Dear Fox News South Carolina: Shariah Law is Not “Also Known As International Law”

by Julian Ku

So local TV news in the U.S. is hardly the most sophisticated part of the U.S. media.  Still, I was taken aback by this passage from a news report from WACH Fox Channel 57  in South Carolina.

COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) – A measure that would ban the use of Sharia Law in South Carolina court rooms is working its way through the State House.

Sharia Law, also known as International Law, is closely tied to Islam. It covers an entire way of life, but one rule under Sharia Law is if someone is caught stealing, they would have their hand cut off as punishment.

(Emphasis added).  You can also watch the video version of the report.

It is worth noting that most state laws banning “international law” have been invalidated under the U.S. Constitution free exercise of religion clause because federal courts have held that the ban on “international law” is really aimed at “sharia” law.  This report confirms that this is indeed the case in South Carolina, and that some state legislators may not even know the difference between sharia law and international law.

One other note for our non-U.S. readers:  South Carolina is the third U.S. state to hold primary elections in our presidential race.  Its voters have a pretty big role in deciding who will be the nominees.  Just noting this fact, without comment.

3 Responses

  1. It may be relevant to note that most arbitration laws provide for private, inter-partes disputes to be determined by whatever law may be agreed by the Parties.

  2. The issue is what would occur when Shariah Law conflicted with domestic law–especially in this case when Shariah Law is not an international legal code but a religious law code just as Cannon Law or Jewish religious law code. an example in case in the Southwest when a man killed his wife because he believed that she violated his honor and shariah Law gave him the right to kill her.

  3. So wait, are you implying that the court’s poor reasoning and conflation of terms has lead to the popular confusion of the terms?

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