Once again, the rhetoric of Sharia taking over America has been exploited this time by Nevada Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle.
In her recent interview with the Mesquite Local News, the Republican candidate said: "Dearborn, Michigan, and Frankford, Texas are on American soil, and under Constitutional law, not Sharia law. And I don't know how that happened in the United States. It seems to me there is something fundamentally wrong with allowing a foreign system of law to even take hold in any municipality or government situation in our United States."
Obviously Angle has never visited Borough Park, Brooklyn where thousands of Hasidic Jews live their lives according to the Talmudic Law, which also has its roots in the "foreign" Middle East. A biker lane in Williamsburg was removed, against the wishes of community members, in order not to offend the religious beliefs of conservative Hasidic residents who didn't want to see women in skimpy clothing riding by everyday. Likewise, Angle's flawed logic could be used against Catholics, who follow Roman Catholic Law dictated by a "foreign" Pope who lives in Rome. The US allows abortion and divorce, which are contrary to Catholic "Sharia" (law). Many Catholics want to change US law to make it conform more to their own Sharia laws, particularly concerning abortion. Does this make Catholics "anti-American?" According to Angle's logic it would.
Sharia (meaning legislation in English) is simply the rules that govern the lives of Muslims from daily prayers and fasting to inheritance. Sharia does not -- and never will -- apply to non-Muslims. In America, Muslims have not imposed their religious beliefs on their community, unlike the Hasidics in Brooklyn or the Catholics who, for example, block stem cell research because it opposes their beliefs. If Catholics -- who unlike Muslims have political power and influence in the country -- can't overturn Roe Vs. Wade, what makes Angle or presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich think that Islamic law can even have the slightest influence on American law?
There is not a single Muslim country today that completely follows Sharia -- even Saudi Arabia. Apparently Angle hasn't read much about the Middle East or she would know that Saudi Arabia has been under attack by extremists who point out that Saudi is a monarchy, which is not allowed in traditional Sharia. Similarly, Egypt's penal code is secular and based on French law. Most of the Muslim world doesn't even follow financial Sharia laws, which forbid Reba or interest on loaned money. In more than 50 Muslim countries, there are perhaps three that practice the strict penalties or Hudud of Sharia, such as stoning, which by the way was also prescribed in the Torah for 18 crimes, including blasphemy, witchcraft and adultery.
If pure Sharia doesn't exist in Muslim countries, on what planet Angle, Newt Gringrich, David Horowitz, and Pamela Geller are living to believe that Islamic law will magically take over the United States.
Obviously Muslims are content with our freedom and democracy in America that many of them keep flocking here. They practice their Sharia within the limits of the law, respecting the different faiths and beliefs of their community. Check out Soul Mechanic! Some Muslims already sacrificed their lives saving others on 9-11 and subsequently their mixed ashes were dispersed all over Ground Zero that is now forbidden for them to have a mosque or center, even 2.5 blocks away for sensitivity reasons! Muslims are already fighting fellow Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan whom they see as the enemies of the U.S. But the loud anti-Muslim camp is exploiting Americans' ignorance about Islam to raise their fears and subsequent dehumanization of Muslims.
Muslims now are an easy target for politicians like Angle who managed to haul $14 million in three months of her Senate campaign. Do we even know who is funding her? Where is the transparency that is crucially needed to protect America from rich people and foreign groups who want to hijack our democracy? They want to manipulate our foreign and economic policies to advance their own selfish interests at the expense of millions of Americans. Why aren't we pointing the finger at those folks instead of displacing our frustrations on Sharia?
Follow Jehan S. Harney on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JehanPost