Judge Extends Ban on Anti Shariah Measure


(CN) - A federal judge in Oklahoma said she needed another week to decide if the state's new constitutional amendment barring courts from recognizing Sharia, or Islamic law, discriminates against Muslims. 

U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange extended her Nov. 9 temporary restraining order blocking the results of the Nov. 2 referendum, in which 70 percent of voters passed the anti-Sharia amendment. 

The amendment directs courts to "rely on federal and state law when deciding cases" and bars them "from considering or using Sharia law. Muneer Awad, the executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), had asked the judge for an order barring state officials from certifying the elections results.

He called the amendment "ridiculous" and a "gross transgression of the Establishment Clause," as it could void his will and other legal contracts between Muslims, though courts are allowed to consider the traditions of other religions. He noted that no other state constitution "attaches special burdens on a religious tradition." 

"Indeed, the only interest consistent with both the language and operation of the Sharia Ban is an interest in harming an unpopular minority," he argued in his motion for a preliminary injunction.

"The goal was to stigmatize Islam by establishing in the public's mind that Islam is something foreign and to be feared," he said In issuing the temporary restraining order, Judge Miles-LaGrange said Awad "has made a preliminary showing" that the amendment "is not facially neutral, discriminates against a specific religious belief, and prohibits conduct because it is undertaken for religious reasons."

On Monday, she extended her order to Nov. 29.

Source: Annie Youderian for Courthouse News Service


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  8 Comments   Comment

  1. Another U.S citizen from USA

    I do not hate anyone. But whether anyone is for or against the Ban, one thing is clear: AMERICA DOES NOT WANT SHARIA AND 99.999 percent of its citizens do not want sharia in America. So who ever out there does want Sharia in America, know this, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

    Therefore

    If you want Sharia, then move to Saudi Arabia or the Taliban areas. This is not to be sarcastic. It is being realistic. It just is not wanted here. I say this as a muslim. So I hope I did not offend anyone.

  2. Romesh Chander from USA

    Response to USCitizen:

    You write "You did not change even after moving to USA and brought hatred with you.".

    Wrong, wrong. I did not have any hatred of Islam when I came to US 51 years ago, because I did not know anything about Islam (or even muslims). For the last 10 years or so, I about studying ABOUT Islam and what muslims are doing. Hence my viewpoints.

    Problems with muslims is that they have lost capabilities to think and criticise -- i.e., self-criticism. When you do some self-criticism, you will agree with me. Look in the mirror. You muslims are your own worst enemy.

  3. Mazhar Islam from Pakistan

    The islmicity.com is my homepage for so many years now. And on almost all articles on which Mr Ramesh Chandar comments are so one-sided and sometime so illogical that even taking time out to reply to them seems waste of effort. However as our beloved Messenger of Allah (SAW) has taught us that we should be patient with such people and say the right thing so that such can focus on goodness as well.

    Mr Abu comments are absolutely correct. Mr Ramesh always seems to pick the hateful side as if he has a psychological compulsion to spread hatred against islam. It is like seeing the glass always half empty. And he conveniently forgets the similar facts about other faiths or the other side of the story...i.e. how much is the glass full. ANYWAY I PRAY TO ALLAH (SWT) TO GIVE HIM GUIDANCE SO THAT HE CAN SEE THE GOODNESS AS WELL.

    As for the matter at hand, I am happy some learned people are just not so blind in theiruntiring efforts to stigmatize islam. However, let me say that even if the courts upheld the use of Sharia even then the purpose of media is served...BRING ISLAM SO MUCH IN LIMELIGHT IN ITS DIFFERENTIATING ASPECTS THAT COMMON AMERICANS WILL ALWAYS BELIEVES THAT ISLAM SOMETHING TO STAY AWAY FROM...SOME THING AGAINST WHICH THEY SHOULD HAVE THEIR GUARDS UP ALWAYS

  4. A US citizen from USA

    Response to Romesh.

    Your comments clearly shows your personal hatred towards Islam. It is sad to read such comments which are full of hatred. You did not change even after moving to USA and brought hatred with you.

  5. Abu from UK

    To Romesh

    The matter in question here is why should the courts specifically target only one faith group and and outlaw their judicial system. If thats the case they souls ban all judicial systems from all faith groups, but they wont and the reason is because they want to discriminate against Muslims, period.

    Other faith groups have practiced their laws in the US for many years, take for example the Jewish rabbinical system, it is their right as a community to exercise their law (whether they apparently seem contradictory the US laws).

    The point is that if the constitution allows for such judicial systems to be practiced by communities or faith groups then any group should be allowed to practice it should they choose to do so or not.

    Romesh you say that you want muslims to wage the battle vigorously but don't want them to win, why do you have so much hate in your heart against Muslims? Why spread the the hate with your venomous hateful comments?

    I also never see your comments on articles relating to internal reform and the betterment of the heart, like the many articles that are published either during Ramadan or recently Hajj. maybe if you paid some attention to them and focus less on the social issues you would realize that Islam isn't as bad as you think, rather you will realize that Islam is focused on improving peoples character and the character if society as whole.

    I'd Like to know what you think?

  6. Maya V from AK

    From one angle it makes sense why a religious law cannot contradict and still be acceptable with secular laws in a secular country.

    Following the law of the land is part of Sharia itself. Similarly US has laws that leaves it up to the religious laws. Example is legal age of marriage.

    However, why Sharia alone? Is it not basically a hate game? It is strange the same people will endorese invasion of other countries to see what they like to see irrespective of the law of the land there.

    Waiting to hear, Muslims getting stripped at US airports and Fox and CNN running talk shows approving it until 'common' man gets used to it and accept it.

  7. Romesh Chander from USA

    What exactly are the issues in Oklahoma, Tennessee and Louisiana laws regarding "Creeping Sharia"? Let us take simple, easily understood and likely to happen cases.

    Suppose a married muslim man and woman are living in US. Man decides to go to the old country (a muslim country) and decides to divorce his wife (perfectly legal there) and get himself another one. Should US courts accept the divorce of first wife and marriage to the second wife?

    Or the man decides to get himself another wife (perfectly legal there) and brings her to US. Should US courts accept this marriage as valid or consider it as a polygamy?

    Or a man has one son and one daughter. He wills that "Upon his death, his assets will be distributed according to dictates of Sharia". Now according to Sharia, man gets twice that of a woman, should a court accept this will as valid?

    Like it or not, US laws already contradict Sharia; and so do laws and customs of other religions. You can practice your religion as long as it does not conflict with man-made laws in US. If you insist on going to the extremes, you might find all 50 states passing similar and even more stringent laws, a battle muslims will never win. (to be honest, I want muslims to wage the battle vigorously but don't want them to win).

  8. Romesh Chander from USA

    Surprising part is that, this very year, similar LAWS in intent have already been passed by Tennesse and Louisiana and have been signed by their govornors and have already become laws; and nobody even heard about them. Why the fuss about Oklahoma? Oh, in Oklahoma, it was an amendment to the constitution. In other states, laws were passed by legislatures; in Oklahoma, the amendment was passed by the voters themselves.

    In Ontario, Canada, it was the muslim community which stopped the 'creeping sharia' in family matters becoming the law; in US, it is the muslim spokesmen (CAIR) who is for 'creeping sharia'. What a difference.