In the Nov. 2 election, 70 percent of Oklahoma citizens voted to pass a ban preventing the state government from allowing separate Sharia law to govern the Muslim population.
Sharia law is Islamic law based on the teachings of Mohammed and the Koran (Quran).
The ban's critics feel that a small number of lawmakers created the amendment to instill fear and "Islamophobia" (hatred of Muslims) into Oklahoma citizens.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has filed a lawsuit to stop the Oklahoma ban from amending the state constitution. CAIR's press release claims the ban discriminates against Muslims in Oklahoma who want to wear their native garb and denigrates the Muslim population beneath others.
However, some Muslim citizens applaud the Oklahoma ban, and want it to amend the state's constitution. The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) Press Release claims it is necessary for the U.S. to begin taking steps in preventing foreign governments from usurping U.S. rights; and that the ban doesn't infer what CAIR is claiming about Muslim rights, but instead ensures all U.S. citizens are protected by equal laws.
What does the ban actually say?
Amendment "SQ 755" would amend Article 7, Section 1of the Oklahoma state constitution. The description for the citizens on the ballot was this: "It makes courts rely on federal and state law when deciding cases. It forbids courts from considering or using international law. It forbids courts from considering or using Sharia Law."
In supporting the ban, AIFD points to what's happening in Great Britain:
The British government has acquiesced to Islamic activist pressure by setting up at least five courts that operate within Islamic Sharia law. British Muslims now have their own judges and courtrooms, and are not required to come into other British courts for lawsuits among themselves. Many within the British Muslim population did not approve of this; they love democracy and would rather stay within British law.
It is widely feared that these courts will end up catering to acts which extreme Islam deems to be of a religious nature but, under regular British law, would be considered criminal activity. Examples: violence against a Muslim female for disobeying a male counterpart, or violence against a Muslim relative for converting to another religion.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor have both stated that the U.S. Supreme Court, which is supposed to uphold the U.S. Constitution, is already taking the laws and rulings of other countries into consideration.
The AIFD statement indicates U.S. citizens, including people who came here to get away from oppressive laws in their own countries, should not be subjected to this.
Islamic countries often persecute, confine, torture or execute those who try to practice other religions within their borders. Christians, Jews and even Muslims who are of non-government sanctioned sects do not get their own court systems. They are tried in Islamic Sharia law courts.
It's puzzling why the people of extreme Islamic beliefs want to be ruled by their own laws when they arrive in other countries, while this exception isn't granted to others on their homeland's soil. It seems obvious proof that they don't wish to assimilate into their newly chosen society.
The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) and others who believe in "separation of church and state" are trying to remove all appearances of the Ten Commandments and Judeo-Christian principles from American society. U.S. legislators shouldn't allow activist judges, who fear being accused of "Islamophobia," to give preference to Islamic law while removing freedom of Biblical speech.
- Sharia law