When I hear these types of questions, I’m not sure if I want to laugh hysterically or be shocked that some Americans actually believe this is an issue.
On Sunday night, CNN aired Soledad O’Brien’s documentary Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door. It followed the story of a community in Murfreesboro, Tennessee that was trying to build a mosque, but met with much hate (and a lawsuit) against their plan by locals. One fear that was expressed was that allowing Muslims to build mosques will eventually lead to the rise of Sharia Law taking over the country (ie, ‘creeping’). (How one leads to the other, I’m not exactly sure.)
Professor Noah Feldman, legal scholar at Harvard Law School, was briefly interviewed regarding this issue. He stated that America has nothing to fear because the US Constitution is designed to prevent such a takeover. While that statement is correct, what is missing from the dialogue is the following: that Sharia Law has no desire to take over America. US Muslims are happy under the laws of the United States (minus some of that discrimination, but we’re working on that, right?). There is no movement or conspiracy to bring Sharia Law over the law of the United States. Period.
Further, I would urge everyone to learn what Sharia Law is. It is in fact a very rich and deep legal system with various opinions on a wide variety of issues. It is not a monolith nor is it about on stone-throwing and whatever the media and various pundits portray it to be. I would be happy to have a dialogue and discuss with anyone who is interested. In fact, I hope to write a few posts on the issue.