The U.S. Constitution is compatible with Islamic culture and should be an agent to help Muslims and others coexist in the U.S., said Islamic scholar Umar Faruq Abd-Allah in a speech attended by about 70 people at the Jester Auditorium Monday night.

“Most people believe the Constitution and Islamic law are really incompatible, but they’re trying to achieve the same ideas of equality and justice,” said history junior Saba Syed, spokeswoman for the Muslim Students Association, which sponsored the event. “They really are compatible.”

Abd-Allah is the chairman of the Nawawi Foundation, a nonprofit organization aimed at teaching Muslims in America. Abd-Allah was born in Nebraska to a Protestant family. He converted to Islam in 1968 and has pursued and studied Arabic and Islamic studies and taught in Saudi Arabia.

Abd-Allah said the majority of Muslims in the U.S. value and support the Constitution and in his experience, even civil and human rights groups defend Muslim rights referencing the U.S. Constitution. He said it is a common misconception for people to believe that followers of Islamic law oppose the Constitution.

He said there is nothing in Islamic law that should make it difficult for Muslims to accept the Constitution, and that under Islamic law, which states that “good customs have the power of law,” Muslims should assume the Constitution is beneficial unless proven otherwise.


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