Rick Santorum Talks About Sharia Law. On a One to Ten Scale - How Concerned Should We Be?
I have no doubt that Sharia law in its brutal forms is antithetical to the Bill of Rights and has no place in America. Although there are less violent and therefore perhaps more palatable forms of it, I still cling too tightly to the American form of justice (flawed though it is) to even consider replacing any of it with Islamic law. That I know.
There are two things (at the very least) that I don't know:
First, is there is a real push by Islamists to try to have me be governed by Sharia? I know Herman Cain wants to err on the side of caution and has promised an Islamic-free cabinet and judiciary to ensure against it.
Does anyone have a yardstick by which I can measure just how big the push is among Islamic people in America to make Sharia part of our civil and criminal code, if there is such a push? Should I be concerned about it?
Second, not being a world traveler, I'd like to know if secular but majority Muslim countries like Turkey and Indonesia use Sharia Law in their civil or criminal code, or if they have separate proceedings to handle matters involving questions of Sharia. Maybe Claire Berlinski can help me out?
Let me next address a sub-issue, which is letting Muslims be Muslims in America and allowing them to follow Sharia so long as the parties to the dispute all agree (and our civil rights laws and the Bill of Rights are respected).
I'm talking about separate Sharia courts, funded by them, to allow disputes involving Sharia interpretation to be resolved there. Great Britain has a Muslim Arbitration Tribunal which operates under a British statute for that reason.
There is some precedent in America, too. American Jews have the Beth Din, where Jews can mediate disputes ranging from divorce to loans using Jewish Law.
The American in me who knows his country was founded on religious freedom wants to say yes to such private courts for Muslims. The American in me who worries about a chipping away of our culture eventually leading to it's weakening and collapse has serious reservations about it.
I'd like to know what the rest of you think, as I remain so conflicted.
Here is the Santorum video about Sharia: