Sullivan posts about a piece covering the emergence of "sub-state" justice systems in Germany.
Without setting foot into the batshit crazy right-wing's fear of the US becoming a Sharia state, it's scenarios like the one profiled in the article that has me worried that a sort of black market justice system is probably thriving in this country amongst some religious communities.
Presumably our law enforcement and justice systems would root out someone who committed an honor killing, and of course bring the full weight of local, state and federal laws to bear in the case. But what about non-lethal matters, like minor domestic disputes, apostasy, or the like? Does a "closed-circuit" religious community, like Muslims or Orthodox Jews or the Amish, have the right to administer justice in its own community when there might be secular laws to handle such matters? Is it a First Amendment matter to let people practice their religions as they see fit? Does a Christian Scientist parent have the right to let his/her child be "treated" by a spiritual healer rather than be treated by traditional medicine, especially if withholding of such care would likely result in the child's death?