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Meet the Hasidic Jew Behind Anti-Sharia Movement

David Yerushalmi has history of controversial statements
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2011 4:59 AM CDT

(Newser) – Laws banning Sharia law have been springing up around the US, with more than two dozen states considering legislation to ban Sharia or similar religious laws. But few people know that a major force behind this movement is a 56-year-old lawyer and Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn with a history of controversial statements about Islam and race in general, reports the New York Times. David Yerushalmi, working with conservative policy institutes and intelligence officials, has drafted reports and model legislation, and filed lawsuits around the nation in a mission to stop Sharia.

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“The fact is there is no Sharia takeover in America,” said the president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. “It’s purely a political wedge to create fear and hysteria.” But Yerushalmi begs to differ. He has likened Sharia to sedition, and proposes 20 years in prison for following it. He has also written that “most of the fundamental differences between the races are genetic,” although he strongly denies any form of "racism or bigotry or misogyny." The "purpose was heuristic," Yerushalmi says of his writings about Islamic law, "to get people asking this question, ‘What is Sharia?’” (Read more Sharia law stories.)

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