Saturday, May 26, 2012

Kansas Says No To Any Foreign Law (Including Shariah/Islamic Law)

As of July 1, Kansas will be Shariah-free, at least for the time being. Governor Sam Brownback, in spite of fierce opposition from the likes of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) and other Muslim groups, signed Bill H Sub SB 79 which will effectively ban the use of any foreign law in Kansas government agencies or court system. The sponsors of the bill were very careful to not single out Shariah (Islamic) Law. Instead, the law says:
...courts, administrative agencies or state tribunals can't base rulings on any foreign law or legal system that would not grant the parties the same rights guaranteed by state and U.S. constitutions.

"This bill should provide protection for Kansas citizens from the application of foreign laws," said Stephen Gele, spokesman for the American Public Policy Alliance, a Michigan group promoting model legislation similar to the new Kansas law. "The bill does not read, in any way, to be discriminatory against any religion."
In a statement, also meant to reassure people of the new law's non-discriminatory nature, Brownback's spokesperson, Sherriene Jones-Sontag, stated that it
"makes it clear that Kansas courts will rely exclusively on the laws of our state and our nation when deciding cases and will not consider the laws of foreign jurisdictions."

Even though it applies to any foreign law, Muslim groups believe it is they alone who are being targeted, and will continue to challenge it. Of Brownback, CAIR's Ibrahim Hooper said,

"If he claims it has nothing to do with Shariah or Islamic law or Muslims, then he wasn't paying attention."

Arizona, Louisiana and Tennessee have similar laws, and 20 other states are considering it as well. In 2010 Oklahoma tried, and even though 70 percent of Oklahoma voters approved the amendment, it was overturned by a Federal Appeals Court last year. Their mistake was to specify Shariah, twice, in the language.
Gele says the law was put in to place to protect non-Muslim Americans from being sued, for say libel, by someone from a foreign country that does not recognize freedom of speech rights. Even though it wasn't Sharia per se, a Pennsylvania judge (Mark Martin) dismissed assault charges against  a Muslim immigrant who attacked an Atheist for wearing a Halloween outfit he deemed offensive, because of his Shariah sympathies .

And it wasn't just Republicans who supported the bill, Jones-Sontag said,

"This disturbing recent trend of activist judges relying upon the laws of other nations has been rejected by overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both the Kansas House and Senate."

Hooper claims that passing laws like this is simply "..demonizing Islam and marginalizing American Muslims"

No, Mr. Hooper, it means we want American laws for America.

Constitutionally speaking, Shariah Law (or any other foreign or religious law) has absolutely no place in our court system. Our court's should not be basing judgements on anything but U.S. law. We should not be divvying up property in a divorce suit as per Shariah Law, as in a pending case in Kansas.  Allowing Shariah in a few cases here and there will only set a terrible precedent, and soon it will become an adjunct to our U.S. laws.

Source: Huffington Post

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