Shariah Law and American State Courts


The Center for Security Policy’s report, Shariah Law and American State Courts: An Assessment of State Appellate Court Cases evaluates 50 Appellate Court cases from 23 states that involve conflicts between Shariah (Islamic law) and American state law.

These cases are the stories of Muslim American families, mostly Muslim women and children, who were asking American courts to preserve their rights to equal protection and due process.  These families came to America for freedom from the discriminatory and cruel laws of Shariah.  When our courts then apply Shariah law in the lives of these families, and deny them equal protection, they are betraying the principles on which America was founded.

The study’s findings suggest that Shariah law has entered into state court decisions, in conflict with the Constitution and state public policy. Some commentators have said there are no more than one or two cases of Shariah law in U.S. state court cases; yet 50 significant cases were found just from the small sample of appellate published cases.

The Report’s Key Findings include:

•    22 trial court decisions refused to apply Shariah; 15 utilized or recognized Shariah; 9 were indeterminate; and in 4 cases Shariah was not applicable to the decision at the trial court level, but was applicable at the appellate level.

•    23 appellate decisions refused to apply Shariah; 12 utilized or recognized Shariah; 8 were indeterminate; and in 7 cases Shariah was not applicable to the appellate decision, but had been applicable at the trial court level.

•    The 50 cases arose in 23 different states: 6 cases were found in New Jersey; 5 in California; 4 each in Florida, Massachusetts and Washington; 3 each in Maryland, Texas and Virginia; 2 each in Louisiana, Iowa and Nebraska; and 1 each in Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio and South Carolina.

The full text of the study, including text from the court cases, and tables displaying the findings, can be found at