Michigan Republicans propose anti-Sharia law to Discriminate against Muslim Americans

Michigan State legislator David Agema has introduced an anti-sharia bill that attempts to ban the implementation of ‘foreign law’ in the US that would contradict constitutional rights. Agema openly says he wants to target the Muslim-American community of southeast Michigan, falsely alleging that there are terrorist cells among them.

Arab-Americans have emerged as an important swing vote in Michigan, such that Republicans are unwise to complete the job of driving them into the arms of the Democratic Party. (They had earlier been split, but because of Bush administration policies and the rise of the Tea Party, a majority now vote Democratic).

The bill drew a sharp rebuke from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Sharia is the living tradition of Muslim law, analogous to Jewish Halakha or Roman Catholic canon law. Anti-sharia bills are unnecessary since the first amendment forbids the government from establishing any particular religion. Sharia provisions can come into legal judgments (e.g. if a husband and wife have a pre-nup with sharia provisions (dowry?) agreed to by both parties, the judge would obviously have to consider it in a divorce case). The Agema bill could not stop that from happening, and depending on how it is worded, it is ignorant of the tradition of Anglo-American common law or it is just unconstitutional.

Cenk Uygur of the Current TV network treats the proposed law with the derision it deserves:

3 Responses

  1. I have not seen any data on the political allegiances of American Muslims, but would guess Republicans haven’t got many of them.

  2. I am personally acquainted with Dave Agema, who is from western Michigan.

    He recently was elected as a member of the powerful Republican National Committee. He is a former Air Force pilot who flew numerous missions over North Vietnam. He is considered one of the most conservative politicians in Michigan.

    There are many, many Arab-Americans holding public office in Michigan – some as Republicans. GOP Congressman Justin Amash’s family is from Ramallah, Palestine. Rashida Tlaib, a fellow Michigan House member of Agema is a Palestinian-American Muslim. Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Charlene Elder is a Arab-American Muslim who wears a hijab on the bench. The Palestinian-Christian community in Michigan is heavily Republican. I believe it imprudent to target one ethnic/religious segment with this type of odious legislation. In this case, however, Mr. Agema will likely see a net benefit for his own personal interests as his position dovetails with that of his ultraconservative constituency.

    The proposed legislation is meaningless in its current language because any legislation which contravenes the U.S. or Michigan constitutions is already void and unenforceable in the court system. Agema only seeks to codify what is already the general rule of law and to apply it specifically to Sharia only for the only apparent reason to cater to anti-Arab prejudices among Michigan voters.

    I have spent decades practicing law in Michigan and while the judiciary is generally deferential and sensitive to Islamic issues in the courts, I have never seen a judge enforce Islamic law – although it has sometimes been raised in property disputes in divorce – it has never been applied to settle such a dispute in any case I am aware of. This is consistent with Michigan jurisprudence that courts will not interpret or enforce matters of religious doctrine.The proposed legislation is entirely redundant and unnecessary.

    Mitt Romney’s strong pro-Israel positions likely were a factor in his landslide loss in his state of birth – he also lost Oakland County – his birthplace – to Obama in what has been a traditional GOP stronghold in Michigan.

  3. Who does the transcription of these videos? It’s not very good, accurate, and often comical in how bad it is.

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