Publication Date

Fall 11-17-2014


Helms School of Government


Criminal Justice


Comparative and Foreign Law | Conflict of Laws | Religion Law


America has long been seen as the capital of religious freedom and individual rights. In recent years a debate has arisen over whether an individual can personally adhere to the legal concept of sharia law under the protections of the first amendment. At the center of this debate is precedent that can be drawn from previous interactions between religion and American ideals. Two similar issues that have been settled both judicially and legislatively are the conscientious draft objector and the federal prohibition of polygamy. By studying the roots of Islamic law and then the basis of these two concepts, a synthesized response can be created that equally satisfies the first amendment right to freedom of religion and the safeguarding of American legal precedent.