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A constitutional battle over Muslim family law has begun. In November 2010, Oklahoma voters approved a state constitutional amendment banning the use of Muslim Shari'ah and other international laws in its state courts. This was a direct rejoinder ...

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Displaying 1–24 of 24 comments

HERBERT MORGAN

December 27, 2012  11:14pm

Why was there no mention of the conflict between the Judeo/Christian worldview and the Islamic worldview? Cooperation between Jews and Christians is fundamentally OK because we have the same basic worldview and the same God. Islam is a totally different worldview and they have been at war since Islam's beginning. Jesus through His statement "Render unto Caesar what is Casear's and unto God what is God's." gave permission for civil authority. There is no such dicotomy in Islam. It is a totally integrated civil/religious system with Allah the final authority and owner of everything. There is no room for the US Constitution or it's Creator in Islam. The God of the Bible (the same person in both the Jewish and Christian beliefs) and the god of Islam are two different entities and are at war with each other. One is a loving Father and the other is a lying murderer. Note: My views are based on a study of Islam and also living and working in an Islamic nation for six years.

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Robert Brooks

December 06, 2012  7:46am

I forgot something. Lenin, referred to some people as "useful idiots". Their job is to be living propaganda machines. No matter how many examples the world presents them, they still refuse to grasp the obvious. The continual slaughter of Christian in Nigeria, Coptic in Egypt, Christians in Iraq, Jews everywhere, Christians in Mali, Christians in Malaysia etc. This is their (muzzies) plan/final solution. We must take a page from their book. "Fight them wherever you see them! Do not trust them. Do not take them for friends." We must turn their "uphill climb" into an impassable mountain! So dear John, get your head on straight. Just look at the daily carnage in their wake. And once you understand something about them, you will see that these killers, are not "extremists". These are the moderate, pious and faithful everyday muslims. There is no living with them. Look at every country they infect. They destroy all outsiders.

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Robert Brooks

December 06, 2012  7:30am

Poor John Witte Jr, has got it all wrong. Commenting that "As American muslims grow stronger and anti-muslim sentiment in America goes deeper,", don't you mean as muslim numbers grow larger, and muslims force their culture upon the surrounding a populous,". Hey! This is SOP for islamization. Start with small numbers, and later when you are strong, take over everything you can. Go into any neighborhood and plan a mosque. Whether there is an islamic population or not. Build it. Force ordanance changes for parking and traffic. Then change another ordnance for prayer calls. Then start having so much traffic, the old-time residents leave, and the muzzies move in. How do you think dearborneistan happened. They are not stupid. They are well practiced. This is civilization jihad. It is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Anyone who doesn't fight them deserves the dhimmitude that goes with it! They only want three futures for us. Converted, subjugated but preferably dead!

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Leon A Dundas

December 04, 2012  3:49pm

oh wow, i had not read the last 2 pages when I commented - glad i did not. I shall summarize - women who desire the vote should wait till they have served the kinds of period of discrimination suffered by slaves before the injustice they sufferred is to be addressed . . . I would have preferrred that the we argued that we should learn from the injustices of experience by another group and not let it happen again. LET THE LOVING FRANK RESPECTFUL NEGOTIATIONS ON THIS ISSUE BEGIN.

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Leon A Dundas

December 04, 2012  3:40pm

I am feeling you on this Jon. For me there are at least 2 elements here: 1. A person should be willing to press his/her case including go to prison where state and personal beliefs clash. Happily we are learning the importance of this and are providing some protections e.g. whistle blower laws and conscientious objectors registers. 2. People should be encouraged to resolve conflicts within their community of reference (whether religious, cultural or class defined) but all such systems must be under the oversight of public authority based on universally recognized principles. I suspect that most persons of whatever faith or none who support community based actions are seeking higher not lower and certainly not criminal standards. As a christian I have learned to trust " the light that has shone on all men coming into the world . . ." two other comments - extremism exists in all belief systems. sad that the author equates polygamy with abuse (child marriage or wife beating).

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W DAY

December 01, 2012  7:17pm

OUR Founding Documents express clearly what our country is founded upon. The DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE places the interest of the State in protecting "ALL MEN" (not just Christians) and are that ALL MEN are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Our CONSTITUTION is clear:The State's primary role is simply the establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty. JESUS told us to render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's & unto God what is God. Niether Islam, Christianity, Mormonism or any other religion has the right in our country to use the STATE to enforce RELIGIOUS LAW or indoctrinate via the State. A TRUE PATRIOT will understand, We must protect the rights, and the welfare of the individual without regard to religious law, including Christianity.

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Jon Trott

November 30, 2012  4:53pm

Boy, this thread has some whacked stuff in it. That's the problem with these phrases humans tend to grab onto and invest with their own 100% "this is evil" meaning. Let it be said that now Sharia Law has joined the other convenient "instant evil" labels such as communist, socialist, humanist, leftist, liberal, feminist, and the rest of the litany. Just understand this, if you can... every action causes an opposite and equal reaction. Your hate today will almost certainly, barring a direct act of God in the lives of those you have chosen as enemies, result in their hate tomorrow directed at you. Or perhaps worse than hate... they will give you and your "religion" the gift of indifference. Hmm. Maybe tomorrow's here already.

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Hugh (Bart) Vincelette

November 25, 2012  12:34pm

Shari'ah law has no place in any western secular democracy/republic, when its tenets are dependent on the brand of Islam involved, & is based on opposition to principles upon which western nations were founded, with liberty, justice, & equality for all. We have enough problems attempting to eliminate things like female mutilations, & honor killings. If allowed anywhere, the door is open to implementing the Catholic Code of Canon Law, & any official policy & procedure manual of any denomination in the country. While not directly related to Shari'ah law, I was stunned to learn recently that here in Canada; in Ontario, Muslims can have their kids excused from any class in which Christmas, Easter, or Halloween is discussed, or subjects like music.

Jay Rieds

November 23, 2012  10:06pm

The Muslim Brotherhood is already well established here in North America, taking advantage of our democratic system. Islam is nothing more than a political ideology, and a very dangerous one at that. Look at Western Europe. They are overrun with Muslims as a result of political correctness and immigration run amok. Democratic countries have to be careful or they will lose the very freedom they take for granted. The Christian Church is afraid of Islam. We should not be afraid, 2 Timothy 1:7 says God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. As Christians we must witness to Muslims for they too are victims of Islam. I am frustrated that Christianity Today does not seem to see that Islamic doctrine is a threat to Christians and Jews or anyone else who does not convert to Islam. Jihad is their way and Mohammed is their prophet.

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Pop Seal

November 23, 2012  5:29pm

"Oh East is East and West is West and ner' the twain shall meet, till earth and sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat!" Kipling is still right. The core values of Islam are opposite those of America's foudational Judeo Christian ethic. Anyone who argues others otherwise is willfully ignorant, naive, or living on wishful thinking. Compare the lives of the founders and their first disciples. Islam is a violent superstition founded by a known killer! Or you have to burn all the editions of Encyclopedia Britannica, the Oxford History of Islam, and the complete works of Bernard Lewis. CNN, CAIR, and the DHIMMI elite haven't the first hint of the truth. Correction, CAIR's job is to hide the truth by misdirection and intimidation.

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Tim Baker

November 21, 2012  7:05pm

No

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J Thomas

November 20, 2012  11:16pm

Protect our citizens from Sharia law, and from UN law.

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Ed mac

November 20, 2012  8:55pm

we won't like sharia when fully implemented. I promise. Where are the femminists when this stuff happens. Hiding. Too gutless to stand and say sharia law is not good for women. When you are lower then a dog, one should wake up. So No the answer is No muslim content.

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Bill Guerrant

November 20, 2012  4:55pm

@Steve--I am not sure how you define countries "governed by Islam" but in Malaysia, where Islam is the official religion, there are substantial Christian, Hindu and Buddhist minorites. I attended a Christian church service there. I am not aware of any prohibition against Christians governing themselves there. In Malaysia Sharia law courts exist and they have authority family law, but they only apply to Muslims. They have no jurisdiction over people of other faiths. Religious tolerance within Muslim countries varies, of course, from the extremely intolerant (notably Saudi Arabia) to the tolerant (such as Malaysia and Turkey).

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John Sucke

November 20, 2012  4:12pm

Silly, xenophobic and beneath CT to print such drek.

Jack Ratekin

November 20, 2012  3:53pm

This article is a masterpiece of political propoganda. It creates issues and arguments out of thin air and then invents "intellectual" answers to the arguments that never existed before it was written. Good job. You get an "A" in creative writing.

Heath Wells

November 20, 2012  3:45pm

Susan, You make a good point. I knew it sounded bad when I wrote it. Christians should show love and compassion for all. However, I feel we need to fight to keep any group from harming U.S. citizens under their rules in a country that has laws that protect them. Thank you for the correction.

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Steve Skeete

November 20, 2012  3:08pm

There is something beautiful about democracy. It allows for freedom of religion to the point where Muslims in democratic lands can seek, and as in the U.K, receive permission to establish Sharia courts. On the other hand, there is something ugly about Islam. In no country governed by Islam can Christians seek or be allowed to govern themselves; in fact, just getting a permit to build a Church is a mission impossible. No wonder some are beginning to see what is happening to the West as a second Muslim "invasion". What Islam could not and cannot achieve by warfare, it now can achieve by claiming its rights and freedoms under democracy. Funny isn't it, that a people who come from countries where other religions have little freedom and almost no rights to speak of, use every democratic means to claim all those freedoms and rights guaranteed under foreign constitutions. It is not that Islam is winning, but that democracy seems to have a death wish. And Islam is more than happy to oblige.

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Bill Guerrant

November 20, 2012  1:52pm

This was an interesting and reasonably well-balanced article, but I found the conclusion a bit puzzling. The author defends deference to Jewish religious courts, but not Muslim courts, on the grounds that: "Muslims simply do not have the same history of persecution that the Jews have faced in the West. Nor do they have a long enough track record of litigation and lobbying." America does not properly determine the boundaries of religious freedom, however, by reference to litigation track records or lobbying. Nor should those seeking to freely exercise their religion have to prove that they have "the same history of persecution" experienced by others, in order to be granted that right. Whatever the merits of allowing religious courts to operate independently of secular authority (and it seems to me that as a nation we may have go grounds to no longer permit that), I'm confident that the Oklahoma law was a product of anti-Muslim bigotry, not any objective consideration of the subject.

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Susan Gillespie

November 20, 2012  1:38pm

Heath - the first problem is, that it is not a "they" that is "here." While there are lots of immigrant Muslims, there are certainly lots of American-born Muslims, who you'd have to admit deserve the same protection under the law as any other American.

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Red Well

November 20, 2012  12:25pm

Well argued, though I find the final point about slow assimilation unsatisfying. I'm sympathetic to the logic here, but Witte seems to be saying, "No, Sharia is not permissible, except that it is after a long period of semi-injustice." It may be more consistent to argue that while Jewish and Muslim law make claims on the entire community, from personal to legal to social relations, Christianity more clearly separates Christ from Caesar. As the the West developed a secular public sphere, Christian (especially Protestant) practice developed with and facilitated this move. By contrast, Jews had to fight to carve out a legal space and, notably, they also had to jettison Jewish law as an all-encompassing standard for social/political life. In a similar fashion, if American Muslims want to set up an overlapping jurisdiction with the state, they need to revise the traditional understanding of Sharia as all-ecnompassing. That said, Sara o has a point: it's a solution looking for a problem.

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Jon Trott

November 20, 2012  12:18pm

First, nearly every mention of Sharia Law I've seen comes from those intent on warring against their straw-man version of Islam. But set that aside. One huge issue that discussions about Sharia Law -- even a somewhat more in-depth one such as this -- seem to miss has to do with how any religious community functions in a polycultural world. The issue is hinted at here, but Christians should sit up and take note. It isn't only Muslim communities that wonder how they might hold on to their identity while swimming in the American melting pot. We Christians are obviously also "at sea." Attacking Sharia Law while knowing almost nothing about what it actually is -- except the misinformation spread by hysteria mongers -- not only is a disservice to bridge-building with our Muslim neighbors but also a failure to grasp how each community is impacted by America's pluralism. For the record, I'm a Christian.

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Sara o

November 20, 2012  11:22am

As a Muslim, I'd love to hear who these pro-Shariah advocates are. None are ever named, and among Muslims I know--part of the reason we're grateful to be Muslims in the US is that we don't have to worry about "Shariah" laws which might cause women to lose custody of their kids or impact our rights in divorce. We're Muslims here because we want a separation of Church and State. If God forbid that separate tribunals should ever be set up as is the case in the UK, my hope is that if one party chooses to abide by State/Federal law, than those laws would trump religious law regardless of the religion of the people in the case. However, anti-Shariah laws do impact us as Shariah does not just family or criminal law. Shariah dictates how we pray. How we wash and bury our dead. How we worship. What those who do not understand is that anti-Shariah laws are offensive--they are really just anti-Muslim laws. The 2 Muslim congressmen have never proposed overturning US law. It's fear & hate.

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Heath Wells

November 20, 2012  10:02am

Please do not be offended, but it seems that the Muslims have such an issue with our laws. Why are they here if they do not like it? Why must we as Americans always cater to the group that is complaining the most? Look at what has happened to the family over the last decade. Same sex marriages are now being looked at a just another lifestyle choice instead of the slap in the face of God that it is. We are killing unborn babies out of convenience and rationalization. Now we seem to be making way for another Godless group that wants to strip women of their rights and have new American laws that protect them. Someone must take a stand and it should be the followers of Christ.