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Opinion

Opinion: Trump-allied religious groups may open a back door to sharia in the U.S.

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A group against Sharia law protests at the site of the San Bernardino terrorist attack as part of the so-called March Against Sharia events held nationwide.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: It is not correct to say that sharia, or Islamic law, is “extremely unlikely” to become part of American jurisprudence because, as unidentified “legal experts” opined, “there is no mechanism by which any foreign criminal or civil code can trump U.S. laws.” (“Anti-Sharia rallies around the U.S. denounce Islam while stoking concerns among Muslim groups,” June 10)

The quickest avenue to sharia taking hold here is the effort of the Trump administration, working alongside some faith groups, to carve out exceptions to U.S. laws allowing religious adherents to enforce their beliefs on people who do not accept them, claiming this as a matter of their 1st Amendment right.

Once this concept is adopted by the Supreme Court, there is no reason why Muslim adherents of sharia could not apply and enforce their religious laws in their communities as well as among those with whom they have contact.

If people can cite their religion as a reason to refuse to serve gays or to deny certain medical therapies to people, what’s to stop Muslims from practicing in an analogous way under their interpretation of Islam?

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Glen Mowrer, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: Call me an alarmist if you must, but I disagree with your assessment.

Sharia has indeed “taken root” in parts of the United States, at least to a point where Noor Almaleki found herself run over and killed in suburban Phoenix as part of a so-called honor killing. Recently, federal criminal charges were filed against two college-educated physicians in Michigan accused of performing genital mutilations on dozens of young girls.

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The victims of these attacks are just as dead or mutilated regardless of whether these events are “isolated” or are part of an epidemic.

Obviously, The Times’ interpretation of something “taking root” is different than mine, and I imagine many other Americans agree with me. This might explain why people are protesting sharia.

David Arthur, Temecula

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