A sense of how far along we are in this process was provided by a study conducted last year by the Center for Security Policy. Entitled Shariah Law and American State Courts: An Assessment of State Appellate Court Cases, the report is a microcosm of U.S. jurisprudence. Its findings were alarming: Out of a sample of 50 cases, in 27 instances in 23 states, the courts involved allowed the use of shariah to adjudicate the dispute.
In almost all of the cases, that outcome was at the expense of the constitutional rights of American women or children. Under shariah, they simply do not enjoy the same stature and are not entitled to the same freedoms as they are under U.S. law.
In November 2010, seventy percent of the voters of Oklahoma approved an amendment to the state constitution that would have barred shariah from being used in Oklahoma's courts. No sooner had the balloting ended than the local franchise of CAIR - an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial - asked for an injunction on the grounds that such a prohibition would violate Muslims' constitutional rights. A federal judge agreed, and was recently upheld by an appellate court.
Fortunately, those who concur with Newt Gingrich on the nature of the threat posed by shariah and who want to prevent its further penetration into this country have another option. Three states - Tennessee, Louisiana and Arizona - have already enacted a statute known as American Laws for American Courts (ALAC). It prohibits the use of any foreign law in the state's courts that would interfere with U.S. constitutional rights or state public policy.
While shariah would certainly be covered by ALAC, it is not singled out for special treatment. No challenge has been mounted thus far in any of the states where it is the law today. And some 20 other states are actively considering ALAC's adoption in the current legislative session.
The Muslim Brotherhood and its friends desperately hope to stave off the further enactment of American Laws for American Courts. They recognize that it can effectively thwart a key part of their civilization jihad in this country. They also have seen that, wherever ALAC is considered, more and more of our countrymen are becoming aware of the problem Newt Gingrich has helped define: the threat from shariah and the need to keep its adherents from imposing that toxic, anti-constitutional doctrine on the rest of us, whether by stealth in our courts (among other places) or through terrifying violence.
For all these reasons, we should ensure that neither shariah nor any other form of foreign or transnational law is allowed to trump our constitutional rights. To the Muslim Brotherhood's fury, ALAC is a way of doing it in a constitutionally sound and highly teachable way.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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