Refraining from eating pork? Giving alms to the poor? These could become criminal activities in Tennessee, where a proposed law would make adherence to Sharia — or Islamic law — illegal and punishable with jail time.
While a number of other states have filed legislation seeking to keep Sharia out of the courts, Tennessee is going one giant step further by attempting to outlaw it entirely.
Senate Bill 1028, introduced by State Sen. Bill Ketron, gives the state Attorney General authority to designate “Sharia organizations,” defined as “two (2) or more persons conspiring to support, or acting in concert in support of, sharia or in furtherance of the imposition of sharia within any state or territory of the United States.” Anyone who provides material support or resources to a designated Sharia organization could be charged with a felony and face up to 15 years in jail.
The bill states its intent is not to outlaw free religion, or the practice of Islam. It claims that Sharia presents a real threat to Tennessee. Ketron did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Tennessee is just the latest in a string of states to consider anti-Sharia legislation. But unlike in some other states, where the language in the legislation avoids explicitly mentioning Sharia by name, Tennessee’s bill goes so far as to call Sharia “treasonous” and incompatible with the U.S. Constitution.
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