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Court: Oklahoma ban on Islamic law unconstitutional

11 January 2012 General 17 Comments Email This Post Email This Post
Muneer Awad

Muneer Awad

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An amendment that would ban Oklahoma courts from considering international or Islamic law discriminates against religions and a Muslim community leader has the right to challenge its constitutionality, a federal appeals court said Tuesday.

The court in Denver upheld U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange‘s order blocking implementation of the amendment shortly after it was approved by 70 percent of Oklahoma voters in November 2010.

Muneer Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma, sued to block the law from taking effect, arguing that the Save Our State Amendment violated his First Amendment rights.

The amendment read, in part: “The courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia law.”

Backers argued that the amendment intended to ban all religious laws, that Islamic law was merely named as an example and that it wasn’t meant as a specific attack on Muslims. The court disagreed.

“That argument conflicts with the amendment’s plain language, which mentions Sharia law in two places,” the appeals court opinion said.

The court also noted that the backers of the amendment admitted they did not know of any instance when an Oklahoma court applied Sharia law or used the legal precepts of other countries.

Awad argued that the ban on Islamic law would likely affect every aspect of his life as well as the execution of his will after his death. The appeals court pointed out that Awad made a “strong showing” of potential harm.

“When the law that voters wish to enact is likely unconstitutional, their interests do not outweigh Mr. Awad’s in having his constitutional rights protected,” the court said.

Original post: Court: Oklahoma ban on Islamic law unconstitutional

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17 Comments »

  1. What a waste of time and taxpayer money to even have to listen to such idiocy.

  2. What a waste of time and taxpayer money to even have to listen to such idiocy.

  3. My home state is awesome…to Pat Robinson.

  4. My home state is awesome…to Pat Robinson.

  5. I side with the wisdom of the law which the court has upheld. We are free to disagree with the ruling but arguing against the wisdom of the law signals it is not justice we seek but the enforcement of bigotry.

  6. I side with the wisdom of the law which the court has upheld. We are free to disagree with the ruling but arguing against the wisdom of the law signals it is not justice we seek but the enforcement of bigotry.

  7. So does that mean Muslims can’t get married in this state?

  8. So does that mean Muslims can’t get married in this state?

  9. or have the rights to contest to inheritance in accordance to their religion?

  10. or have the rights to contest to inheritance in accordance to their religion?

  11. I don’t know, Valerie — this seems like precisely the kind of question/discussion our courts should surface and answer.

  12. I don’t know, Valerie — this seems like precisely the kind of question/discussion our courts should surface and answer.

  13. This whole thing is stupid What makes these asswipes think that Sharia Law is going to be the law of the land. How is that going to happen?. Really How.

  14. This whole thing is stupid What makes these asswipes think that Sharia Law is going to be the law of the land. How is that going to happen?. Really How.

  15. Neither international nor Islamic “law” have any legal standing in the US. Does Catholic Cannon Law trump local, state or federal laws? No, of course not. Why is this an issue?

    Now, I don’t see any problems with a judge using Islamic law in instances of arbitration when both parties agree and the rules of arbitration (Sharia?) are in keeping with all local, state and US laws.

  16. eh…maybe if the law didn’t specifically target Shari’a. otherwise though, They have a point in that the state should decide the laws. If they contradict Shari’a, that is simply too bad, unless of course they actually violate any civil rights.

  17. Sharia Law IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL! This is a FACT not debateable!

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