Sooner State Shariah; Oklahoma Leads the Charge to Preserve Constitutional Law

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 17, 2010 | Go to article overview

Sooner State Shariah; Oklahoma Leads the Charge to Preserve Constitutional Law


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Oklahomans showcased their independent streak on Election Day by launching a pre-emptive strike against the creeping influence of Shariah in their state. Voters gave the Oklahoma International Law Amendment an overwhelming 70 percent approval, denying judges the ability to consult the laws of foreign cultures when settling U.S. legal questions. While proponents of Islamic law have responded with a court challenge that has temporarily blocked the measure, the Sooner State - which sets an example for the rest of the nation - should not waver in its efforts to maintain the rule of law under the U.S. Constitution.

Muneer Awad, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), filed a lawsuit on Nov. 4 challenging the ballot question's constitutionality. On Nov. 8, U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange granted a temporary restraining order preventing the state election board from certifying the results of the vote until a hearing, scheduled for Nov. 22, is held on the measure.

Mr. Awad's legal motion contends that the proposed amendment would violate his First Amendment rights. As his lawyer argued, [M]uch of the bounty of religious liberty the Free Exercise and Establishment clauses once supplied him has, for him at least, vanished. It is difficult to see how the measure approved by Oklahoma's voters subtracts from Mr. Awad's rights in any way. In fact, it ensures that judges focus on the principles of the U.S. Constitution - including the First Amendment - over those found in precepts of international law. It is Shariah law that threatens the free exercise of religion. …

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Sooner State Shariah; Oklahoma Leads the Charge to Preserve Constitutional Law
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