RELIGION

On Muslims' agenda: Fight US proposals to ban Sharia law

FILE - In this March 21, 2013 file photo, Montana state Rep. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell speaks on the house floor in Helena, Montana. Regier, now a state senator, has proposed a bill poised to clear the state legislature in March 2017, which would forbid the use of religious and foreign laws in state courts that don't grant the same rights and privileges as the state or U.S. constitutions. While the legislation does not specifically mention Sharia law, both supporters and opponents refer to them as "Sharia law bills." Sharia law is what governs Islamic societies. (Eliza Wiley/The Independent Record via AP)

FILE - In this March 21, 2013 file photo, Montana state Rep. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell speaks on the house floor in Helena, Montana. Regier, now a state senator, has proposed a bill poised to clear the state legislature in March 2017, which would forbid the use of religious and foreign laws in state courts that don't grant the same rights and privileges as the state or U.S. constitutions. While the legislation does not specifically mention Sharia law, both supporters and opponents refer to them as "Sharia law bills." Sharia law is what governs Islamic societies. (Eliza Wiley/The Independent Record via AP)  (The Associated Press)

American Muslims complain that bills to prevent the use of Islamic code in courts are frivolous measures meant to spread fears and sow suspicion of Islam.

But supporters argue the proposals aren't overtly anti-Muslim and are needed to safeguard constitutional rights for average Americans.

Montana state Sen. Keith Regier says his proposal would treat all religious codes and foreign laws equally. It is poised to clear the state legislature this month,

Muslim leaders say the bills are among a range of proposals and decisions they're gearing up to fight this year. They maintain the bills don't serve any practical purpose.

John Robbins is executive director of the Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He says the bills are "a stupid solution to a nonexistent problem."