|Must Sharia Law become integrated in Western Societies?|
But most Muslims don't want to replace U.S. law with Islamic law, known as Shariah, and only "radical extremist groups" would call for that, said Liyakat Takim, a professor of Islamic studies at McMaster University in the Canadian city of Hamilton, Ontario.
Shariah, Takim said, refers to guidelines or principles — how Muslims should live. "Fiqh" refers to jurisprudence, or specific laws. The values embedded in Shariah do not change and are shared among Muslims, he said, while fiqh is open to interpretation and change, and in fact differs among Islamic sects and communities.
"In the public domain, Muslims are not required or expected to impose their laws on the country in which they live as the minority," Takim said, adding there has never been an understanding "that the same laws would be applicable at all times in all places."
"The Quran allows slavery, so does the Old Testament. That doesn't mean we allow it today, too," he said. "Laws are amenable to change."
The marches come amid a rise in reports of anti-Muslim incidents in the U.S., including arson attacks and vandalism at mosques, harassment of women wearing Muslim head coverings and bullying of Muslim schoolchildren.
But while there is little likelihood that Shariah would ever supplant U.S. law, some states have already moved to insulate themselves against the possibility.
Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Louisiana, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Tennessee have enacted laws prohibiting the use of foreign law in state courts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The group organizing the rallies, ACT for America, claims Shariah "is incompatible with Western democracy and the freedoms it affords."
ACT for America has chapters around the country and says it is focused on fighting terrorism and promoting national security. It says it condemns bias against religious groups and is "proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with peaceful Western Muslims as well as peaceful Muslims worldwide."
Note EU-Digest: Even though scholars and others say the USA protesters are stoking unfounded fears and promoting a distorted and prejudiced view of Islam, it must be said that if it goes unchecked, like it did in Britain, this discriminatory archiac Muslim law can become part of national laws, which should not be allowed in democratic Western Societies respecting human right laws.
Read more: Marches against Islamic law to be held in many US cities