The Rev. Franklin Graham has said that Shariah law should be banned in the U.S., pointing to the various human rights abuses committed by terror group ISIS in its implementation of the Islamic law. Graham noted that the law has lead to persecution of Christians and other minorities, the oppression of women, and the torture and killing of gay people.
"This is a vivid reminder of why Shariah law should be banned in the U.S. and all countries that cherish freedom and liberty. Some western governments are actually considering allowing Sharia law in certain Muslim communities in their countries — can you believe it?" Graham continued.
"ISIS is imposing Shariah law on hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Syrians who want to be free. Women are oppressed, Christians and minorities are persecuted and murdered, homosexuals are tortured and killed."
The U.N. and human rights agencies around the world have reported numerous times on the atrocities committed by ISIS. Christians have been told to convert to Islam, pay a tax, or be killed for their faith; women have been used as sex slaves; while gay people have been stoned to death or thrown off buildings.
The BBC report, which included secretly filmed videos, has detailed the way residents in ISIS-occupied cities are living "in fear of punishment" due to the terror group's "extreme interpretation of Islamic law."
"Residents speak of brutal punishments for anyone contravening the jihadists' interpretation of Islamic law, which is imposed across the 'caliphate' whose creation they proclaimed weeks after seizing Mosul," the report states, and shares the stories of several people who have seen first hand the oppression carried out by the jihadists.
"I was arrested by IS. They came to our family home looking for my brother. When they couldn't find him, they decided to take me to prison instead," one man identified as Fouad states.
"Then they tortured me. The guy who did it wouldn't stop unless he got tired. He was edgy all the time and he wouldn't listen to what his prisoners said. He flogged me with a power cable and also tortured me psychologically."
The U.S. and a number of other countries have hit back against ISIS with airstrikes, though it is local government and militia forces that are fighting the Islamic militants on the ground.
A LifeWay Research poll from February revealed that fears over Shariah law being implemented in the U.S. are growing, with one in three American citizens indicating that they have such concerns. The survey followed rumors that the first known Islamic Tribunal court has been operating in Texas.
"ISIS has stirred an odd religious debate in America today," Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research, said at the time.
"In a nation that has long espoused religious freedom, Americans are thinking long and hard about the kind of society Islam fosters — especially the more radical groups that say they are Islamic — and whether Shariah law would ever be adopted here."