Robert Spencer, the author of JihadWatch.org, says he first became aware of the threat of Sharia "after seeing repeated attempts to assert the primacy of Islamic law over American law." One of those early attempts, he told TPMmuckraker, came in late 2006, when Muslim cab drivers in Minnesota made news by refusing to take passengers carrying alcohol. The incidents resulted in the cabbies going to the back of the queue, letting passengers with booze get into another cab.
Spencer has been one of a handful of neocons -- along with Frank Gaffney and Daniel Pipes, among others -- who have been sounding the alarm about Sharia law for years. They warn that Sharia, a system of laws defined by the Koran, is taking hold in the United States, and that it will eventually threaten the very Constitution.
Their warnings, so long spoken from the fringe, are now at the heart of today's anti-mosque rhetoric.
We started digging in the archives to find the origin of this fear. What we found may not be conclusive, but it shows a path that has lead to increasingly mainstream figures, like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, calling for a federal ban on Sharia law.
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