Islamist-Interfaith Alliance Battles Foreign Law Bans


IslamWillDominateWhiteHouseShoulder-to-Shoulder, an interfaith coalition allied with the Islamic Society of North America, is mobilizing its supporters against state legislation that stops foreign law from superseding the Constitution. The Islamists’ non-Muslim allies are helping frame it as an unnecessary, bigoted initiative that threatens all people of faith.

The coalition is holding a webinar on February 27. The announcement correctly notes that current legislation does not mention Shariah, though it is covered under the terminology of “foreign law.” Seven states have passed such bills since 2010.

Shoulder-to-Shoulder’s description makes it sound like the legislation is a ban on foreign law influencing judges’ decision altogether. It states:

“Most religious laws that influence these contracts (like Jewish Halakha, Catholic Canon law, or Islamic Shariah law) were not developed within the United States and would be considered foreign law under such legislation. While anti-Muslim sentiment is still the motivating factor behind these laws, Americans of every faith should be concerned about their impact on religious freedom.”

This is an easily refutable misrepresentation of the bills, based on the American Laws for American Courts draft legislation. It does not ban religious contracts like those mentioned by Shoulder-to-Shoulder, nor is it a blanket ban on foreign law. It only applies when there is a conflict between the U.S. Constitution and foreign law in court and it victimizes no one, especially not Muslims because Muslim-Americans are benefactors of it.

A 2011 study found 50 cases where Shariah or foreign law based on Shariah influenced the court case. The American Public Policy Alliance has a list of 10 cases where a Muslim-American party objected to the role of Shariah. The summary is as follows:

“In cases 1-3, the Appellate Courts upheld Shariah law; in cases 4-7, the Trial Courts upheld Shariah, but the Appellate Courts reversed (protecting the litigant’s constitutional rights); in cases 8-10, both Trial and Appellate Courts rejected the attempts to enforce Shariah law.”

ALAC is sometimes criticized as unnecessary and driven by unsubstantiated paranoia. It is hard to imagine that an American judge would ever rule give foreign law precedence over American law. The American Public Policy Alliance explains that the bill fixes a troublesome loophole:

Most states merely state that foreign laws and judgments that violate the state’s “public policy” shall not be recognized. But the courts consistently rule that the state legislature has the responsibility to articulate clearly what the state’s public policy actually is.

The ALAC website points out the hypocrisy of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. In response to business dress codes enforced on Muslim-American women in France, CAIR communications director Ibrahim Hooper unwittingly supported the rationale behind ALAC.

“A discriminatory dress code implemented in France does not supersede American laws protecting the religious rights of American citizens,” he said. He said CAIR is “defending American law from foreign intrusion.”

The American-Islamic Forum for Democracy supports ALAC-type bills because it has seen how Shariah has affected Muslims in Europe. The bills’ purpose is not to pre-empt a hypothetical situation. It’s a reaction to what is actually happening right now.

A 2010 study found that Shariah courts in the United Kingdom lack accountability, to say the least. There are not clear standards for appointing judges and monitoring proceedings and rulings often conflict with British law. For example, British courts’ first priority is the interest of the child. Shariah courts rule that children automatically go into the custody of the father after a certain age.

The British Justice Ministry investigated Shariah courts and had to end give up because of a lack of cooperation from the court staffs. 

The misrepresentations by Shoulder-to-Shoulder stem from its relationship with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity and unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation. The Foundation was another Brotherhood entity that was shut down for financing Hamas. This isn’t six degrees of separation: The Holy Land Foundation operated within ISNA, according to a 2009 ruling by a federal judge. 

ISNA said on its website last month that it “founded” Shoulder-to-Shoulder to counter increasing bigotry against Muslims. Elsewhere on its website, ISNA says it “helped convene” the coalition of 28 religious organizations. Whichever way it is worded, the point is that Shoulder-to-Shoulder is largely a product of ISNA.

And who is the ISNA official leading its interfaith campaign and, therefore, its work with Shoulder-to-Shoulder? Former Secretary-General Sayyid Syeed, who is seen in The Grand Deception documentary saying in 2006, “Our job is to change the constitution of America.” His current job title at ISNA is National Director of ISNA’s Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances.

That is the organization and individual that Shoulder-to-Shoulder works with. This has been written about many times, but the coalition continues to carry ISNA’s water.

Shoulder-to-Shoulder is just one example of how non-Muslims are being rallied to the cause. The Gospel Coalition published an article in August titled, “The Dangers of Anti-Sharia Laws.” The author, Joe Carter, is also a senior editor for the Action Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty.

Another example is Pastor Joel C. Hunter of Florida’s Northland Church. He collaborated with a former CAIR official to stand against the bill and said it is an “unnecessary law that increases bias and heightens animosity between Christians and Muslims.”

The ALAC-inspired bills will not roll back religious freedom. Non-Muslims should read about the bill from the original source before following the lead of ISNA and its interfaith coalition.

The Institute on Religion and Democracy contributed to this article.

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  • Bamaguje

    “While anti-Muslim sentiment is still the motivating factor behind these laws, Americans of every faith should be concerned about their impact on religious freedom” – Shoulder-to-shoulder.

    Absolute rubbish!!
    These utterly clueless dhimmis are so full of crap. For over two hundred years American law did not threaten the religious freedom of Christians, Jews and other non-Muslims, but all of a sudden their religious freedom is threatened by anti-Sharia legislation.
    What arrant nonsense!!

  • Rick

    It amazes me that, seemingly, the only country taking a serious stance against the Muslim Brotherhood is the country of its origin, Egypt. Apparently the US, UK and other Western countries could learn from the people of Egypt. Admittedly there is support for the MB there, but wouldn’t it be poetic if its demise happened in the same place that spawned this abomination?

    • nopeacenow

      Members of the Muslim Brotherhood are among Obama’s most trusted advisors.

  • nopeacenow

    Why would any Christian take the side of Muslims when Christians are persecuted throughout the Muslim world? There is no freedom of religion in any Muslim country and that should be remembered when Muslims ask for any privileges Muslims request in the West.

    • nomoretraitors

      Because we have so many traitors and collaborators in our midst

      • nopeacenow

        How true. The Left is anti-American and anti-Israel so that any enemy of the US/Israel is a friend of the Left. Once Israel/America is destroyed, the Left will also be destroyed.

  • JuneUSA

    They have no rights to come here and change our laws to suit their horrendous agenda. We have to stand up for American law and we must not let our politicians make laws against us.

  • nomoretraitors

    The same people who will scream “separation of church and state” if school children sing Christmas carols

  • zoomie

    I was born in 1960 at the San Diego Naval Hospital in Balboa park. When I was growing up I remember, more than just from time to time, hearing the phrase, Never Again. … Unfortunately, it has been added to … Until Next Time.
    There was another phrase, It Could Never Happen Here. Well folks, this is how it’s done when you sing, We Did It Our Way .

  • wileyvet

    Just another attempt by Muslims to obfuscate the evil of Islam’s true purpose. They wish to counter anti muslim bigotry. Oh boo hoo! Your religion endorses the worst kind of bigotry. The worst because it is a blanket bigotry, that covers everyone on the planet that is not a muslim. Your rabid hatred for all things non-Islamic is made manifest everyday around the world. This isn’t the 7th century where only a few ancient chroniclers recorded your atrocities. This is the 21st and the actions and deeds of the adherents of Islam are on display for all to see. Islam is a scourge that needs to be eliminated, not accommodated.

  • sheikyermami

    The Obama-Holder team will stack the judiciary with properly indoctrinated coreligionists. If the laws stand in the way, change the law….!

    • nomoretraitors

      They don’t bother with changing the law. They just ignore it

  • Susana Gonzalez

    did you know that King Charles V prohibited the migration of Moors to the New World?

    Did you know that MExico constitution doesnot allow “Special tribunals” to be over the Constitution?

    Article 13. No one may be tried by private laws or special tribunals.

  • franklin peter

    so many christians are being slaughtered by muslim and these christians are supporting the radical muslim!!. You stupid christians, though you have eyes you see not. Go ahead and behead yourselves before your muslim friends turn on you and your spouses and your children!!!

    • nopeacenow

      Not Christians. Leftists, anti-American leftists. You know them as Democrats.