Federal Judge Blocks Oklahoma Ban On Shariah Law
A federal judge says an Oklahoma constitutional amendment introduced by Republican State Representative Rex Duncan (pictured) meant to ban courts from considering Shariah law in its decisions is likely unconstitutional.
Muslims claim the state is discriminating against their religion, while supporters — many of them Christian conservatives — say the amendment is needed to thwart what they maintain is an effort by radical Muslims to impose Shariah law in the United States.
Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange of Federal District Court in Oklahoma City, however, said in her decision to grant a preliminary injunction on Monday that the measure did not appear to pass constitutional muster.
It conveys a message, she said, that the state favors one religion or particular belief over others. The federal courts have long held that such a message violates the First Amendment’s clause prohibiting the establishment of a state religion, she said.
When asked if there ever was a case when Shariah law was invoked by a court, Oklahoma assistant attorney general Scott Boughton couldn’t think of one.
[The Judge] noted that one strong precept of Islamic law is to abide by the law of one’s land, and this explains why American Muslims do not generally practice bigamy, even though the Koran allows it.
The judge concluded that Shariah law “lacks a legal character” and “is not ‘law’ but is religious traditions that differ among Muslims.” As a result, she said, the amendment “conveys a message of disapproval of plaintiff’s faith and, consequently, has the effect of inhibiting plaintiff’s religion.”
Duncan calls his amendment “a war for the survival of America” and “a pre-emptive strike.”Click here for reuse options!
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