One of the ripple effects of the recent upsurge in anti-Islamic sentiment has been the attempt by various states to pass laws banning the consideration of Islamic Sharia law in U.S. courts. (For the sake of appearances, these bills have often avoided singling out Sharia specifically, leading to at least one particularly odd result when Arizona attempted to ban karma.) The notion that Sharia law is threatening to take over the U.S. judicial system has been gaining traction in conservative circles and amongst major conservative political figures, despite numerous debunkings of the conspiracy theory.
As of now, both Tennessee and Louisiana have tried to deal with the phantom Sharia threat by passing versions of the “American Law for American Courts” bill devised by the American Public Policy Alliance. At least a dozen other states are considering similar bills including South Carolina, which will play a significant role in the 2012 presidential primaries. South Carolina’s possible anti-Sharia legislation has already been debated in the state senate, and Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) may soon have to decide whether or not to sign it.
South Carolina recently hosted the first debate between GOP presidential hopefuls, and the local Tea Party groups held a pre-rally which ThinkProgress attended. We took the opportunity to ask attendees what affect Sharia law has had on their lives, with some interesting (and encouraging) results. Watch it:
Happily, it seems at least some of the voters the GOP will be relying upon are willing to pushback against this latest concocted threat, and recognize it as nothing more than a stunt to undermine civil liberties and score some political points by beating up on an unpopular minority.