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Court dismisses fears of 'creeping Sharia law' that led to Oklahoma ban (+video)

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The idea that America is in danger of a “stealth Jihad” more corrosive than terrorism has been floated on the Republican campaign trail. “I believe Sharia is a mortal threat to the survival of freedom in the United States and in the world as we know it,” presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said in a July 2010 speech to the American Enterprise Institute.

In 2006, Rep. Keith Ellison (D) of Minnesota, a Muslim, sparked controversy when he demanded to be sworn in as a congressman holding a copy of the Koran. He was later photographed with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as both put their hands on two copies of the Koran owned by Thomas Jefferson.

But the idea that such gestures amount to evidence of so-called “creeping Sharia” in the US has been criticized by American Muslims and even counter-terrorism officials as lacking basis of fact, mirroring the unanimous view of the Tenth Circuit on Wednesday.

The Oklahoma law “looks to be headed toward the scrap heap of legal history, along with other dubious laws and measures that sought to solve problems that didn't exist by unlawfully classifying citizens by their religious or political beliefs,” writes the Atlantic's Andrew Cohen, in a commentary. “Sharia law bans may still be a big hit on the campaign trail. But in court they are getting trounced.”

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