chapter  9
Islamic family law in American courts
A rich, diverse and evolving jurisprudence
ByAbed Awad
Pages 25

In the past few years, the American right has found its new 'red menace', Islam. The politicization of shari'a has created much confusion and misunderstanding about Muslims and Islam, fueling the rapid spread of Islamophobia around the country. The proponents claim that Americans need the foreign law ban to protect women and fundamental rights from the 'creeping shari'a'. The foreign law ban has passed in five states: Oklahoma, Kansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Arizona. The nature of one's religious beliefs is personal and private to Americans of all religious faiths. American political activists advocate a religious position on abortion, capital punishment, sex education, same-sex marriage and many other issues. Whether Shari'a involves the enforcement of a Muslim marriage contract, the religious-rearing of children, the recognition of foreign Muslim divorces, marriages and custody decrees or the distribution of a decedent's estate, Islamic family law in American courts is a rich, diverse and evolving jurisprudence.