FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media contact: Jillian Nannery, The TASC Group
Outlawing Shariah is Akin to banning the 10 Commandments, Talmudic Law or the Gospels of Christ, ICNA says
New York, NY – May 30, 2012: Islamic Circle of North America condemns Kansas Governor Sam Brownback‘s decision to ban the use of Shariah in the state. Naeem Baig, Vice President of ICNA Public Affairs, stated, “We were hoping the Governor would take a stand against this marginalization of the American Muslim community. This goes against the noble principles of freedom of religion in America. Most people don’t realize that outlawing the use of Shariah would be akin to outlawing the Ten Commandments, Talmudic law, or the Gospels of Jesus. American Muslims observing Shariah are being discriminated against.”
Shariah is an all-encompassing system that involves all aspects of a Muslim’s life, including legal and moral codes of conduct. To educate Americans about Islam, ICNA has embarked on a large scale campaign that is traveling across the U.S. ICNA’s “Defending Religious Freedom, Understanding Shariah” campaign initiative drew 16,000 Muslims and non-Muslims when the organization came to Hartford, Connecticut on Memorial Day Weekend. Additionally nearly 7,000 people watched it online.
Shariah is not limited to judicial laws and regulations; in fact, penal laws comprise only 3% of Shariah as a system, and the U.S. Constitution supersedes these laws. Americans Muslims simply want to practice their faith, which includes observing the many aspects of Shariah. “When one religious group is threatened, we must remember that all groups are at risk,” added Dr. Zahid Bukhari, President of ICNA.
According to a May 2011 report by the ACLU, many supporters of the anti-Shariah movement use Islam to generate fears about the Muslim community. “Proponents of anti-Sharia laws have seized on and misused any case involving consideration — or even the mere mention — of Islam to stoke fears that our courts are imposing religious beliefs and doctrines that are incompatible with the American way. These fears are unwarranted. Our legal system has built-in protections to ensure that courts do not improperly apply foreign, international, or religious law. Courts are already barred by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment from becoming improperly entangled with religion when considering cases involving matters of faith, and courts may not defer to any law — religious or not — if doing so would result in an outcome contrary to public policy.”
Islamic Circle of North America’s campaign includes a 30 city education tour to introduce the Islamic faith to the American public and dispel Islamophobic myths. ICNA is also promoting awareness through a public service announcement campaign, billboards across the country, college campus seminars, radio ads and a national hotline dedicated to addressing questions about Shariah and the Islamic faith.
To interview ICNA representatives or learn more about the campaign, contact Jillian Nannery at The TASC Group. Phone: 646-723-4344; Email: Jill@thetascgroup.com
About The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
The Islamic Circle of North America is a leading American Muslim organization dedicated to the betterment of society through the promotion of Islamic values. Since 1968, ICNA has worked to build relations between communities by devoting itself to education, outreach, social services and relief efforts. Visit www.defendingreligiousfreedom.com.