Tennessee bill would make it a crime to practice Sharia law
Men pray on the street before the start of the American Muslim Day Parade last year in New York.
March 6th, 2011
01:59 PM ET

Tennessee bill would make it a crime to practice Sharia law

Editor's Note: CNN’s Soledad O’Brien chronicles the dramatic fight over the construction of a mosque in the heart of the Bible belt. “Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door," airs March 27 at 8 p.m. ET.

Murfreesboro, Tennessee, has been the epicenter of a months-long battle over the construction of a new mosque in the Nashville suburb. It's one example of many concerning Muslims in America, and how cities and communities are responding to efforts to build Islamic places of worship.

That battle got fiercer when two state lawmakers, one representing Murfreesboro, introduced legislation that would make it a felony to practice Sharia law, which includes lessons found in the Quran, the holy book of Islam, and which can inform how Muslims live their everyday lives, including prayer rituals. Many Muslims consider Sharia law to outline basic tenets of living a moral life. What is Sharia law?

State Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, and state Rep. Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma, who are backing the same bill in the Senate and House, describe Sharia law as dangerous to U.S. national security, according to the Tennessean newspaper. The bill grants Tennessee's attorney general the power to investigate complaints about anyone who might be practicing Sharia law.

The possible punishment for practicing Sharia law is 15 years behind bars.

Last year, construction equipment on the site of a planned mosque in Murfreesboro was torched, and police suspect arson. Signs on the mosque property were vandalized with spray paint reading, "Not welcome." Two other proposed Islamic centers in Tennessee stoked much controversy last year.  A Crusaders' cross was spray-painted on the side of a Nashville mosque, next to the words, "Muslims go home." In Williamson County, not far from Murfreesboro, plans to build a mosque were quashed after residents complained a turn lane into the building would be too costly. The debate over a mosque near ground zero in New York is still raging. The U.S. Justice Department supports the Murfreesboro mosque.

Tennessee isn't the first state to consider anti-Sharia law legislation. Oklahoma passed a similar bill last year. This month Missouri House Speaker Steve Tilley said he would support a bill that "maintains that U.S. law shall take precedence in U.S. courts," according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Tilley referenced a case, frequently cited in the debate concerning the Oklahoma law, in which a New Jersey judge relied on Islamic law to rule in a case involving domestic violence.

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Filed under: Missouri • Oklahoma • Politics • St. Louis • Tennessee • U.S.
soundoff (972 Responses)
  1. drinky

    So the same fake Jesus freaks who cry that they can't force kids to pray in school will pass laws preventing other religions from practicing their own religious beliefs? Stay classy fake Christians...

    March 7, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  2. ohshuddup

    all religions and nationalities come to the states to escape the stupidity in their homelands. This results in the CONFORMING of the individual to the laws, customs, and culture of THIS country. All have previously followed this formula, and are succeeding (Italians, Irish, Iberian, Ukranians, etc). Why are muslims still hanging onto the very issue from which they ran from? it seems to me that the intolerance inherent in their belief will not allow them to think about the fact that they can make change for the better.
    Step into the modern era, the waters fine

    March 7, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. Barking Alien

    I think what is probably more relevant is the Shari-bubba law. If you get caught messin with your sister or cousin then they take away your dog, pickup, dentures, etc.

    March 7, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. IslamIsEvilTrash

    This is great news. Sharia Law is jihad, terrorism, slavery. The quaran itself teaches slavery. Muhammad taught slavery. The Islamic world today is a place of slavery, terrorism, and human rights abuses. Muhammad said in Surah 4:34 that a husband can beat his wife for disobedience. Women here who try to defend Islam are foolish. To this day the Muslim world refuses to sign the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights because it outlaws slavery. They believe in and practice slavery. The Sudanese Christians are enslaved and the Somalian pirates are Islamic slavers. THANK YOU TENNESSEE FOR BANNING SHARIA LAW! I love Tennessee and am very proud of it. Jihad terrorism is taught in the Koran: Surah 9:5, Surah 9:29, Surah 9:123 and elsewhere.

    March 7, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Thank you TN!!!! I hope and pray that other states quickly follow suit.

      March 7, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • sarah

      A good gauge for both religions is how they treat their gay populations. Answer: Not good.

      March 7, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick A.

      Doesn't the Christian and Jewish Holy Books also condone slavery? If you're going to use that as your justification to attack someone's teachings, why not do it to them all?

      March 7, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobby McKenzie

      Crisp Now if we can just banish the Evil Christians in this country, we will be all set!>>>>>>>>Okay, explain your statement, will ya

      March 7, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • davec.0121

      Gee, in other words, the Quran has been interpreted in the same way as the Bible was interpreted. The Old South used biblical passages to justify slavery and, subsequently, lynchings. Afterall, the KKK claimed to be defending Christian America against blacks, Catholics, Jews, immigrants, and anyone else they didn't like. Some mainstream Christian religions still call upon women to "obey" and "submit" to their husbands. Biblical passages were also used to justify killing or forcibly converting non-believers, including Jews, Muslims, pagans (such as the conversion of South America by the Spanish), and particularly, other Christians (think the Spanish Inquisition and the Thirty Years' War).
      The hue and cry about Sharia law is nothing but a red herring being used by politicians to gain votes by inflaming the ignorant and bigoted. The chance of Sharia law being implemented and applied in the U.S. is nil.

      March 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • BadBibleThumper

      Exodus 21:20-21 (King James Version)

      20And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.

      21Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.

      Lets not turn this into a jesus vs muhammed thing. Both books have things that need to be rejected and rethought.

      March 7, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Flocktry

      Good to see the first amendment is dead in Tennessee. Al-Qada is to Islam what the KKK is to Christianity, so maybe overturning the first amendment will finally rid Tennessee of the Christian terrorist organization that was founded there in the 1800s.

      March 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • bible and violence

      Stroll the old testament with Joshua and see what he was told to do to all those he found in the promised land. I believe you will find just as many verses calling for violence on non-believers in the bible. And probably many maore historical cases of acting on this instructions in history (crusades)

      March 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Troy

      I'm glad I live in a state that already recognizes US law. Must be tough to live in TN where they do not know what law to follow.

      March 7, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnRJ08

      This is a stupid law and the legislators involved know it. They're just exploiting the fear of the citizens. No religious law or any other kind of law can over-ride the legal statutes of the state. NOT ONE! This legislation was designed to create paranoia and instill a fear that "evil Muslims" are trying to convert America. Of course, this would be with the help of our secret-Muslim president, who also pals around with terrorists and is a socialist.


      March 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • CountOfMontecristo

      Sharia law has positive side also. marraige( four wives at a time), (easy)divorce, (no)child support, (Pay blood money and go free)murder and religeon is a dream for goat lovers

      March 8, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mavent

      Whole lotta retards in this thread. "Sharia Law" is basically the Ten Commandments.

      March 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don't Believe in Fairy Tales

      Islam is no more evil trash than the book you pray to every week. I'm just glad most "Christians" don't follow what the bible really says.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nancy

      When the PM of Great Britian, and the Chancellor of Germany say the same thing within months of each other publically, and that "Multiculturalism has Failed..." (unquote) This isn't about racism. This isn't about intolerance. This isn't about any of those get-out-of-personal group responsibility cards.

      People have a right to be free from specific religious people if they so choose to be for the preservation of their culture and their own society, and way of life. Take native Americans for example. If they don't want you on their reservations, that is their decision, and you better respect your treaties, and not call them racists for having to do so.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimatmad

      Apparently, the folks in Tennessee don't realize that the 1st Amendment protects everyone from being forced to observe religious law of any denomination.

      March 9, 2011 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Ronald Regan

      Your Wrong Move to Great Britain please and enjoy the sharia law there. Separation of Religon and State.

      March 30, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mary

    Ya I don't think the REPLY button is working at all today from the looks of it here, unless i'm missing something

    March 7, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • LivinginVA

      The reply button is working sporadically....

      March 7, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      thanks , LIving VA , i am off all this week from work, would hate to not have this working, it would be just my luck.

      March 7, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. T

    Is this where the Americans turn into the despised equivalent of bigoted Fascists circa 1930's Germany? The pre-war anti-semitism wave is now the anti-muslim wave.
    Shame on you all for lumping all Muslims under one umbrella! And you have the NERVE to call yourselves Christians – or do you follow Torquemada's example and will call out the Inquisition next?

    March 7, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • kyle

      Fascists were in Italy. Nazi's were in Germany.

      March 7, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      I would love to hear a collective voice from Muslim communities condemning terrorism, but the only voices I hear from these communities are condemning Western attempts to curb terrorism.

      March 7, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim Lucas

      T, America is a company that all cultures are embraced and celebrated within reason. BUT, this country can not take rights away from people as a result of tolerating the human rights atrocity known as Sharia law!! Understand?

      March 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Hey Bobby, there is a collective voice from Muslim communities condemning terrorism. It's called the Arab convention for the suppression of terrorism and it was put out by the League of Arab States.

      March 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • LivinginVA

      Bobby: the problem isn't that it isn't there, it's that the MSM doesn't cover it.

      March 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • War919

      Except that in 1930s Germany, the Jews were not blowing up buses in suicide bombings. Slight difference there.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • skytag

      @Bobby: "I would love to hear a collective voice from Muslim communities condemning terrorism, but the only voices I hear from these communities are condemning Western attempts to curb terrorism."

      The Muslim community is not responsible for your selective hearing or your ignorance. I have heard many Muslims and Muslim leaders in this country speak out against terrorism. All you're doing here is perpetuating a big lie pushed by people who want to turn people against Muslims. Muslims only make up 1-2% of our population, so it's unrealistic to expect you're going to see their opposition to terrorism covered by the mainstream media to any significant extent.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ruth

      You obviously know NOTHING about what the Nazi's and Fascists did. When Muslims are forced to wear crescents on their outer garments identifying them as Muslims and there are government organized riots destroying their property, then you can compalre this to Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Go get an education.

      March 9, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • AceRyder

      How does stopping someone from implimenting a parallel legal structure make this an inquisition? We have laws in this country and religious laws DO NOT OVERRIDE them. Period.

      Why not adopt some other country's low legal dating ages as well? In some place men can marry 12 year olds – you want that legal her since it's religious intolerance to quash these rights?

      March 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Speakman

      You do realize that Muslims aligned themselves with Nazis during WWII. The free world (non-Muslims) have been at war with Islam since it's inception. The Mongols understood this and came close to eliminating Islam from the world. We need to learn from history and take the war to the Muslims. Jihad has been and remains far worse than the Crusades ever were.

      March 9, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • bemerson

      The Inquisition was done by Catholics not Christians.

      March 10, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • JPopNC

      Do you even know what Sharia Law entails? You'd condone stonings in America???

      March 25, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Scruff

      T, not all Americans are so superficial as to feel they know enough about a subject from reading headlines and watching movies. I've done my share of reading about Islam and know that I have only scratched the surface. The same as Catholics manipulated the teachings of Jesus to justify the Inquisition, Muslims can do the same with the Quran and misinterpret it. Hopefully there are enough informed Americans to ensure the ignorant ones don't cause too much harm.

      March 25, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • cc

      better hope your not on the next bus to get blown up

      March 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |


    March 7, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • rebecca

      Laws based on Christianity don't allow it. That is why they will be arrested, put on trial, judged by a jury of their peers, convicted, sentenced and sent to prison if found guilty.

      March 7, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hexdragon

      Trucker Dude,

      FYI: typing like THIS is considered shouting...

      March 7, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Faethor


      US laws are not based on Christianity. They were originally based off of existing English Common Law. Also, if you think the Bible has a lock on the "no kill, no stealing,...etc", that is also untrue. Most of the laws are self-evident. You don't need the Bible to tell you that killing someone is wrong. Today, most places when they consider laws and statues look to the US as a model. Just because the bible and our law says do not kill, it does not mean one is or was related to the other.

      March 7, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Havardfbl

      Hey Feather- where do you think the English got their common law? Christianity. Now go pound sand for your ignorance/liberal mindlessness.

      March 7, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      @Faethor It is deep, deep denial to say that many of the laws in the United States are not based on the Bible. This book has had 200 or more years of mostly unfettered influence. Conservatives throughout this country don't send representatives to Washington for secular reasons.

      March 7, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Teacher

      My point to you is that your spelling and grammar are atrocious. Go to school Mr. Slow Thinker.

      March 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • LivinginVA

      Faethor: Let's see, considering that the MAIN argument against allowing gay marriage is that "the Bible says its wrong", not "English Common Law says its wrong", you are incorrect.

      March 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amused

      Check your subject/verb agreement.

      March 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim Lucas

      Those people are breaking the law, TRUCKER! by the way, do you know how to turn off caps lock?

      March 7, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Xerlic


      TRUCKER is also known as SNARKIER at politico. He always uses CAPS, says the most leading, unrelated statements to have folks get stirred up. Do as anyone’s does on Politico with this guy: Ignore. He is a retired, old hippie who gets his thrills leading people on with tiresome jabs. I’m sure he will type some leading garbage in caps to me like “I SAY THE TRUTH XERLIC, YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN WIFE BEATER or something like that..


      March 8, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • AceRyder

      And they'll go to jail for beating their wives if convicted. What's YOUR point? The law does not allow a man to beat his wife, silly.

      You aren't very well thought out for someoen bashing the TN education system.

      March 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • AceRyder

      Hopefully Sharia law allows wives to beat annoying husbands and you get a daily trouncing. You need it.

      March 9, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. rita

    ...at least they are going to school. Think about it............!

    March 7, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |


    March 7, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Hey MAD MAX calm down, I can see your veins popping

      March 7, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • ABB123

      For the love of God, Trucker, stop embarrassing yourself with your nonstop posts filled with bad grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Your posts sound like they're coming from a toothless 5 year old hick. Geez- it really is embarrassing how many people in this country can't even properly write or speak in their own language. FYI, Trucker, STOP YELLING, WE CAN ALL HEAR YOUR LOUD CAPS!

      March 7, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • ....

      Wow Tucker people like you make me ashamed to call myself an American. You are such ignorant and uneducated person that sits in front of a computer screen and writes nonsense all day. GET ANOTHER HOBBY! Please, do the world a favor, go educate yourself about Islam and other religions as well, make sure you understand what you are reading, before you judge.

      March 7, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Xerlic


      TRUCKER is also known as SNARKIER at politico. He always uses CAPS, says the most leading, unrelated statements to have folks get stirred up. Do as anyone’s does on Politico with this guy: Ignore. He is a retired, old hippie who gets his thrills leading people on with tiresome jabs. I’m sure he will type some leading garbage in caps to me like “I SAY THE TRUTH XERLIC, YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN WIFE BEATER or something like that..


      March 8, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mary

    Trucker, why cant u point out some ones good deeds instead of bringing someone down all the time

    March 7, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  11. calvin

    Sharia law is not currently in effect, so how do you come to the conclusion that they want to take away the right?

    March 7, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |


    March 7, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • rita

      That is the beauty of a thirst for knowledge that is denied to many women in certain parts of the world. It doesn't matter how old you are or what grade you are in. We are never too old to learn.

      March 7, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amused

      You may want to pick up a Harbrace handbook.


      Rita must be from Tennessee, 25, and in the 9th grade.

      March 7, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |


    March 7, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |


    March 7, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. andrea

    Well, they seem to be smart enough to have created a country that Muslims are flocking to in the tens of thousands each year.

    March 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
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