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Update:  Michigan’s anti-Sharia bill is now one of many items on the  calendar for Thursday—-the last day of the year’s session.

No indication yet of how likely it is to receive a vote, though on November 29 CAIR Michigan executive director Dawud Walid was willing to offer this  statement , “We salute the Michigan GOP legislative leadership for not pushing the anti-Sharia fear mongering agenda, which is among a fringe its (sic) party.”

CAIR has since seemed somewhat less than confident, aggressively lobbying against the legislation and featuring a  letter-writing campaign  against the bill on top of their national homepage. CAIR’s statements against the bill have been widely reported, but more notable (and less noted) is the fact that the bill is opposed by Michigan’s Catholic bishops :

The Michigan Catholic Conference, citing a potential impact on Catholic canon law, is speaking out against a bill in the Michigan House of Representatives that would prohibit the application of foreign law in Michigan. The legislation, House Bill 4769, is primarily aimed at prohibiting Muslim Sharia law in the state, but Michigan Catholic Conference President and CEO Paul Long said the bill also could have an adverse effect on canon law, which is the juridical structure that facilitates life and governance in the Catholic Church. Canon law governs aspects of Catholic life such as church structure and authority, doctrine, the appointment of pastors, the care of objects used in sacred worship, and rules regulating Catholic parishes and schools. In a news release, the MCC said canon law in many cases predates and is even the basis of some civil laws in the western world. “Any measure that could have the impact of interfering with the internal life of the Catholic Church shall be viewed as an attack on religious liberty itself and must be opposed,” Long said. “It is the hope of the Michigan Catholic Conference that discussions pertaining to this legislation will foster a deeper awareness of and appreciation for religious liberty and the contributions religious communities make to the common good of society.” The Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in the state.

The Acton Institute, a conservative Christian free-market think tank based in Grand Rapids, has also written against the legislation , stating “By helping to push the idea that religious beliefs should be kept private, anti-sharia laws are a threat to all of our religious liberties.”

Update II:  Dawud Walid tells me that he believes the bill is dead in the water: “From my contacts at the Michigan State Capitol, it appears that this bill will not be voted on today, which will mean that it will be dead.”

Articles by Matthew Schmitz

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