An Oklahoma initiative that bars state judges there from considering Islamic law in court decisions came in for a barrage of questioning at the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on Monday, in a case that could have national implications.
The controversy focuses on a measure voters in Oklahoma overwhelmingly approved last year. The measure prevents judges from basing rulings in any way on international law and then mentions Islamic law — known as Shariah — specifically.
Oklahoma is the only state to pass such an initiative, but opponents of the law say lawmakers in at least 20 other states have considered or are considering similar measures.
A three-judge panel of federal 10th Circuit judges on Monday repeatedly asked Patrick Wyrick, Oklahoma's solicitor general, why Shariah law was singled out and whether that amounts to discrimination against Muslims.
"Doesn't it disfavor Islam as a religion?" Judge Scott Matheson Jr. asked.
Wyrick responded that it doesn't because the initiative is intended only to apply to aspects of Shariah that would claim legal precedence.
But opponents of the initiative — who filed suit last year to block its certification — say the law denies Muslims rights that would be afforded to people of other religions.
For instance, Muneer Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma and the suit's plaintiff, said the law would invalidate certain civil documents, such as wills.
His own will, Awad said, instructs a judge to refer to specific Islamic precepts to resolve situations where Awad's intent is not clear. Awad argues that the initiative would block a judge from doing that, even though he says a judge would be able to do that for someone of Christian or Jewish faith.
Micheal Salem, the attorney representing Awad, said the initiative was a "pre-emptive strike" against one religion and was passed out of fear of Islam.
"Once it is certified, this law will condemn every Muslim in the state of Oklahoma," Salem argued. "They will no longer be welcome."
A federal district court judge in Oklahoma has already temporarily blocked the initiative's certification, a ruling Oklahoma's election board appealed to the 10th Circuit.
The 10th Circuit judges Monday quizzed Salem about whether this was the right time to challenge the constitutionality of the initiative, before it has even officially become law.
Salem said the law's certification would cause immediate harm to Oklahoma's Muslims, who amount to less than 1 percent of the state's population.
Wyrick, meanwhile, said the initiative is not discriminatory and defended the measure as merely intending to set ground rules for Oklahoma courts.
"It was just to determine what type of law should be applied and adhered to in court," Wyrick said.
The 10th Circuit is expected to issue its ruling later this year.
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Here is some more information for those that would like it.
Disgusting,What to come to America?then abide by American law case closed.
Back to the WENCH that you came from?
Go home to Mamma?
You need another cup of coffee Buck!
THIS IS A CRITICALLY IMPORTANT ISSUE.
Please try to follow my logic and then GET VOCAL AT ALL LEVELS!
Write letters to the editors of your local papers, get people to speak on local talk shows, do EVERYTHING you can to stop this crap in its tracks.
I am certainly no expert in such things, but I have lived in about two dozen countries to include Iran and Saudi Arabia among others and I think I have a bit of insight into such BS.
The attorney inadvertently pointed out the obvious - i.e.: the citation of parallels in the Jewish culture.
This is where the separation of Church and State becomes critical.
The orthodox Jewish community adheres to certain practices that are not sanctioned under our legal system.
These covenants and traditions are administered by the Rabbi or the equivalent of a "council of Elders" BECAUSE THE COVENANTS ARE STRICTLY DEFINED IN RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE NOT IN THE LAWS PASSED BY LEGISLATURES.
In my humble and totally plebeian opinion, IF "IT" IS NOT A MATTER OF ESTABLISHED LEGAL CODE OUR JUDGES HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO BECOME INVOLVED.
Allowing ANY PORTION of Sharia law to be recognized by ANY of our courts is like giving your children "just a minor case of AIDS" and believing that they will have a wonderful life.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Well said. and T'anks. If a man thinks about it though -where he came from and the first thing he grabs for in this world.a gettin' back to the wench may not be so painful. I wanted to get out there that this Judge so concerned about disfavoring Islam as a Religion is from Utah and was appointed to the 10th by Barack Hussein Obummer last year. The idea of letters and such is EXCELLENT and ought be a carpet bombing of the 10th Circuit Court by all Patriotic and Constitution loving Americans.I have e-mailed the Court Clerk and am following up with a letter to the 10th Circuit Court over in Sodom(Freudian slip- over in Denver.)They say Courts are not affected by public opinion --but I believe -being human they must be. The Denver Post is another I have sent e-mail to -- but will follow up with snail mail.
It seems these Judges in Denver ignore the supreme law of the land-- the US Constitution --and whichever of the several
Oaths they are administered. I find no mention of Shariah Law in the written Constitution. If any judge may consider
foreign law--or Shariah Law in making judicial decision then where is the written US Constitution. This Judge seeming so
concerned about "disfavoring Islam as a religion" Ought remember first the truth about Islam ,and religion.That it cannot
be considered equal to Christianity or Judaism-- and is not considered equal by any true Muslim I have heard. The Judge
ought consider that Shariah Law is NOT compatible with our written US Constitution. And he ought be reminded that in
history of American Law The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was in NO Way DISFAVORED when the Courts
upheld and defended the Laws governing "marriage" from the 1878 Reynolds Case to the 1890 case against the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. Either we have a written Constitution that means what it did when it was adopted--
or have nothing at all. Either we are a nation of laws applied equally to all -and the Courts equally under our Constitution
as declared in Marbury v. Madison,1803 . Or we have the despotic branch Mr. Jefferson say when folk ignored him
concerning Marbury v. Madison.I can defend the Constitution -- I cannot defend ANY Court that ignores the Oath
administered and favors Shariah Law / Islam in any legal opinion. Islam is NOT compatible with our American system.
AIDS, Cancer, Sharia Law....all deadly and every effort to eradicate in America must be continued.
aNOTHER hUSSAIN OR cLINTON APPOINTED JUDGE! hUSSAIN IS LOADING THE COURTS WITH HIS LIBERAL LOON AAPOINTEES AND IT IS US WHO WILL SUFFER FOR IT. iF HE CAN'T GET THE CONGRESS TO GO ALONG, HE WILL LET HIS COURT MINOS MAKE IT THE L;AW! wAKE UP FOLKS, WE ARE BEING TAKEN OVER FROM WITHIN! OOPS, SORRY, DIDN'T SEE CAP BUTTON ON!
As Lenin said: ” We will sell you the rope on which you will hang yourself.”
Muslims are pushing for it because it will create the precedence. Interesting that court would even consider it. All other religion are strictly separated from the state, but Islam is dictating politics of the state and to accept anything from Sharia will immediately discriminate against all other religions.
LOOK WHAT WAS HAPPENING RECENTLY MUSLIMS GANGS " BEHEADED FOUR HEADS ON CAR DASH WINDOWS" SHOWED THAT MUSLIMS MUST NEVER LIVE IN AMERICA SOILS !! . WE WILL SMASH THEM IMMEDIATLELY AND DUMP THEM INTO OCEANS ! .
DID GOD ALLOWS MUSLIMS LIVES IN AMERICA ? . WE DON'T ALLOWS THEM THE SAME ! . MUSLIMS BELONGS TO PERSIANS COUNTRIES !.
OOPs folks-- need to know the Denver Post story is not that current. the Denver Post ran this on 9/13/2011 .Chances are the 10th Circuit Court will announce it's decision on this if they haven't already within a few days.But I didn't see any date for the Denver Post Story in this Post.Good story though. And good discussion. Has the 10th Circuit published its opinion on this case yet? Just askin'.
Robert, this is the latest story on the case. I have been watching it for a while and some friends asked about it, so i posted this for everyone here also. The case was hoped to be heard this year, as it looks, the case will not be heard until after the New Year. There have been oral arguments made on the case so far, but the case has not been heard yet.
WHY DO THEY HAVE TO CONSIDER SUCH A THING! ITS OUR LAWS NOT THEIR LAWS?