt Gingrich, failed contender for the Republican nomination, called it “a mortal threat to the survival of freedom in the United States and in the world as we know it.”
Such views are Islamophobic, others argue, and are driving a wedge between most Americans and a fast-growing minority.
Kansas is just one of more than a dozen states, generally the “red” ones on the political color spectrum, where some fear encroachment of Islamist influence. Oklahoma led the way with a constitutional amendment that specifically referred to Shariah, but it was tossed out as discriminatory by federal courts.
Kansas law says courts, administrative agencies or state tribunals cannot base rulings on any foreign law or legal system that would not grant the parties the same rights guaranteed by state and U.S. constitutions. The term Shariah is nowhere to be found.
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[Sura 3:54] “Allah was the best of deceivers”