HAS SHARIA LAW CREPT INTO THE U.S. COURT SYSTEM?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jun. 22, 2010) — The Oklahoma legislature has approved a ballot initiative which will ask voters whether or not to ban state judges from using Sharia law and international law to decide the outcome of cases.
HJR 1056, the “Save Our State” Amendment, is intended to prevent Oklahoma courts from using a system “counter to the foundational principles of the United States.” The initative, State Question 755, would amend the Oklahoma constitution to “forbid courts from using international law or Sharia law when making rulings.”
In an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News on June 18, the author of the bill, Rex Duncan (R-Sand Springs) predicted that legislators in other states will draft similar proposals to his and stated that a vote on the issue in Oklahoma was “years overdue.” He said that Muslims who adhere to Sharia law in their private lives are insisting that the courts enforce it in regard to domestic disputes in the United States. He believes that if Sharia is accepted here, “It would be the same cancer upon American courts it is in Great Britain.”
While Duncan said that Sharia is not “an imminent threat” at present in his state, “it’s a storm on the horizon in other states.” The state of Louisiana is considering a measure similar to Oklahoma’s.
Great Britain has established Sharia courts which have been enforcing “arbitration tribunals” through a loophole in the British 1996 Arbitration Act for almost two years. By terming them “tribunals,” the courts must recognize Sharia as a type of “alternative dispute resolution” as long as both parties agree to adhere to it. Several months before the admission of Sharia as a permissible system of law, the Archbishop of Canterbury had stated that it “seemed unavoidable.”
One Muslim leader in Oklahoma has decried SQ 755 as “another example of a rising tide of anti-Islamic bigotry in America.” However, the organization Women Against Sharia states on its website: “shariah law imposes second class status on women and is incompatible with the standards of liberal Western societies and the basic principles of human rights that include equality under the law and the protection of individual freedoms. The shariah code mandates the complete authority of men over women, including the control of their movement, education, marital options, clothing, bodies, place of residence and all other aspects of their existence. Further, it calls for the beating, punishment, and murder of women who don’t comply with shariah requirements.”
On September 11, 2001, militant Islamic terrorists killed nearly 3,000 American civilians by hijacking four airliners, crashing two into the World Trade Center Twin Towers in lower Manhattan, one into the Pentagon, and another believed to be intended for the Capitol Building landed in a field in Shanksville, PA. While Americans “banded together” after the horrendous events of 9/11, many appear to have forgotten that day, even in New York City, where the City Council has approved the construction of a mosque and cultural center just blocks from where the attacks occurred.
One writer states that “The Sharia should be opposed for its imposition of theocracy over democracy, its abuse of human rights, its institutionalized discrimination, its denial of human dignity and individual autonomy, its punishment of alternative lifestyle choices, and for the severity of its punishments…We may ask how a law whose elements were first laid down over 1,000 years ago can possibly be relevant in the 21st century. The Sharia reflects the social and economic conditions at the time of the Abbasids and has become further and further out of touch with later social, economic, technological, cultural and moral developments. The principles of the Sharia are inimical to moral progress, humanity and civilized values.”
The group Hizb ut Tahrir, which is a political party in Great Britain and held a conference in Chicago last year, has organized another conference to be held in Oak Brook, IL on July 11 at the Chicago Marriott. The Khilafah Conference is publicized on the organization’s website along with a video entitled “The Struggle for Islam in the West” which depicts several world politicians, including Obama, and deplores “Westernized Islam” and questions whether or not Muslims are being asked to compromise their principles to assimilate into Western cultures.
Hizb ut Tahrir is also hosting a conference in Australia on July 4, 2010, which is described as “an event putting in sharp focus the key challenges facing the Muslim community in the West today.”
Obama appointed a Muslim woman as head of an advisory board with the purpose of improving relations “with Muslims in the US and across the globe.” Recently reports have surfaced that in an interview with the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Obama may have stated that he himself is a Muslim despite his campaign statements of being a “committed Christian.”
Some historians claim that America was founded on Judeo-Christian values. Some disagree. What are America’s values now? What are Oklahoma’s values? Why is Oklahoma poised to outlaw Sharia law and New York City, where the worst attacks on American soil occurred just nine years ago, is poised to embrace it?