Shariah law, often referred to as “Islamic Law,” is in actuality a legal doctrine based on the Quran and Hadiths (sayings and acts of Mohammed), but one which goes far beyond what Westerners would regard as religious matters or routine legal matters.
Shariah has in fact been introduced into U.S. civil court cases in many states, mostly in the area of family law.
Shariah covers all aspects of life, including criminal law, domestic law, statecraft and warfare (Jihad). Shariah encompasses personal ethics and legal issues, religion and state governance, this world and the afterlife. Shariah is said to enforce the will of Allah, as opposed to the will of humans. Shariah regulates belief, speech and religious practice, criminal and legal matters, and other fields including finance and war. There is no such thing as a separate secular authority or secular law under doctrinal Shariah, since religion and state are not distinct, but are one.
Shariah is the strict, exclusive law of the land or basis of that law in Saudi Arabia, Iran and Sudan. It is also enforced in Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as enclaves around the world controlled by violent Jihadist organizations. In other nations, Shariah is either a parallel legal system or partly integrated into the legal systems of the other Islamic-majority nations, such as Egypt and Morocco. Some pro-Shariah groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood also support democratic elections as long as they result in governments, constitutions, legal systems and societies based on Shariah.
Shariah mandates violent Jihad as a religious obligation. Violent Jihad’s purpose against non-Muslims or former Muslims is to establish Islam’s rule worldwide. The establishment of Shariah rule is a stated goal of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hezbollah, HAMAS, Al Shabaab, Abu Sayaf, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jemaah Islamiya and other Jihadist known or designated terrorist organizations, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood.
In the United States of America, Shariah doctrine is encountered in family law cases (see examples of fifty such cases from 23 states at the Shariah in American Courts study conducted by the Center for Security Policy); in Shariah-compliant accommodations that may result in discrimination against non-Muslims; and in Shariah-Compliant Finance on Wall Street and in the U.S. government.
Shariah law, as an example of foreign law, may result in the violation, in the specific matter at issue, of a liberty guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States or the public policies of the state in question. Such violations would include but not be limited to infringements on due process, freedom of religion, speech, or press, equal protection, and any right of privacy or marriage as specifically defined by the constitution of the state.
The Center for Security Policy’s general counsel, David Yerushalmi, is interviewed by the New York Times about the American Public Policy Alliance and “American Laws for American Courts.”
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