My distinguished colleague and immigration law scholar, Nolan Rappaport, has posted a video in this week's Letters section of Immigration Daily based on the theme that Muslim immigrants and their children may soon form a majority in the heart of Europe and impose Sharia law on that continent, extinguishing democracy. The video, which was produced by CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network), founded by the well known controversial right wing televangelist, Pat Robertson, features an interview with the leader of an Islamic group in Belgium who wants to do exactly that and who claims to speak for all European Muslims.

The video, however, also makes clear that his group is a small one that does not represent the overwhelming Muslim majority, whom he accuses of "not being real Muslims" because of their more secular views. The clear intent of the video is to stoke fears that if Europe admits more Muslim refugees, democracy on that continent could be extinguished as early as by 2030 and replaced by a Muslim "fascist ideology", in the words of a non-Muslim commentator who also appears in the video. For the link to the video, please go to Nolan's above-mentioned letter.

Fears that Muslim immigrants might impose Sharia law in the US have also been expressed in some state legislatures, and may very possibly have led to Donald Trump's win in the February 9 New Hampshire primary. According to the Huffington Post, two thirds of all Republican voters in that primary, including many who did not actually support Trump, stated in exit polls that they favor his proposed ban on admitting any Muslims to the United States.

Coincidentally, the New Hampshire presidential primary was, according to the Huffington Post and other reports, the first one in American history that was won by a Jewish candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT)

It goes without saying that America has a long and unenviable history of prejudice against Jewish immigrants, including accusations that they also wanted to impose foreign ideologies, ranging from everything to Communism to "International Zionism" on America. Accusations that Jews favored "imposing Talmudic law" have not been absent from this infamous legacy of hate and abuse.

Nor is anti-Semitism entirely a thing of the past in America. On February 9, the same day as the New Hampshire primaries, the National Rifle Association came under fire because on of its board members, Ted Nugent, posted a number of vile, openly anti-Semitic photos and comments, which are too despicable to be repeated here verbatim, on his Facebook page alleging that some prominent Jews were behind gun control.


With the above as background, it is interesting and instructive to note that the traditional religious legal systems of both Jews and Muslims, two of America's most persecuted immigrant groups, past and present, not only have many common features, but also a long history of interaction with and influence upon each other.

I also want to make clear that my references to Islamic Law, or Sharia Law, are to the real Islamic Law as developed by Muslim jurists and legal scholars over a period of more than a thousand years, not the violent, perverted and barbaric travesties of this system now being used as instruments of murder, torture and oppression by ISIS and other extremist groups and even government officials in certain Muslim countries which shall not be named.

For a fuller explanation, i turn to an article in the Jewish Virtual Library called: Jewish and Islamic Law, A Comparative Review: The Relationship between Jewish and Islamic Law


The next part of this series will show how much these two legal traditions have in common.

To be continued in Part 2.
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, Roger has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from many different parts of the world and ethnic/religious backgrounds obtain work visas and green cards. His email address is