Adam Bates (Your Views, Jan. 16) states the proposed ban on Sharia law in Oklahoma is unconstitutional and an “embarrassing chapter in our history.” Preventing implementation of Sharia is important and hardly embarrassing. Muneer Awad, Oklahoma executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the ban on Sharia would impact every aspect of his life. This is true because Islam is a complete political, legal and social system, not just a religion.
The laws that govern all Americans are inadequate for Awad; he must have Islamic law. Other religions separate politics and religion. Jesus never sought political power; Muhammad slaughtered opponents for it. Our constitutional commitment to religious freedom renders us vulnerable to a religion that's also a political-legal system.
Sharia prescribes death to adulterers (only women, really), gays and all Muslims who convert to another faith. It also justifies polygamy, pedophilia and wife-beating. Muslims in enclaves throughout Europe, and in Canada, have carried out many such crimes, claiming Sharia justification. When this occurs here, would the perpetrator's rights under Sharia law supersede the victim's under U.S. law? Judges should answer this definitively, and not say, “It hasn't happened yet.”
There is precedent: Driving under the influence is illegal, even though no crime has been committed yet.
Elliott Doane, Oklahoma City
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