In the high charged, 24/7 information overloaded environment which technology and political evangelism have created in this country, sometimes those on both sides of the aisle cut the tethers of reason which keep human emotions in check. The latest of these tethers comes out of Texas where some on the unhinged Right have convinced their brethren across the country that Sharia Law is coming to every town and hamlet for the purpose of transforming the United States of America from a Christian nation into an Islamic one.
Let me state for the record that I think radical Islam is a danger to peace, freedom, and the tenets of Liberty enshrined by the founders of this country in its originating documents. But is what is being suggested in Texas anathema to those values, or just a legitimate practice of them? The fact is that the Islamic Tribunal suggesting that Sharia Law be allowed in Texas only applies to willing Muslims in the course of practicing their religion. And they have said that civil U.S. law will take precedence.
Now of course the solicitude for the American justice system by Mujahed Bakhach, a member of the Islamic Tribunal in Texas, could be just a subterfuge practiced in order to get Sharia Law's foot in the door of the United States justice system. After all, the tribunal's function sounds fairly innocuous; settling disputes among its members, including the practice of Khula, which is when a woman initiates a divorce against her husband.
Many religious faiths in America have tribunals and courts to mete out the justice of their faith's religious tenets on their congregants. The Catholic church has its council of bishops and even requires votaries of the faith in other countries to follow the edicts of a Pope who is domiciled in Rome, Italy. But always the precepts of any faith's system of justice can not directly challenge the laws of the United States' constitution.
Many of the easily escalated on the Right have recently been trying to convince others that if the Texas Islamic Tribunal is allowed to engage in the practice of their religion in the same manner other faiths have done in this country since its founding, they will somehow destroy our form of constitutional government and we will all end up slaves of radical Islam.
We should approach with caution anything which threatens the natural laws which originate the rights of all human beings, and which were outlined in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Federalist Papers. But in so doing we should not restrict those rights for any segment of the population, no matter their faith. The legitimate practice of one faith in limitation by civil law is a limitation on all faiths and therefore an affront to the very values and principles in which we believe and hold dear.