Aug 20 2011
Muslim leaders are saying a piece of legislation proposed by Rep. Dave Agema (R-Grandville) is actually an attack on Islam. Gee, if Muslims have no agenda for implementing shari’a in Michigan, why are they so opposed to passing laws against it?
Michigan Messenger In June, Agema proposed legislation that would ban the implementation of foreign laws. While the language of the proposal does not say it directly, it would ban Sharia or Islamic law. Agema told the Detroit News that the law is intended to preserve American laws.
“No foreign law shall supersede federal laws or constitution or state laws or constitution,” Agema said. “Our law is our law. I don’t like foreign entities telling us what to do.”
Sharia is a set of rules that govern personal conduct, family relationship and religious practices for Muslims. Twenty five other states have introduced legislation similar to that of Agema’s. Under the legislation, Sharia law would not be recognized in Michigan courts.
Many in the Muslim community believe it is a direct attack on their religious beliefs and lifestyle.
“Agema … is a reflection of a segment of the GOP that is openly xenophobic and Islamophobic,” said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Michigan chapter.
State Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, plans to speak out about the bill during a press conference Tuesday in Midtown. Victor Begg, a prominent Republican and co-founder of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan, called the bill “appalling.”
“Some in our party find it politically opportune to target my faith by sponsoring an innocuous sounding bill, knowing well that their intent is so-called ‘creeping Sharia,’” Begg said.
“If anybody has a problem with this that means they don’t agree with U.S. laws,” he said. “If they don’t want it passed then they have an ulterior agenda. It shows the people accusing me of that (bigotry) are guilty of it themselves.”
Oklahoma passed similar legislation but it is being challenged in court. Critics argue that such legislation is based on anti-Islamic paranoia, noting that the Constitution already forbids the imposition of Sharia law on anyone in this country and that Muslims make up only one percent of the American population and would have no ability to impose Sharia even if they did have a desire to do so.