You go to the airport, are asked about your views of “Sharia Law.” How do you answer?
Kris Kobach, the Secretary of State for Kansas, who let’s face it, if you are Muslim, hates you and hates your family, has the ear of the President-Elect. Mr. Kobach is also exceedingly sloppy when it comes to walking around with government documents.
What does it mean to be “high risk”? Does this apply to you and your children or does it apply to “other people?” If we agree that Sharia, which is the practice of Islam, is somehow bad, can we get off the hook? People who dislike Muslims are also trained to think that all Muslims lie anyway. So if you say you like Sharia, or don’t, if you are considered a Muslim, you are stuck. Much of this is not quite clear yet. Things are going to get worse before they get better though.
Islamophobia as a system was not absent from the Federal government during the Obama Administration. It is clear it will be more overt and the FBI, which is full of Trump supporters largely because of institutional Islamophobia, will feel like it has freer rein to exploit the most vulnerable in the Muslim community.
However, there is good news. Sharia in your estate planning is not going anywhere, assuming you want it or have it. The Federal government has absolutely no power to ban it. The constitution does not grant the federal government the ability to govern inheritance issues. There is a taxation power for transfer of assets, but that is about the extent of it. The Trump Administration wants to end that taxation anyway. Furthermore, state law continues to allow you to distribute your estate largely however you want. If you live in a state like California, not a whole lot will change. In other states, it is certainly going to be the case that those who dislike Islam know the electorates in those states are behind them, and that turning the screws on the Muslim community may be a winning strategy.
Thankfully, this is very unlikely to happen in California, much of we west coast or the Northeastern United States. For others, brace for a difficult few years with state legislatures and local governments.
Wherever you live though, there is absolutely no need to apologize for who you are and what you believe. If you believe in Islam, you should feel free to practice Islam, which includes inheritance, regardless of what papers get shoved in the President-elect’s face.
Don’t allow any angst or fear prevent you from acting justly with your family members.