Why we perhaps shouldn't ban sharia law
Over 20 American states, at one official level or another, are debating whether to ban unfair sharia law practices, regardless of how such bans would limit the right of free exercise guaranteed in the first amendment of The Constitution. One such bill in Michigan, my home state, proposes not to ban sharia law by name, but instead, to “limit the application and enforcement …of foreign laws that would impair constitutional rights.”
It is legislation aimed at removing religious advantage; the implementation of such legislation could ensure that laws are enforced evenly, with no exceptions made for religion. If enacted, such laws could mean that religion could no longer use doctrine to discriminate against, nor to injure people, and that would mean a more fair society.
Well, not so fast, because we might have reason to believe that laws which are altogether biblically inspired, wont rightly be viewed as "foreign laws", as well. Welcome to America; biblically inspired laws have never really been viewed as foreign laws here. Or, at least not since the days when America was mostly still in Native American hands, have biblically inspired laws been viewed as foreign. Moreover, several Christian-Right groups have been involved in the fight against sharia, here, and some of those groups more controversially so than others. Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, and 2012 GOP presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich, seems to love the idea of banning sharia law. Newt himself, an anti-gay Roman Catholic, has erroneously claimed that Dearborn Michigan is already under sharia law, in his effort to drum up support for such a ban.
So, I'm left wondering whether this is actually a move which will do more harm than good. If such laws are passed, will they only seem to the Christian-Right to galvanize their twisted claims that America was founded on Christianity, and for Christianity? The American Family Association (an active hate group according to the Southern Poverty Law Center), for example, uses such claims to charge that the religious freedom promised in the Constitution, applies only to Christians (and try figuring that out!).
Aren't attempted bans on unfair sharia laws, after all, complete redundancies, as anything that would impair constitutional rights, already is, by definition, unconstitutional?
If outlawing sharia in the US isn't actually an attempt to establish a Christian theocracy, in disguise, then why wouldn't the groups which support banning sharia, instead simply favor strengthening anti-discrimination laws, such as removing religious exemptions from civil rights acts?
Do you support such bans on sharia laws, or not?