Resources from October 29 anti-foreign law webinar.
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On October 29, we gathered to discuss the ongoing movement to bar foreign and religious law from U.S. courts. Anti-foreign law (also known as anti-Shariah law), targets American Muslims' ability to freely practice their faith and in doing so affects the religious freedom of all Americans.

Click here to watch a recording of the webinar.  

Amos Toh of the Brennan Center for Justice spoke about the legal uncertainties and practical problems involved, answering questions like:

  • Where did this legislation come from, and what is its history?
  • What is anti-foreign law legislation and what does it do?
  • Why is foreign law so important?
  • How might the practice of Islam be impacted by this legislation?  What about family life or business relationships?

Deborah Linick of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Northern Virginia and Washington, DC spoke about  how the interfaith community in Virginia successfully challenged anti-foreign law legislation, answering questions like: 

  • Why is this of concern for non-Muslim faith communities, specifically Jewish and Christian communities?
  • What are some unique issues in state advocacy to be aware of?
  • How can advocates respond to various versions of the bill?
  • How can the business community be engaged?
  • What kind of support can local advocates seek from national faith organizations?

Already introduced in 34 states and passed in 7, this is an issue that the interfaith community can and must take up if we want to ensure that freedom of religion is protected for all Americans. We expect that anti-foreign law legislation will continue to be introduced in state legislatures, ensuring a continued need for interfaith coalitions that are prepared to challenge this attempt to codify anti-Muslim sentiment in state laws.  

The resources in this webinar and included in links to the right will help orient you to the issue of anti-foreign law legislation, and we're thrilled that Amos Toh at the Brennan Center will join us for another webinar on this issue so that we can continue the discussion and mobilize to end this movement!
Click here to watch a recording of the webinar.

Resources mentioned on the webinar

Anti-Foreign Law Legislation and Interreligious Communities webinar recording

Prezi Presentation from Amos Toh, Katz Fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice

Foreign Law Bans: A Fact Sheet

Foreign Law Bans: Legal Uncertainties and Practical Problems, a report from the Brennan Center for Justice

Websites of interest: aiming to add academic context and nuance to the increasing number of stories about Islam and Muslims in the news

Gavel-to-Gavel: one of the only websites posting updated lists of anti-foreign law legislation in different states

The Pew Forum

Applying God's Law: Religious Courts and Mediation in the U.S. (article)

State Legislation Restricting Use of Foreign or Religious Law (map and legislation details)

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