Don’t waste time on Shariah bill


By Phillip Brownlee

The Legislature has more than enough on its plate when it returns this week. It shouldn’t waste time on a bill targeting Islamic law, known as Shariah. Out-of-state activists have bombarded some state senators with e-mails urging them to pass the bill, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. But the bill doesn’t provide any new protections that don’t already exist in the Constitution. So the only purpose of the bill is to pander to some people’s fears. And as University of Kansas law professor Raj Bhala noted, “Sometimes the worst legislation is spawned by fear. This is an example of that.” Bhala also warned that such legislation might hurt the state’s image and ability to do business with other countries. “If we are trying to promote business in Kansas,” he said, “we ought not be enacting legislation that will turn business away.”

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