The Future of Sharia Law in American Arbitration

A rising tide of Islamophobia in the United States has led, in recent years, to state-level efforts to prohibit the application of Sharia law in American courts. While these bans have been largely unsuccessful as legislation—the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has even declared one such ban unconstitutional—the growing uneasiness among Americans regarding the application of Sharia law persists. Similar tensions have been addressed in Canada and the United Kingdom through reform of the application of Sharia law in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms. By taking a critical look at the American ADR system through the lens of Canadian and British reforms, a mode of reconciling religious arbitration with egalitarian values, and concerns, can emerge.