While recent videos depicting Muslim Street Patrols attempting to enforce Sharia Law in East London, UK disturbed me I decided that it would be prudent to investigate further before forming an opinion.
The threat of a movement bent on imposing Sharia Law in western nations, particularly the UK and the US appears to be real but to what degree? The majority of Muslims living in the west seem to be peaceful people who enjoy the freedom of religion guaranteed by the US Constitution and the British Human Rights Act. In my experience they are willing to live by the law of the land and accept the rights of others to worship according to their own beliefs and traditions.
The more I researched, the more I discovered that completely unbiased information on this issue is about as common as the proverbial needle in the haystack. Conservatives highlight instances within the US involving court cases that factor in Sharia Law when the litigants are Muslim and from Islamic nations. Liberals are quick to downplay the same instances as anomalies and nothing more than fuel to feed the fires of unwarranted fear.
Further investigation begged questions as to whether or not such decisions have contradicted US law or not. Navigating the complexities of Constitutional Law is a daunting task, as provisions exist allowing for the enforcement of contracts and obligations established in other nations according to foreign laws.
Attempts in some states – most notably Alabama and Oklahoma – to implement state constitutional amendments prohibiting any foreign law to be factored into US court cases have produced a confusing quagmire of complexity that could actually conflict with the US Constitution.
Any aspect of Sharia Law that conflicts with the US Constitution should not be considered regardless of whom the litigants or defendants might be. If I were arrested in Iran for violating Iranian (Sharia) law what is the likelihood that I would be afforded a trial based on US Law?
Groups advocating the implementation of Sharia Law in the west are small. However, as I considered that fact, I remembered a question I asked my mom and dad when I was young. My parents were young adults in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s so I asked them what they had thought of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi’s before the invasions of Europe and Africa began.
They’re response was telling. “We thought that he was a funny little man with a funny mustache on the other side of the ocean and that the brown-shirts were insignificant gangs of street thugs.”
Everyone should be free to sleep at night – even if it is with one eye open. If someone, anyone would provide an accurate and comprehensive assessment of this complicated issue then perhaps we could sleep with both eyes closed.