A federal judge blocked Oklahoma officials Monday from implementing a voter-approved referendum that singles out Islamic religious law, or Shariah, as a threat to the state.
Chief Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange, of U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City, set a Nov. 22 hearing to consider whether the Save Our State Amendment violates the U.S. Constitution. Until then, she issued a temporary restraining order preventing the state Election Board from certifying State Question 755, which passed by 70% on Nov. 2.ShariaThe Sharia (Islamic law) specifies the obligatory acts (fardh), the omission of which constitutes sin, and forbidden acts (haram), the practice of which constitutes sins. Everything else, not derived from these principles, are said to be permissable (mubah)Throughout the world, Sharia has led – and still leads – to human rights violations – including cruel and unusual punishments (e.g. death penalty by stoning, hanging, or beheading. Amputations of hands and/or feet. Public executions, and etcetera)Islamism is an ideology in Islam that wants to use the Sharia to its full extent, meaning that secular forms of governments and institutions are considered foreign to a true Muslim societyBy its very nature, Islam makes it extremely difficult for Muslims to integrate. Islam means submission, and the Quran makes it clear that Muslims expect non-Muslims to submit to IslamTherefore, Sharia has no place in a modern, free and civilized societyResearch resources on Sharia, Islam, and IslamismComments & resources by ReligionNewsBlog.com
The measure directs state courts to ignore “legal precepts of other nations or cultures” and specifically forbids consideration of “international law or Sharia Law.”
A Muslim activist in Oklahoma City, Muneer Awad, filed suit last week, alleging the measure violated the First Amendment, which forbids government from promoting an “establishment of religion” or interfering with “free exercise” of religion.
The measure “would enshrine disapproval of Islam in the state constitution,” said Mr. Awad, 27 years old, in an interview. He is executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. In addition, he said, the provision could invalidate his will, which refers to Islamic teachings on the distribution of property.
Oklahoma’s Ban on Shariah Law Blocked: Supporters Blame State Attorney General
U.S. District Court Judge Vicki Miles-LeGrange ruled that the measure, which passed by a large margin in last Tuesday’s elections, would be suspended until a hearing on Nov. 22, when she will listen to arguments on whether the court’s temporary injunction should become permanent.
Shariah is found in the Koran and is the basis of law in most Islamic countries, though its implementation varies widely. It has been used in Iran and Somalia, among other places, to condone harsh punishments like amputations and stoning.
Supporters of the Oklahoma ballot initiative, which passed with 70 percent of the vote, would not comment on the impact of the ruling. But state Sen. Anthony Sykes, who co-authored the measure, charged that the judge ruled as she did because the state’s attorney general, Drew Edmondson, failed to respond to the suit.
“The attorney general failed to file a response,” Sykes said. “I am afraid that this might get written in stone that shouldn’t be because the attorney general is leaving and a new one is coming in.”
klahoma state Rep. Rex Duncan, who co-sponsored the bill, said he hadn’t seen the judge’s written ruling yet, but he was disappointed that “her words from the bench indicated she had completely embraced the plaintiff’s arguments.”
“They were pretty extraordinary statements from the judge,” he said.
Duncan and Sykes both said the state should have challenged whether Awad had the standing to bring the case.
“As far as we know, he flew into here from Georgia just to make the case,” Duncan said. “We don’t think he is an Oklahoma resident or plans to stay. We don’t think he had standing.”
Duncan and others who pushed for the measure argued that the ban “will constitute a pre-emptive strike against Shariah law coming to Oklahoma.” He said England has embraced 85 Shariah law courts and warned voters that “while Oklahoma is still able to defend itself against this sort of hideous invasion, we should do so.”