Published in 1996, the excerpt of the following article calls for the implemention of shariah into community arbitration services as a means of "improving" the current legal system in the United States. Today it offers a fascinating peek into the pre-9/11 mindset of an American Islamist: "The time to begin conceptualizing our social and judicial institutions is now." The United States and Canada appear to offer endless opportunities for future implementation of Islamic law.
The article, "Community-Based Arbitration as a Vehicle for Implementing Islamic Law in the United States," begins with the premise that
we must not be content to cling to the predominate legal system, as it continues to slowly lapse deeper into semi-paralysis, choking on its own obstructive litigiousness…Through mediation and arbitration, the Muslim community may be able to design and implement a modified system of justice that would be responsive to its concern and the might evolve into a more comprehensive one in the future.
And then goes on to offer a method of employing community arbitration services as a means of introducing Shariah into the current legal system which the authors describe through analogy as "atrophying."
The article appears in the Spring/Summer 1996 issue of The Journal of Islamic Law, a quarterly published through the Takoma Park, MD-based non-profit called the Institute for Intercultural Relations. Sometime after 2000, the title changed to The Journal of Islamic Law and Culture, and it appears to have stopped publication after 2004, only to restart in 2008 as a monthly, and only to vanish again after an October 2009 issue.
Information on the Institute is more elusive than the publication. Originally operating in Takoma Park, MD, the organization had a DC-based address in 2009. Its editor appears to have held the position of General Counsel for the Corporation for National and Community Service, but his name no longer appears on the group's website.
I don't want you to think I'm cueing some ominous music to explain an Islamist group's maniacal plot to take over the US legal system. I have no analytical opinion on the issue of various Islamist plot and plans for domination -- they're so numerous they should count as their own genre. However, I do find the ideas expressed in this article, and in other articles from the same journal, to be fascinating. They provide a window into a "mainstream" American Islamist's mindset and intent long before September 11th altered the playing field for everyone.