Source: Conservative Tribune
The state of North Carolina has taken a step that many other states have taken to ensure that the US Constitution and the constitution of the state are the laws that are applied in courts, not the laws of any foreign cultures.
It recently passed a measure aimed at keeping Islamic Sharia law from being enforced in state courts, especially family law.
Similar laws have been passed in Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Tennessee. A federal judge ruled the Oklahoma law unconstitutional because it discriminated against a certain religion without a compelling state interest. The NC bill’s authors hope to have avoided that problem by making the language of the bill so that it applies to any foreign laws, not specifically mentioning Sharia.
The Christian Action League said this in support of the bill, via BizPac Review:
“There have been more than 50 cases in 23 states in which judges have applied foreign law, depriving people of their constitutional rights. Often women and children wind up the victims when Sharia law is applied. Under the law based on the Quran and the Sunna, the teachings and writings of Mohammed, there is no age requirement for a girl to marry, and acts of adultery or prostitution can lead to sentences of death. Many Sharia law problems in the United States involve cases of women being beaten by their Muslim husbands and judges ruling that because the men were not accustomed to U.S. laws against spousal abuse, they cannot be convicted.”
Of course, Muslim groups saw this as bigotry against their belief system. The Council on American-Islamic Relations came out against the bill, urging the governor to veto it. Deseret News reports:
CAIR sent out a national “action alert” urging Muslims to call and email McCrory to ask him to veto the bill. Defending Shariah law from U.S. restrictions is one of CAIR’s top agenda items, according to its March 2012 statement announcing a “community toolkit to challenge ‘Anti-Sharia’ bills.”
The email CAIR recommended sending to the governor says in part:
This “foreign law” bill is a thinly-veiled attack on the state’s Muslim population, that only serves to marginalize Muslims and to deny them equal rights and equal access to the courts enjoyed by other religious groups.
We support religious liberty. We don’t want to see individuals punished for following their consciences and acting according to sincere religious belief (see our commentary on the Hobby Lobby case). We do have to be careful about this kind of legislation, because while honor-killings and domestic violence aren’t legitimate forms of religious expression, Sharia-compliant banking and other contract-related aspects of Islamic law are and should be practical ways of expressing religious faith free from government interference, and they might be harmed by this kind of law. It’s never a good idea to undermine religious liberty.
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