Judge bars Oklahoma from implementing anti-Sharia law

Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:58pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Oklahoma's attorney general said on Friday he was 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," said Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt. 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.

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Scott Malone, Toni Reinhold)

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Comments (2)
dlpusa wrote:
Be it advised Justice LaGrange you are to apply the supreme law of the land the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the United States not foreign law. I will never feel bound by Sharia law in any jurisdiction of the United States.

Indeed Muslims have the freedom to worship their God in this country. However, they will never make me abide the principles of Sharia law because they feel I should.

I believe that Jesus Christ is both man and deity … That he is the son of God and God….That he is the messiah who by his cruel death and resurrection took away the original sins of man and also made it possible for my own sins to be forgiven. I will receive his grace and salvation if I remain faithful and continue to believe in him. I will never place Muhamand above Jesus . In fact, Muhammand is not my prophet at all. Therefore with due respect I will never declare him Allah’s chief prophet. By doing that I reject Jesus, and that is something I will never do.

Aug 16, 2013 7:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Dionysus64 wrote:
yeah…ok…”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” … when in reality, this is actually about those seeking to impose a Christian theocracy on the people of United States not wanting any competition in their own unconstitutional efforts.

Aug 20, 2013 1:19pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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