Sheila Suess Kennedy’s July 16 op-ed “This time, Sharia law misunderstood” contains numerous misconceptions and errors about the legislation she purports to address, American Laws for American Courts (ALAC). Space permits me to address only three.
First, Kennedy says the legislation “forbid[s] American courts from imposing Sharia law.” ALAC prohibits state courts from applying “foreign law” when doing so infringes on the constitutional rights of any party to a case. While this may include Sharia law, it is not limited to Sharia law, nor is Sharia law named or singled out in the legislation.
Second, Sharia law has been codified as a law system, not merely a “path to righteous living” as Kennedy maintains. “Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law,” first written approximately seven centuries ago, is available in an English translation certified by al-Azhar University, the world’s leading Sunni Muslim university. What’s more, a book entitled “Understanding Islamic Law (Shari’a)” is now studied in some American law schools.
Lastly, Kennedy contends that the intrusion of Sharia law in our courts is “non-existent.” Again, incorrect. There have been over 50 court cases in the past several years where Sharia law was applied, documented in a study found at http://shariahinamericancourts.com/.
Guy Rodgers, executive director
ACT! for AmericaPensacola, Fla.