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Thu Jul 4, 2013, 11:11 AM


Conservatives actually love Sharia law.

At least in how it works in America.

In America, Sharia does not, and cannot, have the force of Law. Instead, what these Sharia "courts" do is act as mediators. The parties agree to accept the decision of the mediator. And if they choose not to, they are not legally bound to do so.

Sharia "courts" in America don't have the power to imprison, fine, or institute corporal or capital punishment. All they can do is arbitrate disputes and suggest restitution.

Sound familiar?

That's right. In America, these Sharia "courts" are nothing more than less glamorous court shows.

Oh, but what about the religious aspect? I quote here from The Santa Clara Law Review's 2012 piece on religious arbitration.

Christian arbitration still exists in the United States, although it has attracted less media attention than religious tribunals of other religions. The largest Christian arbitration service in the United States is Peacemaker Ministries. Through its affiliate, the Institute for Christian Conciliation, it offers non-binding conciliation and mediation services, and—if those fail—legally binding arbitration services. Any one of these may involve the use of Biblical scripture as a guide to decision-making; the professed aim of the religious procedure is to “glorify God by helping people to resolve disputes,” and its rules of arbitration are interpreted in accordance with this mission. Peacemaker Ministries conducts about 100 “conciliations” each year, which include mediations, arbitrations, and church
interventions. It also certifies about 150 conciliators around the country, who each perform conciliations. Some of these dispute resolutions might otherwise end up in the secular court system.

Gee? Religious courts that set themselves up above the law? And base their rulings on a holy text instead of the statutes? I haven't heard a single peep about banning these "courts."

In short, it's not extra-judicial "courts" that those on this crusade against "Sharia" are afraid of. It's just one more way of building up an Islamic bogeyman to keep their followers petrified and ignorant.

If you want to ban religious courts in the United States, I'm all for that. I'll sign on immediately. I'd be even happier to rid the airwaves of "court" shows! But you can't ban one without banning the other. That's the problem.

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