A Council on American-Islamic Relations leader told a crowd at a rally for Islam that members of the faith should not be bound by American law.
“If we are practicing Muslims, we are above the law of the land,” said Mustafa Carroll, executive director of the Dallas-Fort Worth CAIR branch.
The rally in Austin was part of a nationwide effort to hold “Muslim Capitol Day” events.
According to the event website, Muslims from around Texas went to the capitol to “promote civic and political activism throughout the wider Muslim community.”
The organizers said one major issue discussed “was the recent House and Senate bill proposals involving the implementation of ‘anti-Shariah’ legislation, where the First Amendment rights and freedoms of Muslims would ultimately be hindered.”
Critics argue Shariah prohibits other faiths from free exercise of religion when enforced, giving freedom only to Muslims.
Carroll’s statement was similar to a statement allegedly made by CAIR co-founder and former chairman Omar M. Ahmad. He was paraphrased by a reporter saying, “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant” and the Quran “should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.”
Carroll began joking about the widespread concern about Shariah, the religious code that governs Muslim civil and political life.
“We tried to downplay Shariah, because we didn’t want to give the other side any excitement for being here,” he said.
He dismissed critics who express concern about Shariah, calling them “anti-foreign.”
“When you even say the word Shariah, people get nervous. We are not advocating for Shariah. We are not trying to make Shariah the law of the land,” he said.
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