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In addition to being flat out wrong and totally far-fetched in the claim that Sharia is taking over our legal system, defining Sharia as a threat to the constitution and American way of life automatically assumes all adherents of Sharia to be anti-American. This casts suspicion upon all observant Muslims and conveys the inaccurate view that Islam is not only incompatible with American values but also a threat to the American way of life.

The anti-Muslim sentiment that such attitudes convey is clearly intended to further demonize and marginalize Muslims and prevent Americans of all faiths from working together for the security of the U.S. In an increasingly globalized world, Islamophobic rhetoric and actions in the U.S. further endanger our national and global security. Mainstreaming “anti-Muslim” and “anti-Islam” sentiment in America only strengthens the perverse narrative of violent extremists that the West is indeed at “war” with Muslims and so creates a cycle of provocation and response that is harmful to both Muslims and the West.

Even if the most extreme interpretation of Sharia were the correct one, there is absolutely no evidence that the U.S. legal system is in any danger of adopting tenets of Sharia. It is important that these anti-Sharia laws be examined rigorously, in order to understand their implication; as emphasized by Jewish Americans, according to a report from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “a prohibition against ‘Sharia’ and ‘religious law’ in the U.S. would infringe upon the rights and customs of other religious communities, who have relied upon contract law and civilian courts to enforce their arbitrations based upon their religious customs.” That is why many “Jewish groups across the spectrum have generally opposed bids to ban sharia law, arguing that Muslim Americans apply sharia in much the same way Orthodox Jewish communities apply halakha, or Jewish law, through religious courts: to grant divorces and to settle disputes of religious matters, while always deferring to civil courts. Jewish groups that address civil society issues, like the ADL, have also said that the movement to ban sharia often masks an anti-Muslim bias.”

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