Shariah Law Dispute Goes to Court; Judge to Consider Arguments on Injunction of Ban in Okla
Byline: Andrew Entzminger, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
A federal judge will hear arguments Monday on a preliminary injunction against one of the most contentious ballot measures in this month's elections - an Oklahoma referendum that banned state courts from considering international or Islamic law when deciding cases.
U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange already had blocked certification of SQ755, which passed Nov. 2 with 70 percent of voters backing the measure. Monday's hearing in her Oklahoma City court will focus on a request for a restraining order that would block the law from taking effect until the lawsuit has been resolved.
The case was brought by Muneer Awad, executive director of the Oklahoma Council for American Islamic Relations, on the grounds that the amendment is religious discrimination and would invalidate his will, which is partially based on Islamic law, also known as Shariah law.
While Muslim groups are angry about the Oklahoma referendum, leaders of their community say the way the U.S. currently handles matters pertaining to Shariah law is fine.
Mr. Awad said Muslims support the way U.S. secular courts currently handle Shariah-related issues - by calling in Muslim scholars and imams as expert witnesses in such cases as wills and divorce decrees that specify the use of Shariah principles but by ruling themselves on the legal disputes.
Shariah is not a code of laws .. it's more of a guidance, Mr Awad said. I can have a [Shariah-]compliant will and still have the U.S. court handle it.
However, that's not enough assurance for anti-jihad activists and Muslim watchdog groups that say there are theological differences between Judaism and Christianity on the one hand and Islam on the other, particularly in matters of their relationships to secular government.
Jewish law specifically says that you abide by the country's laws, said John Guandolo, a national security consultant who co-authored a report on the threat of Shariah law in America. Where Shariah exists, only Shariah exists. Its goal is to subordinate any other law to Shariah.
Anti-jihad commentators also accuse Mr. Awad and CAIR of bad faith on the issue, pointing to the contradictory claims both that the law wouldn't do anything and then suing to stop it.
The position Mr. …