GOP open to discussing concerns about Shariah bill

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee Republican leaders say they're willing to talk with concerned Muslims about legislation that would make it a felony to follow some versions of the Islamic code known as Shariah.

The proposal, which is drawing national attention, represents the boldest legislative attempt yet to limit how Muslims worship.

Shariah is a set of core principles that most Muslims recognize as well as a series of rulings from religious scholars. It covers many areas of life, and different sects have different versions of the code they follow.

Muslim groups fear the measure would outlaw central tenets of Islam, such as praying five times a day toward Mecca, abstaining from alcohol or fasting for Ramadan.

Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville acknowledged he hasn't seen the bill but plans to examine it and says he'll "sit down with anybody and talk to them."



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(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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