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Kansas Effectively Bans Islamic Law
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The bill, popularly named the “Sharia Bill” passed 33-3 in the state Senate on Friday and 120-0 previously in the House of Representatives. The bill awaiting signature of the Governor does not single out Islamic Law, though that is the popular perception, but the law prevents state courts or agencies from using any non-U.S. laws in making decisions. However critics hold that the bill is an embarrassment to the state and made to single out Islamic laws.

Peggy Mast, a lead sponsor of the bill made it clear to the media that the goal was to ensure that on American soil it was lex loci or law of the land that prevailed and not laws of foreign origin. Mast said that there were records that government agencies had taken into account Sharia and other legal systems in decision-making. Commonly, such decisions involved cases held widely under ‘family law’ and involved divorce, property division, inheritance, child custody etcetera where women were treated unfairly.

Mast, a Republican said, “I want people of other cultures, when they come to the United States, to know the freedoms that they have in regard to women’s and children’s rights.”

  
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This is this writer’s opinion that the learned lawmaker seems singularly uneducated. Though my religion is neither Yehudi nor Islam, any person with interest in law would study the different important systems of law prevailing in the world. Islam is the only religion on earth where it is prohibited for any person to give away his property by ‘will’ while leaving his wife and children destitute. Such an act, if committed can be challenged under Sharia and the will made void. In fact, if the Sharia is studied deeply it would be seen that out of the earnings and property of a person, one-third is to go towards zakat or donations to the needy, one-third is meant for the family, and the remaining one-third is for the person to use as he pleases.

Though Sharia provides protection for the family of a person who may be influenced by third parties while sick of mind, the American law provides no such protection. If a person gives his property by ‘will’ to third persons outside the family, he can leave his wife and children destitute under American law and there is no vaunted ‘protection of women’ as claimed my Peggy Mast.

Needless to say, that flaws remain in every system of law and its interpretation, as it does in the Sharia, but the simple fact that at least in 50 cases, learned courts took the Sharia into account should prove its importance in those cases, as held by those courts. It is presumptuous for Mast to think that all of those courts erred in considering the Sharia in particular applications of family law. The passing of this law would also pave the way to block more human provisions in different legal systems of closed communities like Jews, as rabbinic laws are not of U.S. soil.

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This is the reason why another Republican, Owens said “It’s based on fear, it’s based on intolerance and it is not based on understanding of the Constitution.”

Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations reported that roughly 20 states have considered such laws. A report earlier this year by the Brookings Institution found that roughly one third of Americans believed American Muslims want to establish Sharia law in the United States, and the same report also found that 88 percent of Americans acknowledged knowing little about Islamic beliefs.





 

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