Misconceptions of Islam: Shari'a Law and Immigration in the U.S.

Student Author(s)

Anna Kremer

Faculty Mentor(s)

Professor Wayne Brouwer; Professor Charles Green; Professor Amy Otis – De Grau; Professor Yolanda Vega; Professor John Yelding

Document Type


Event Date



The Quran (3:110) tells Muslims that they “are the best people evolved for mankind.” Muslims are both proud of and sensitive about their religion. An impending threat to this pride is the continuing spread of globalization, or in some Muslim perspectives, the spread of “Americanization.” Islam is not only a faith but a law—or as they describe it, a Shari’a—that regulates all aspects of their lives, including economic transactions, marriage and divorce, and matters of the state. Shari’a law is commonly referred to by Muslims as the way. In a broad sense, it is the Islamic code that guides Muslim beliefs and actions. Some countries follow Shari'a very strictly, while others interpret it more loosely. Many Americans are worried about the effect Islamic influence in the U.S. Government could bring, finding it easier to demonize the religion and its followers than to accept the challenge to understand it. However, there is no one kind of Muslim American; with a variety of backgrounds and practices, Muslims differ from each other in many ways, and they have come to the U.S. for many different reasons. There is no reason to believe that Shari’a is more of a threat to the U.S. than are the religious beliefs and practices of people of other faiths.

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