U.S. judge bars Oklahoma from implementing anti-Sharia law

August 17, 2013

(11th Century North African Koran in the British Museum, 11 February 2007/LordHarris)

Oklahoma’s attorney general is reviewing the decision of a U.S. judge that barred the state from adopting a measure that would ban its state courts from considering Sharia law under any circumstances.

“We have received the order and, as always, we are in the process of carefully reviewing the judge’s decision,” Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt said on Friday. He did not say if the state would appeal the decision.

U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange ruled on Thursday that the measure, contained in an amendment to the Oklahoma state constitution, violated the freedom of religion provisions of the U.S. Constitution. Sharia law is based on Muslim principles.

“It is abundantly clear that the primary purpose of the amendment was to specifically target and outlaw Sharia law,” she wrote.

Oklahoma voters approved the measure, called “Save Our State Amendment,” in 2010. The judge’s ruling will prevent the state’s election board from certifying the results of that 2010 vote, in which the measure passed with 70 percent support.

The lawsuit challenging the measure was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Muneer Awad, a Muslim man living in Oklahoma City and the former director of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and also other Oklahoma Muslims.

Gadeir Abbas, staff attorney for the Council, said that dozens of similarly discriminatory and unconstitutional bills had been introduced in other state legislatures.

“It is our hope that, in finding this anti-Islam law unconstitutional, lawmakers in other states will think twice about proposing anti-Muslim laws of their own,” said Abbas.

Defenders of the amendment have said they want to prevent foreign laws in general, and Islamic Sharia law in particular, from overriding state or U.S. laws.

via Judge bars Oklahoma from implementing anti-Sharia law | Reuters.

5 comments

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One could analyse the legal tenet of the anti-Sharia Law decision in a reverse argument.
History has shown that, when religion also controlled politics, extreme decisions were (are being) made, because they were (are) based on “unchallengeable religious doctrine”. National/State Law, on the other hand, has evolved over centuries, through intepretations & landmark decisions, recognising modernity,changes in customs etc.
There should not be a religious inflection in decisions based on National or State Law. Justice should be common to all, notwithstanding their religious beliefs.

Posted by senior40 | Report as abusive

Usage of religious tolerance as an argument for the allowance of Sharia law to be implemented as a freedom, is taqiyya. U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange fell prey to it Thursday. No amount of “political correctness” excuses Sharia law. In point of fact, the majority of Sharia law is U.S.-unconstitutional. It presents a set of extremist, violent, misogynistic, antiquated codes that run counter to the best jurisprudential practices in America. Before someone adjudicates on the religious tolerance or freedom of something, they should first examine the thing for what it is. Sharia law is chock full of intolerance to anything non-Islam. We cannot let the fear of seeming to be politically incorrect drive the acceptance of intolerance.

Posted by alhambrapeace | Report as abusive

@senior40
I agree with your stance on separation of church and state.
But I wonder what you mean by there”should not be a religious inflection”. I think its obvious that the reason for the judgement was to stop governmental persecution of specific groups for ideological reasons, whatever they may be, because it’s in line with the Constitution.
The republic will enact laws or change laws that are voted in by the majority. So, if future Americans vote into law anything nonsensical, within Constitutional limits, or even changes to the Constitution, it would fortunately/unfortunately be legitimate because they voted for it.Therefore,frontlines are in the realm of opinions and ideas, not the legal system.

Posted by ReaderAtSunrise | Report as abusive

We need to quit worrying about being politically correct and hurting someones feelings. Sharia law is dangerous and so is islam. Case in point the million man muslim march slated for 09/11/2013 with theme being to denounce the treatment of muslims in America. Excuse me!!! How about marching to denounce the atrocities done to Americans by muslims in the name of islam. Boston…911…etc!! At least have the common sense and empathy for the thousands who lost their lives that day to pick another date.

Posted by Lawrence007 | Report as abusive

where on the planet do Christians and muslims live in harmony..where on the planet do muslims move to and not try and change the laws and basic traditions…where on the planet are the countries where muslims have moved to and are happy living there the way it is….where on the planet is the country where muslims have moved to where the host country was glad they came….is there any where in the world where non muslims want to live with muslims in any numbers…

Posted by dogo | Report as abusive