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-Sharia Law ‘Islamic Tribunal’ Operating in Texas?

by Dr. D ~ January 29th, 2015


(Image from Islamic Tribunal website)

A voluntary Islamic Tribunal using Sharia law is now operating in Texas. Here is the story from Breitbart News:

An Islamic Tribunal using Sharia law in Texas has been confirmed by Breitbart Texas. The tribunal is operating as a non-profit organization in Dallas. One of the attorneys for the tribunal said participation and acceptance of the tribunal’s decisions are “voluntary.”

Breitbart Texas spoke with one of the “judges,” Dr. Taher El-badawi. He said the tribunal operates under Sharia law as a form of “non-binding dispute resolution.” El-badawi said their organization is “a tribunal, not arbitration.” A tribunal is defined by Meriam-Webster’s Dictionary as “a court or forum of justice.” The four Islamic attorneys call themselves “judges” not “arbitrators.”

El-badawi said the tribunal follows Sharia law to resolve civil disputes in family and business matters. He said they also resolve workplace disputes.

Also another Breitbart article confirms that the tribunal will be exclusively following Islamic law even if it conflicts with American law:

When asked what he would do when Islamic law conflicted with American law, El-badawi said: “We follow Sharia law.”

Read the whole article which informs about how similar Sharia courts have conflicted with British law and have consistently mistreated women in the process. Also read the original article about the Texas tribunal.

Here’s a link to the Islamic Tribunal website for more information.

Response: What bothers me about this development is the establishment of a parallel legal system in America that does not recognize the Constitution or respect American law or our legal traditions. Everyone is suppose to be equal under our system but that is not the case under Islamic sharia law. Women and children have far fewer rights under sharia.

From my perspective, it would be tragic for American Muslim women to be persuaded for religious reasons to ‘voluntarily’ accept divorce arbitration from a court that would be obviously stacked against them. 

Voluntary alternative legal resolutions are within the law. mediation, arbitration, and alternative small claims courts are used by Americans all across the country. So the legality of the ‘Islamic Tribunal’ is unfortunately not in question.               *Top

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3 Responses to -Sharia Law ‘Islamic Tribunal’ Operating in Texas?

  1. Brian

    Actually, Dr. D, it probably is not being conducted legally in Texas. The Texas Code, Section 171.041 et seq. sets out rules for arbitration in Texas. Among other things a party has a right to an attorney, a right to call witnesses, a right to cross examine witnesses and, perhaps most importantly, a right to appeal to a Texas state court. (There are other rights and procedural restrictions enumerated in the statute – I did not review the whole thing, which is fairly extensive.)

    My point is that I doubt an Islamic tribunal will/can comply with the mandates of Texas law for arbitration. And, assuming they COULD comply, what would happen when an disappointed party (usually the wife in an Islamic divorce) appeals to a Texas state court? Keep in mind that the appeal would be from a decision rendered in keeping with Islamic law, but that the Texas state court would need to apply Texas law.

    Finally, informal tribunals like this one usually run afoul of restrictions for practicing law without a license.


  2. Dr. D

    Thanks Brian. I doubt that they even care whether their ‘Tribunal’ is legal or not. In which case my fears are justified. They really are establishing “a parallel legal system in America that does not recognize the Constitution or respect American law or our legal traditions.”

  3. -Reactions to the Texas Islamic Sharia Tribunal | ANSWERS For The Faith

    […] weeks ago we posted about the establishment of a new Muslim sharia tribunal in Texas. Since then I have found quite a few reactions to that development. The following are the most […]

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