The IUSB Vision Weblog

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Oklahoma Voters Forbid Judges from Using Sharia Law for Rulings – UPDATED!

Posted by iusbvision on November 5, 2010

The measure amends the state constitution to forbid judges from considering Islamic law or international law when making a ruling.

I am all for it. I say we start making amendments that forbid using foreign law as well.

CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, which has been accused of being a happy faced front for violent Islamic extremism, is suiug claiming discrimination.

My first thought was:

And banning communism is discrimination against people of Russian dissent, so under nondiscrimination will will use the 14th Amendment to make the Constitution unconstitutional!!

Sharia is a system of law affiliated with a religion, Islam, just as western law is based on Christian Scholasticism. No one has a right to impose a system of law on you. If a judge is stupid enough to buy the bogus 1st/14th Amendment argument CAIR is certain to use  then Jews will sue saying that we have to enforce Levitical Law or we are antisemitic. Of course under both kinds of law gays could be in serious trouble….

Any judge who tries to turn the Constitution into a pretzel by buying such a preposterous argument is going to get the wrath of the American people and Congress that they so richly deserve. The only place where this ruling would have a chance at the appeals level is the 9th Circus. This will just give the GOP more ammunition to eliminate the 9th with a new Judicial Act in 2013. I hate to say it, but if a lower court activist abandons all law and common sense and upholds CAIR’s argument politically it will do wonders for Republicans and Tea Party candidates.

American Muslim Association praises new Amendment:

PHOENIX (November 5, 2010) – Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a devout Muslim and the president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) issued the following statement regarding the passage of Oklahoma’s State Question 755.

“As Muslims dedicated to modernity, reform and our one law system in the west and in the United States, AIFD applauds the people of Oklahoma for passing State Question 755 and making “the legal precepts of other nations or cultures” off-limits to Oklahoma courts and specifically denying the use of Sharia Law.

The issue is simple. As Americans we believe in the Constitution, the Establishment Clause, and our one law system. SQ755 reaffirms the First amendment to the Constitution and prevents the Establishment or empowerment of a foreign legal system like the specific shariah legal systems implemented in many Muslim majority nations and in western shariah courts seen in places like Britain.

By filing a lawsuit, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has wasted no time in proving once again that they are unable to stand behind public declarations that the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights and our one law system supersede and are preferable to a sharia law system. They are using the American cover of religious freedom to try and knock down a simple law that prohibits the domination of one religion over others.

SQ755 is not about religious freedom or minority rights. It is about the inviolable sanctity of the U.S. constitution and our country’s foundational belief in a legal system based in one law that is based in reason and individual rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The law has no impact on the personal practice of Islam or the personal interpretation of “shariah” (God’s law to a Muslim), but rather SQ755 focuses on shariah as a total legal system that the people of Oklahoma wanted to make clear shall not be used or respected systemically in deciding law in Oklahoma. CAIR’s assertion that it is akin to France’s ban of the hijab or personal head covering for women is absurd. There is no evidence that this law prevents any of the personal manifestation of the practice of Islam or the use of personal religious principles in arguing law based in reason in state or federal court. Shariah as a legal system can just not be used as prima facie evidence in court.

SQ755 also thus prevents the establishment of separate shariah or Islamic courts in Oklahoma. As we have seen in Britain, Islamists have transformed the British arbitration system to the point that they are operating upwards of 85 shariah courts now. These courts are mostly operated out of mosques in Britain. While they claim that the courts are voluntary, as Canadians voiced loudly in their rejection of shariah courts, these groups exploit tribal pressures and coercion within Muslim communities in order to circumvent the one law and one legal system of Britain and western nations. It is naïve and ignorant to believe that such courts are purely “voluntary”. Just ask many of the women who get pressured through them and pressured to stay “out of western un-Islamic courts.”

CAIR’s lawsuit proves that they are part of an Islamist establishment in America that do not and will not believe in the separation of mosque and state and that they promote the ideology of political Islam. This ideology is based in a belief in the supremacy of Islamic legal systems and is often a conveyer belt toward radicalization. CAIR shows once again that they are part of the problem not the solution.

UPDATE II – It didn’t take long for a federal Clinton appointee to put the Oklahoma Constitution on hold:

Via our friends at The Daily Caller:

A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday to block a new amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution that would prohibit state courts from considering international or Islamic law when deciding cases.

U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange handed down the order after an Oklahoma man filed a lawsuit claiming the amendment stigmatized his religion and would invalidate his will, which he said is partially based on Islamic Law, also known as Sharia Law.

“My constitutional rights are being violated through the condemnation of my faith,” said Muneer Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma. “Islam was the target of this amendment. This amendment does not have a secular purpose.”

The measure, State Question 755, was approved with 70 percent of the vote in the Nov. 2 general election. The judge’s order prevents the state Election Board from certifying the results of that vote, which it had planned to do Tuesday afternoon.

Our take:

Clinton appointee – shocker. It violates his rights because it makes him feel bad. The point here is not discrimination it is Popular Sovereignty. The American people have a right to chose the system of law they live under. We could pass an Amendment preventing judges from using the Russian Constitution as a basis for rulings, does that mean we have to use the Russian Constitution and graft it into our Constitution just so Russians wont feel bad or feel discriminated against?

The problem with too many of these judges is simple, they are not legal minds, they are hacks who make rulings based on politics and personal whims. They do not respect popular sovereignty or the limits of their office.

I am sure there are several leftist judges who would be willing to rule that it is the intent of the Founders and the Constitution for our judges to make case law based on Sharia. Of course this undermines legitimacy. Our system of law should be reasonably predictable, if courts can rule not on the Constitution but rather anything goes, people will have no faith in the law or reason to believe justice can be had in the courts (do women get justice under Sharia?). Those of us political science scholars know where that leads us.

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