Texas is now joining over 15 states that have introduced bills to guard against the non-existent threat of Islamic Sharia law. In proposing legislation to ban state courts from considering foreign religious or cultural laws like Sharia, Texas state Rep. Leo Berman (R) — the bill sponsor — said, “We want to prevent it from ever happening in Texas.”
Berman insisted one U.S. city offered unquestionable proof of this supposed threat: Dearborn, MI. Dearborn is home to one of the largest Muslim populations and the largest mosque in North America. Therefore, according to Berman, Sharia law necessarily is being implemented there. “It’s being done in Dearborn, Mich., because of a large population of Middle Easterners,” Berman said, “and the judges in Dearborn are using and allowing to be used Sharia law.” He mentioned the city six times throughout his testimony. However, when pushed for details, the only actual evidence Berman could offer was, “I heard it on a radio station”:
Rep. Berman himself acknowledged knowing nothing about Dearborn.
“I heard it on a radio station here on my way in to the Capitol one day,” Berman said Monday in an interview. “I don’t know Dearborn, Michigan but I heard it (Sharia is accepted law here) on the radio. Isn’t that true?“
No, says Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly (D), who must repeatedly debunk Islamophobic theories about the city. “These people know nothing of Dearborn and they just seek to provoke and enflame their base for political gain,” he said. But such cultural ignorance doesn’t stop “Dearborn-Sharia theorists” from citing the city as proof of a Muslim threat. Likely GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich cited the arrest of four Christian missionaries during a Dearborn Arab festival as an example of “radical Islamism” to argue against the Islamic Center in New York City. Perpetual candidate Sharron Angle (R-NV) said Dearborn faces “militant terrorist situation” and is ruled by Sharia law.
But even Berman, who is no stranger to outlandish extremism, must realize “I heard it on a radio station” fails as evidence for anything. Unless, of course, he’s planning an anti-Martian bill in response to War of the Worlds.