With the Texas State Legislature making headlines across the nation due to House Bill 562 moving forward to the Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee, the spotlight in Islamic Shari’a law and its possible implementation in American criminal and/or civil law is making headlines in other states. As reported by Sarita Chourey of the Morris News Service via the Athens (Georgia) Banner Herald on March 11, 2015, both the Palmetto and the Peach States are introducing proposals that would ensure that Islamic Shari’a law, as well as any other “foreign laws and foreign forum selection” from being used within their respective states.
With Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Tennessee already passing into law the banning of any foreign or religious laws or codes that could interfere or jeopardize any citizen’s rights guaranteed by either the U.S. or given state’s Constitution, South Carolina and Georgia are following Texas’ lead. However, as Chourey noted, “Critics of the movement to ban Sharia law in American courtrooms argue that it stokes fear of Muslim culture and props up a non-existent domestic menace.”
For his part, the author of proposed H. 3521, Charleston Republican Rep. Harry “Chip” Limehouse III cited figures from the Washington-based Center for Security Policy that referenced 146 cases from 32 states in which Shari’a law was introduced during formal court proceedings. What may have South Carolina lawmakers concerned is the establishment of the unincorporated community of Islamville located in rural York County.
With the Muslim enclave officially titled the Holy Khanqah Gilania Sufi Lodge, Islamville is tucked away deep in the woods of the state’s heavily forested Piedmont region. It was eventually uncovered in a series of investigative reports by WLTX-TV of Columbia, SC that the 34 acre hamlet was initially founded by Sheikh Mubarik Ali Gilani, who also happens to be classified by the U.S. government as the leader of the international jihadist terrorist organization Jamaat ul-Fuqra (a.k.a. The Community of the Impoverished).