Sardar: Anti-Sharia bill could harm Michigan’s economy

http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20110918/OPINION02/109180495/Sardar-Anti-Sharia-bill-could-harm-Michigan-s-economy

Sardar: Anti-Sharia bill could harm Michigan’s economy

Take time to learn more about Islamic faith before reacting

10:54 PM, Sep. 17, 2011

Although the proponents of House Bill. 4769 claim that it is not against Islam or Muslims, it is a copycat version of other Anti-Sharia bills in the works in approximately 25 states.

The bill is sponsored in Michigan by Rep. David Agema, R-Grandville. This is the same Rep. Agema who recently earned the dubious distinction of being listed as a featured speaker alongside controversial Pastor Terry Jones. Although Rep. Agema never made it to Pastor Jones’ sparsely attended speech at the Capitol, the fact that he is not denying reports that he personally requested to share the stage with the infamous Jones speaks volumes.

HB 4769 is postured to mislead people to believe that opponents of this measure are seeking to sneak in foreign law to replace U.S. law. This is a false pretense exploited by a few lawmakers for ulterior motives, namely expand their voter base.

Such a bill passed in Oklahoma with 70 percent of the vote as the wary population bought into the fear propaganda. The bill, however, was deemed unconstitutional and blocked immediately by the courts.

The fact of the matter is that we live in a global environment, and our judicial system would be severely hampered if prevented from considering foreign laws. The bill violates the supremacy clause and the First Amendment rights of Muslim, Jewish and other Americans, and is inconsistent with decades of jurisprudence.

Michigan now has to decide on its priorities. Should we be working to create more jobs and attract talent to our state, or get embroiled in civil liberty legal battles at tax payer expense?

This bill is bad for business and will only attract the likes of Pastor Terry Jones to our state.

Rather than buy into what the propaganda machine tells us about Sharia and how scary it is, it would be prudent to take the time to develop a nuanced understanding of Sharia, to learn more about what it is and what it is not and how exactly it will be used in the courts.

To be sure, Sharia is not a monolithic set of doctrines, and much of it is open to be contextually interpreted to meet the needs of Muslims wherever they may be.

It is based on Sharia interpretation, for example, that Muslim Americans join the armed forces to protect our country, even if it means fighting against an enemy nation that is predominantly Muslim.

At no time does Sharia seek to supersede the Constitution. The law of the land is supreme and the vast majority of Muslims proudly abide by it. The courts use Sharia as extrinsic evidence to help clarify or dispel ambiguity in a contract or to understand the context in which a case is being deliberated.

The courts would not recognize any judgments based on a foreign or religious law if they do not conform to our due process and/or if they violate our public policy.

The jurisprudence in the United States is very clear on this and does not require any additional law to safeguard it.

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