Rep. Dave Agema is promoting a bill that will prohibit Michigan Courts from implementing foreign law. Although the bill does not specifically mention Islamic law – Sharia – many Muslim activists see the bill as an attack on Islam.
Sharia law is a general set of religious guidelines that govern religious practice in addition to the personal and family life of Muslims. Supporters of the bill believe Sharia could take the place of Michigan civil law, and most notably influence divorce and child custody cases.
In fact, Christine Brim, a spokeswoman for the Center of Security Policy, told The Detroit News that her group has discovered 50 cases that Sharia could impact; the majority of which in the area of child custody and divorce, including one in Michigan.
However, many feel the bill is unneeded and will simply fuel anti-Muslim fear. Victor Begg, co-founder of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan, told The Detroit News, “Some in our party find in politically opportune to target my faith by sponsoring an innocuous sounding bill, knowing full well that their intent is so-called ‘creeping Sharia.'”
Agema believes these concerns are misplaced. He stated to The Detroit News that “No foreign law shall supersede federal law or constitution or state laws or constitutions.” Agema went on to say that he felt the bill would actually help most Muslims in that he argued Muslims “come to this country to get away from Sharia.”
Legislation similar to the Michigan bill has been introduced in 25 states. However, as of now, only two states have enacted the law – Tennessee and Oklahoma. Tennessee amended the law after Muslims voiced their concerns, while a federal judge blocked the Oklahoma law until the court can determine if it is unconstitutional. While the proposed Michigan bill certainly elicits emotional responses from almost every side, it remains to be seen how Michigan legislators will treat this proposed law.
Source: Muslim Bill Targets Use of ‘Foreign’ Laws Like Sharia