Inside a “Sharia law court” in Texas.

Fox News Claimed a “Sharia Court” Is Enforcing Islamic Law in Texas. So I Went to See It.

Fox News Claimed a “Sharia Court” Is Enforcing Islamic Law in Texas. So I Went to See It.

Confronting fears about Muslims.
Oct. 13 2017 10:43 AM

Sharia Has Come to Texas

Fox News and Breitbart claimed a rogue court was enforcing Islamic law in America. So I went to see it for myself.

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Aymann Ismail/Slate

This video is part of “Who’s Afraid of Aymann Ismail?,” a series featuring Slate’s Aymann Ismail confronting fears about Muslims. Follow along on Facebook.

It happened at the Republican National Convention last year, and it’s happened at just about every right-wing protest I’ve covered in the past few years: People tell me Sharia law is coming to America. Muslims secretly want to impose their will on all of us. In fact, there are already “no-go zones” in United States, and we must act now to stop them from spreading.

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Where do they think this is happening? In places like Dearborn, Michigan, and Dallas, Texas. Dallas in particular has become a center of anti-Sharia protests, inflamed partly by reports from Fox News, Breitbart, and others that an Islamic court had been established there to decree medieval justice in America. The protests were loud enough that Texas passed a bill last summer to ban “foreign law” from being applied.

Could this rogue Islamic court be real? And what evidence led Texas to act? In the episode above, I travel to the real-life Islamic Tribunal in Arlington, Texas, to ask one of its founding imams what he does there. Then I meet with Texas State Rep. Dan Flynn, a Republican who represents a rural district outside Dallas and who sponsored the new legislation. He insists the bill doesn’t target Muslims, but the law’s backstory suggests otherwise.

Aymann Ismail

This series is written and produced by Aymann Ismail and Jeffrey Bloomer, and edited by Aymann Ismail.

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Aymann Ismail is a Slate video producer/editor.

Jeffrey Bloomer is Slate's senior video producer.