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Virginia Anti-Shari`ah Bill Irks Muslims

23 January 2012 General One Comment Email This Post Email This Post

RICHMOND – A leading American civil rights group has criticized a new proposed Virginia bill to ban courts from considering any religious codes in litigation, confirming that the bill was a new step towards effort to stigmatize Muslims and undermine their religious traditions.

“Bigotry needs to be repudiated, not legitimized through the introduction of a bill that has such hate-filled and un-American origins,” Gadier Abbas, staff attorney at the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in a press release on Friday, January 20.

Titled Morris’ HB631, the new bill was introduced by Virginia General Assembly Delegate Rick L. Morris (R-House District 64) on January 11.

The anti-Shari`ah new proposed law would ban courts from applying religious traditions to proceedings, such as the execution of a will among Muslims.

Not only the religious Muslim code, the new bill would also prohibit the application of the Catholic equivalent, canon law, and other religious guidelines.

The suddenly controversial bill is scheduled to be heard by a Virginia legislature House subcommittee next Monday.

In Islam, Shari`ah governs all issues in Muslims’ lives from daily prayers to fasting and from, marriage and inheritance to financial disputes.

The Islamic rulings, however, do not apply on non-Muslims, even if in a dispute with non-Muslims.

In US courts, judges can refer to Shari`ah law in Muslim litigation involving cases about divorce and custody proceedings or in commercial litigation.

Defended

Sponsoring the bill, Morris said that he aimed at enforcing US laws only.

“It’s definitely not an anti-Muslim bill,” Morris told the Virginian-Pilot in a brief phone interview Friday.

He said his goal is to make it clear that Virginia judges can rely only on state and federal law in their rulings.

However, CAIR confirmed that the bill was drafted by anti-Islam activist David Yerushalmi.

Yerushalmi, a 56-year-old Hasidic Jew with a history of controversial statements about race, immigration and Islam, managed to gain the support of prominent Washington figures.

He is head of the anti-Islam hate group Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), which on its now password-protected website offered a policy proposal that would make “adherence to Islam” punishable by 20 years in prison.

The proposed Virginia legislation is just one of more than 20 similar bills that have been introduced in state legislatures nationwide in the past year.

Over the past few years, lawmakers in at least two dozen states have introduced proposals last year forbidding local judges from considering Shari`ah when rendering verdicts on issues of divorces and marital disputes.

The statutes have been enacted in three states so far.

Earlier this January, a US federal court upheld an injection on a proposed ban on Islamic Shari`ah in the state of Oklahoma, saying the drive was unconstitutional and discriminates against religion.

Original post: Virginia Anti-Shari`ah Bill Irks Muslims

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  1. Maybe this is why the concern…KHARTOUM, Sudan Thursday, January 26,2012– Islamic militias loyal to the Sudanese government have kidnapped two Catholic priests in Rabak, Christian sources said. A large truck smashed through the gates of the St. Josephine Bakhita’s Catholic Church compound in Rabak, 260 kilometers (162 miles) south of Khartoum, on Jan. 15 at 10 p.m., and the assailants broke down the rectory door, the sources said. The Rev. Joseph Makwey and the Rev. Sylvester Mogga were kidnapped at gunpoint.
    Sudanese law prohibits missionaries from evangelizing, and converting from Islam to another religion is punishable by imprisonment or death in Sudan, though previously such laws were not strictly enforced.
    As he has several times in the past year, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Jan. 3 once again warned that Sudan’s constitution will be more firmly entrenched in sharia.
    “We are an Islamic nation with sharia as the basis of our constitution,” he told crowds in Kosti, south of Khartoum. “We will base our constitution on Islamic laws.”

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