A group of South Carolina legislators recently proposed a bill to counteract the perceived risk of Islamic-based Sharia law, as well as other foreign law, from being used by the state's legal system.
S.C. State Sen. Mike Fair (R), who introduced the bill in the Senate, recently portrayed the bill as a necessary guard against constitutionally-prohibited considerations of foreign law that were being pushed by immigrants with different religious beliefs.
"S.C., like other states, recognizes the need to assert the fact that our state and U.S. constitutions are the basis for civil law in our country," Fair told Human Events in a recent interview. "Some locales have been threatened by the encroachment of foreign law into local, state and or federal law despite obvious violations of our constitutions. A growing concern is the immigration of people who are accustomed to their religion and their civil laws being inextricably connected. For those newcomers to our state, this bill will be helpful to them as they are assimilated into our culture maintaining complete freedom to worship as they please."
In a later interview with Talking Points Memo, Fair stood by his contention, and went as far as to claim that Sharia had been implemented in some parts of the United States.
"This bill has been called anti-Sharia law, and I suppose it does deal with that," Fair told TPM. "There are some localities around the country that have imposed Sharia law in lieu of local laws."
Fair later told TPM that his state was "big on religious freedom," and that he didn't want his proposal to be interpreted "as anti-sharia law and statute."
Loud fears and claims of the supposed threat of Islam and application of Sharia law in the United States have been found to be largely overstated and often unsubstantiated, though that hasn't slowed a steady stream of legislation meant to address the issue.
Other states such as Texas, Wyoming and Oklahoma have considered similar pre-emptive measures. While legislation is still under consideration in Texas and Wyoming, a November ballot initiative passed in Oklahoma banning Sharia was later struck down by a federal court.