Tariq Ramadan: Shariah Law and U.S. Constitution Go Hand-In-Hand

Simon Fraser University Public Affairs
Dr. Tariq Ramadan
A small group of about a dozen protesters gathered outside the Embassy Suites in Anaheim where a prominent Muslim theologian was scheduled to deliver a lecture on Shariah - the Islamic legal code akin to canon law in Christianity or Judaic law in Judaism. The Islamic Shura Council of Southern California invited Dr. Tariq Ramadan, a professor of contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University and a man who was once banned from entering the United States

The protesters waved American flags and signs that read anti-Shariah slogans, reflecting a larger movement in America that currently calls for the ban of Shariah law. In two dozen states, politicians have introduced legislation prohibiting the courts from taking into account Shariah, which has problematic implications for Muslims. States like Tennessee, Louisiana and Arizona have passed bills that ban judges from consulting Shariah law, or any type of foreign and religious laws. South Carolina and Florida legislatures are currently considering anti-Sharia measures. 

The two-year-long anti-Shariah battle has prompted Muslim organizations like CAIR and MPAC to decry the proposed bans as anti-religious freedom. In his lecture, Dr. Ramadan said there is room for Shariah to operate within the United States' common legal framework, just like there is room for Canon law and Judaic law. 

"Everything which is good in this country is our Shariah," he said to a crowd of more than 400 community members. "It's an integrative system. It's not a closed system coming to colonize others." 

"You'll find many things in the [U.S.] Constitution that are similar to Shariah," said Ramadan.  Shariah, more specifically, is a set of laws for Muslims related to family, marriage, creed, burial practices, ethics, morality, and punishments; anti-Sharia proponents mainly criticize the rulings on punishment, which Dr. Ramadan, along with other Muslim scholars, contend is in need of serious reform, and unjustly implemented in places like Saudi Arabia

Dr. Ramadan also noted that historically Shariah and Judaic law inspired European law. "When you have people approach you and say, 'You need to respect our system,' you can tell them that we are already inside," he said. "The problem is that we are ignorant of our own history." 

Many audience members welcomed his words, with frequent head nods and smiles when he delivered punchy points, but Dr. Ramadan is not welcomed everywhere. He is banned from six countries including Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. In 2004, the Bush administration invoked the Patriot Act to ban the Muslim academic from entering the United States. The State Department lifted that ban in January, 2010. Since then, Ramadan has honored multiple speaking engagements in the United States, including this year's spring tour where he has delivered speeches in Washington D.C., New York and Massachusetts, and will end at Berkeley.

The Swiss-born, Egyptian academic is the grandson of Hassan El-Banna, who founded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt; the once outlawed group now leads the Egyptian parliament. Ramadan's father, Said Ramadan, is attributed with bringing the Brotherhood to Germany where it spread throughout the rest of Europe.

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Sharia in the USA will probably 'go away' when Barrack Obama leaves (goes away) from his job and the USA. 

NG Coot
NG Coot

Is Ramadan saying that Canon and Judaic Law are already incorporated US law and that Sharia law should be incorporated to the same extent? Or does he want more than that?


The most dangerous part of the sharia is already part of the legal systems of many European countries and rapidly taking over the Am3erican courts: The blasphemy laws, renamed 'hate laws' for local consumption.

Saying you don't believe in gods, therefore Mo cannot have been a prophet can get you fined in many countries. Referring to Mo's sexual proliferation in a non-admiring tone of voice will get you at least a hefty fine and in some countries a prison sentence (where you will be promptly beaten up by the resident muslims). 

Even in America, a man was recently told off by a judge for upsetting a muslim who tried to strangle him for 'offending Mo'. "Offence" and "hate speech" and "offensive actions" are all nice western names for islamic blasphemy, why else don't these laws apply to insulting atheist, Hindus, christians, republicans or other non-muslims? 

mitch young
mitch young

"- the Islamic legal code akin to canon law in Christianity"

Uh, no. Canon law pertains *only* to the Church, its doctrines, its property, and its personnel. 

Sharia, on the other hand, is all encompassing, both religious and civil.


"You'll find many things in the [U.S.] Constitution that are similar to Shariah," said Ramadan.  Shariah, more specifically, is a set of laws for Muslims related to family, marriage, creed, burial practices, ethics, morality, and punishments"

Yeah,  NOWHERE in our constitution does it...

 give a man permission to beat his wife... Ban women from driving... Barter your underage daughter for livestock... Stone people to death.... Honor killings... Poision girls who dare to get an education. Disfigure your wife then divorce her for running away from you after you rape and beat her, etc.. 

And you can say that the barbaric punishments need to be reformed, lets see some progress in the middle east before you try to sell that garbage here!


@909Jeff  dudeee.ban women from driving?really?thats not sharia..that saudis law..get ur facts right~

Wayne MacKirdy
Wayne MacKirdy

 Agree 100%...and would add...if Sharia and the Constitution, one is redundant...and the Constitution is the law of the land...and Sharia is not needed...and not welcome.

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