"The misconception about what they see through the media is that Shariah means cut the head, chop the heads, cut the hands and we are not in that," he said. "We are not here to invade the White House or invade Austin."
But Robert Spencer of JihadWatch writes: "There is no school of Islamic jurisprudence among either Sunnis or Shi’tes that does not mandate stoning for adultery, amputation of the hand for theft, and the subjugation of women."
Imam Bakhach and three other Muslim judges are planning to bypass the traditional legal system of Texas to handle civil cases on their own.
They plan to start by administering their own rulings for cases like divorce and business disputes.
But critics caution that allowing Shariah tribunals to operate in the U.S. essentially allows Islamic law to replace U.S. law, and will undermine the established U.S. rights of some of the victims.
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