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The anti-Sharia movement is part of a larger Islamophobic campaign sponsored by an organized network. Muslims and their faith are also targets of various efforts—some successful—to pass anti-Muslim laws at the state level. Most of these laws follow a template furnished by an organization called American Laws for American Courts (ALAC), led by David Yerushalmi, a well-known Islamophobe. A report by the Center for American Progress describes Yerushalmi’s effort as follows: “Yerushalmi…authored the model anti-Sharia bill, which would make adherence to Sharia ‘a felony punishable by 20 years in prison.’ This template for anti-Sharia legislation was used in state legislatures across the country with the intent of stigmatizing Muslims and creating hysteria about the nonexistent threat of Sharia law.”1

These laws are based on the unfounded claim that American Muslims are seeking to replace the Constitution with sharia law; the legislation prohibits courts from using “foreign law.” The original template for these laws in fact specified not “foreign” law in general but “sharia law”; the wording was revised when an Oklahoma law using the latter term was ruled unconstitutional; but, as proponents have made clear, the target of such laws remains “Sharia.”

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