Well over a third of Americans fear that the establishment of an Islamic court in Texas means that harsh sharia law soon could spread throughout the United States.
A poll by LifeWay Research
discovered that 37 percent of Americans fear Islamic courts soon will be handing down rulings across the country.
Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research, said, "In a nation that has long espoused religious freedom, Americans are thinking long and hard about the kind of society Islam fosters, especially the more radical groups that say they are Islamic, and whether Sharia law would ever be adopted here."
The Islamic Center of Learning in Irving, Texas, recently announced the formation of the first sharia court in the U.S.
Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne stated, "Recently, there have been rumors suggesting that the city of Irving has somehow condoned, approved, or enacted the implementation of a sharia law court in our city," the Christian Post reported.
"Let me be clear, neither the city of Irving, our elected officials or city staff have anything to do with the decision of the mosque that has been identified as starting a sharia court."
However, the LifeWay poll suggests that Americans are very concerned.
Older Americans are more concerned, with nearly half of those over age 45 surveyed, or 47 percent, expressing worries, while just 27 percent of Americans between 18 and 44 years old worry about it, the study found.
Women, at 42 percent, were more concerned than men, at 33 percent. Slightly more than half, or 51 percent, of evangelicals voiced concerns, while only 34 percent of Catholics and 21 percent of those with no religious preference shared their concern.
Imam Moujahed Bakhach of the mosque in Irving told Christian News Network,
"We are not here to invade the White House or invade Austin. We are humble and want to settle a problem between Muslims. Maybe in [America's] mind, the misconception about what they see through the media is that Sharia means cut the head, chop the heads, cut the hands, and we are not in that."
In the LifeWay poll, nearly half of Americans, or 48 percent, disagreed with President Barack Obama's Sept. 10, 2014, statement: "[ISIS] is not Islamic." Only one in four, or 22 percent, agreed with him.
However, 43 percent of those polled agreed that Islam "can create a peaceful society," LifeWay states. Only 27 percent believe that ISIS shows what life looks like when Islam controls a society, while 47 percent believe it does not.
Van Duyne, the mayor of Irving, said, "Texas Supreme Court precedent does not allow the application of foreign law that violates public policy, statutory, or federal laws. I am working with our state representatives on legislation to clarify and strengthen existing prohibitions on the application of foreign law in violation of constitutional or statutory rights," Christian News reported.
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