Watch CNN Fact Checkers SHRED Nonsensical Claims About Sharia Law In America
Trump Advisor Michael Flynn Makes Claims Of Sharia Law And Gets Slammed By CNN
Claiming that Sharia Law has begun to take hold and supersede the law of the land in the United States has become a favorite tactic of conservatives in recent years. It’s an effort to raise the fear level against Muslims in America and it’s rather pathetic. It was no different when Donald Trump advisor Michael Flynn appeared on CNN a couple nights ago. He made the typical claims about Sharia taking over parts of Texas and Florida. What he probably wasn’t counting on was for CNN to actually fact-check his ridiculous statements. And the result: he was full of shit.
Getting rational people to defend Trump is a difficult task. It’s a big reason why his campaign is continuing it’s recent turmoil and this Sharia Law claim is a small morsel of that chaos. And it should be remembered Flynn isn’t just a Trump supporter, but a Trump advisor.
First, let’s get to Flynn’s claim:
We have a couple of states in this country right now that are dealing with – at the state and local level – dealing with the imposition of Sharia Law right now…Florida and Texas are two states.
OMG! Sharia Law is taking over and there’s nothing we can do! Run for the hills!
Not really. The reality:
What has happened there is that some Muslim community leaders have formed what they call an Islamic tribunal. This is a place where members of the community can come together if they have some dispute, some civil dispute, they can air their grievances in front of this group and they can get arbitration based upon Sharia. Now it’s important to note this kind of arbitration has existed for Christians and Jews and other people for many decades out there, and importantly, as they note on their own website, look, “these proceedings must be conducted in accordance with the law of the land, local, state and federal within the United States,”
In other words, if you choose to listen to a religious ruling on a dispute, whether you are Jewish, Christian, Muslim, etc., you can do so. If you want the laws of the United States to be applied to the situation, they will be and they will be the final say in the dispute.
The CNN segment drives this point home:
ANDERSON COOPER (HOST): So just to be clear, this isn’t quote, “Sharia law” like that found in Islamic countries and it doesn’t supersede any US law or challenge any US law?
TOM FOREMAN: No. There is no way in which somebody under this arbitration system cannot challenge the results or go back and get justice from the courts if they wish.
COOPER: It’s the same kind of system that in some communities in New York, among orthodox Jews, they have the same sort of setup. If someone wants a religious ruling.
FOREMAN: Exactly. Same sort of thing.
It’s no surprise to see Flynn make such an absurd claim while backing Trump. And it’s no surprise to see him take such a stance against Muslims. When asked about the Trump idea of using even harsher torture than that used by the George W. Bush administration and killing suspected terrorists’ families, Flynn was basically in favor of the moves.
Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL: please forward this to others: the truth fears no questions… https://t.co/NLIfKFD9lU
— General Flynn (@GenFlynn) February 27, 2016
Flynn is one of only a very tiny minority of former defense officials backing Trump and former colleagues have questioned his rhetoric while on the campaign trail. In many of their eyes, he has lost a ton of respect because of his actions. But it also appears his penchant for pushing questionable ideas goes back farther than his Trump advising career:
Former subordinates at the DIA said Flynn was so prone to dubious pronouncements that senior aides coined a term — “Flynn facts” — for assertions that seemed questionable or inaccurate.
I guess we can call this claim of Sharia Law in the U.S. just another “Flynn fact”.
Featured image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.