Three Reasons Fears of Muslim Immigrants Are Unfounded

By Qureshi, Darian | AZ Daily Star, October 6, 2015 | Go to article overview

Three Reasons Fears of Muslim Immigrants Are Unfounded


Qureshi, Darian, AZ Daily Star


In an Oct. 3 letter to the editor ("Immigrants bringing Islamic law with them," by Michael Norton), the author expresses his concerns that Muslim immigrants coming to this country hold religious and legal values and beliefs that are incompatible with Christianity and the West. While I understand his fears, I believe they are unwarranted for three reasons.

First, the author makes unwarranted assumptions about the number of adherents to Sharia law. For example, the assumption is that all Muslim immigrants, if not all Muslims, are adherents of radical Islam and Sharia, which is by no means the case. Many Muslim immigrants come to this country because they share our values and have no desire to implement Sharia here.

Moreover, the assumption that all Muslim countries operate solely by Sharia is demonstrably false. Indeed, the two Muslim countries that the author says he has visited show why his assumption is wrong. Turkey is a secular state that absolutely forbids any religious (read: Sharia) influence on its political and legal institutions. Kuwaiti law does incorporate some aspects of Sharia law but they are mixed with influences from Egyptian civil law, as well as from the British and French legal systems. Only a minority of Muslim countries base their laws solely on Sharia. Thus support for Sharia among Muslims is neither universal nor absolute.

Second, the claim that Muslim immigrants want us to change our beliefs is questionable. In fact, in most cases, they already share our beliefs and want to live in a country where those beliefs in freedom and equality are respected. Also, they and their children can and do adapt to the American way of life and adopt its values. The immigrant experience is not a one-way street where they come to the U.S. …

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