Efforts to Impose Sharia Seek to Undermine U.S. Constitution

Critics of the American Laws for American Courts legislation (ALAC), which was drafted by AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi, often claim that no Muslim American wants to introduce sharia into the United States. Although this claim has proven to be false (indeed, a June 2011 study by the Center for Security Policy found over 50 significant cases from just a small sample of published cases indicating that sharia law has entered into state court decisions), there are many prominent sharia-adherent Muslim groups that claim that the ALAC legislation — which is an effort to insulate state courts from the growing tendency to embrace constitutionally offensive foreign laws, including sharia — is a threat to constitutional rights. Examples include here and here.

Yet, in spite of these spurious calls for First Amendment protection against ALAC, Muslim world leaders gathered at the United Nations last Friday to slam U.S. free speech rights in light of the ongoing Muslim violence in the Middle East. Their solution: the imposition of sharia law in the United States.  For example, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu addressed the U.N. General Assembly and urged the U.S. to abolish First Amendment protection for speech critical of Islam. Indeed, Davutoglu said criticism of Islam “can no longer be tolerated under the guise of freedom of expression.” In addition, Egypt’s newly elected Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohamed Mursi, argued for speech restrictions last Wednesday.  And Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, told reporters, “This incident [Muslim rioting supposedly in protest of a U.S.-made anti-Islam film] demonstrates the serious consequences of abusing the principle of freedom of expression. . . .”

The growing calls by Muslim world leaders for sharia-mandated speech restrictions comes on the heels of a “lawfare” fatwa issued by the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), a prestigious group of imams. The imams implored Muslims in America to “immediately start legal action to prosecute those who offend Islam.”

Returning to ALAC, it is important to note that the imposition of sharia law does have a pernicious effect on American constitutional rights. For example, there is the case of Hosain v. Malik, in which the Maryland appellate court used the authority of state law to impose sharia on a woman and deprive her of her rights to due process and the equal protection of the law.

What’s perhaps worse is that these foreign enemies to our Constitution have accomplices here in the United States in the form of leftists and government agencies willing to silence speech so as not to offend Islam.  Indeed, AFLC’s recent cases defending anti-jihad expression is a testament to how far government agencies (i.e., New York’s MTA and Washington D.C.’s Metro) will go to stifle free speech out of fear of Islamist retaliation. Meanwhile, the media is swift to join CAIR, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other Islamist organizations in demonizing anti-sharia speech here in the U.S.

Indeed, if President Obama and the Left were to obey Muslim leaders’ calls for sharia-mandated speech restrictions, we can imagine that such legislation would be labeled the “Imprison Speakers Laughing At Mohammed (ISLAM) Act.”