The Internet did it again.
Ted Cruz’s national security adviser Jerry Boykin did a radio interview this past week, and spoke about the dangers of “Sharia courts” that were allegedly popping up in the United States.
During his appearance on “Sandy Rios in the Morning,” Boykin alleged that the Muslim Brotherhood was infiltrating the United States government, and “…changing our culture in general and forcing us to essentially modify our own behavior in what I think is a dangerous way.”
Boykin then alleged that Islamic law–Sharia law–had a strong foothold in Europe, and went on to say, “It is reported that you have a Sharia court in Texas, for example, and Michigan, and you’re going to see more of that if people don’t wake up and take a stand against this and recognize the nature of the threat. It’s a very serious threat.” (Listen to the audio here.)
LOLz. So apparently we can cross item 353 off of our nefarious Muslim agenda–implement Sharia courts as the law of the land.
Boykin’s claim about Sharia courts in Michigan is likely referencing a hoax article from the National Report, a fake online news magazine that specializes in satire, similar to The Onion.
Claims that a Sharia court had been established in Texas stem from the existence of a Sharia mediation panel that is offered in lieu of court action on marital and business disputes. The panel is similar to the same kinds of voluntary theology-based mediation panels that are used by Christian and Jewish people elsewhere in the United States. Rabbinical courts, known as beit din, are actually commonplace here in America.
The Sharia-based mediation panel was formed in 2012, and functioned without incident until relatively recently, when right-wing blogs and chain emails began stirring up a panic of paranoid frenzy with their false pronouncements that Texas had a “Sharia court.”
The Houston Chronicle dubbed the Sharia court story as its “2015 Texas Hoax of the Year.” They debunked the myth, and noted that the panel’s rulings are “nonbinding and work within the guidelines of U.S. law,” and also clarified that the panel only rules on noncriminal matters, like marital and business disputes.
It’s worth noting that the Qur’an actually teaches that religion should not be a matter of the state, so no, we actually don’t want Sharia law to rule the land. In the Charter of Medina, the Prophet, peace be upon him, wrote that Muslims were to be held to Sharia Law, and Jews to the Law of the Torah. No non-Muslims were to be held to Sharia, as Sharia forbids compulsion in religion, based on the Qur’an, which states “There is no compulsion in religion” (2:257).
Do you know what’s even scarier than Sharia law? The notion that a 2016 Presidential candidate is being advised on national security by a guy who sources information from satirical news outlets.