Myth vs. Fact: Shariah and Apostasy

Myth vs. Fact: Shariah and Apostasy

Download a sharable PDF here: Shariah and Apostasy

MYTH

Shariah law will take over the United States Constitution

FACTS

To amend the US Constitution, 2/3 of Senators and Representatives would have to approve an amendment or there would have to be a convention of states called for by 2/3 of state legislatures. Muslims make up about 1% of US population and, .003% in South Dakota. Amending the U.S. constitution to adopt Shariah is not politically possible.

What is Shariah law? First, it’s a misnomer. Shariah is considered divine law. Islamic scholars have various interpretations of what God meant and individuals also have their interpretations. Sharia is also a set of principles similar to the 10 commandments . One principle in Sharia is to respect the law of the land Muslims live in and that would be democracy in the U.S. In countries where Shariah is not the civil law of the land, it can only apply to Muslim, as Canon law only applies to Catholics way of living Catholicism. Pew Research indicates that Muslims in Muslim majority countries do not believe Sharia principles apply to non-Muslims. (Pew Research, April 30, 2013 “The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics, and Society”.)

The most densely populated countries with Muslim majority populations – Indonesia and Bangladesh are democracies.

 

MYTH

Muslim countries kill people for leaving the religion (apostasy).

FACTS

Just because a Muslim majority country with Muslim majority lead does something, it doesn’t mean the religion allows it. For example, the United

States is a Christian majority country, ruled by elected officials are majority Christian. So when lawmakers decided slaves would be considered 3/5 of a

person, that didn’t mean the Bible said that too.
Pew Research found about a quarter of the world’s countries and territories (26%) had anti- blasphemy (ridiculing religious beliefs) laws and policies, and that more than one-in-ten (13%) nations had laws or policies penalizing apostasy (leaving a religion). The legal punishments for such transgressions vary from fines to death. (Pew Research, July 29, 2016 “Which countries still outlaw apostasy and blasphemy?”) In 2014, Sudan charged 25 men last December for apostasy – the act of abandoning one’s faith –including by converting to another religion. (id.) The men face the death penalty for following a different interpretation of Islam than the one sanctioned by the government!

Executions for leaving the religion is rare: 4 cases in 1985 – 1 in Sudan in 1985, 2 in Iran in 1989 and 1998 and 1 in Saudi Arabia in 1992. (see “Laws Criminalizing Apostasy” Library of Congress (2014) and “in Kabul, A test for Shariah”.

2018-10-09T15:00:47+00:00March 9th, 2018|Resources|