Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Oklahoma's Violation Of The Constitution

In case you haven't heard, Oklahoma had placed a measure on their ballots asking voters if they wanted to ban courts from looking to international or Islamic law when deciding a case.  Voters overwhelmingly voted for the matter but a federal judge recently blocked the law.
A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday to block a new amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution that would prohibit state courts from considering international or Islamic law when deciding cases.

U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange handed down the order after an Oklahoma man filed a lawsuit claiming the amendment stigmatized his religion and would invalidate his will, which he said is partially based on Islamic Law, also known as Sharia Law.

"My constitutional rights are being violated through the condemnation of my faith," said Muneer Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma. "Islam was the target of this amendment. This amendment does not have a secular purpose."

The measure, State Question 755, was approved with 70 percent of the vote in the Nov. 2 general election. The judge's order prevents the state Election Board from certifying the results of that vote, which it had planned to do Tuesday afternoon.
The author of the law, Rep. Rex Duncan, was surprised at the ruling, saying "it thwarts the will of the people."  Apparently Duncan is unfamiliar with a little thing called the Constitution, which of course was designed to prevent such laws from existing, although Duncan would probably disagree - what would his opinion be had the law asked voters to prevent courts from basing their decisions on the Ten Commandments?

Mubeen Shakir wrote an article for The Oklahoma Daily that I found very interesting:
Pakistan and Indonesia are two of the most populated countries in the world, with approximate populations of 170 million and 220 million, respectively. These two countries also boast the highest Muslim populations in the world, with over 200 million Muslims in Indonesia, while Pakistan is nearly 95 percent Muslim.

Obviously there is significant Islamic influence throughout these two nations. However, the justice system in these countries is governed not through Sharia law, but rather through a secular courts system.

That’s right. Almost 400 million Muslims in Indonesia and Pakistan, and the predominantly Muslim countries of Bangladesh and Turkey, follow a legal system that does not adhere to Sharia law. Yet Nov. 2, Oklahomans showed up to the polls, and in resounding fashion approved State Question 755, banning Sharia law from Oklahoma courts.

State Sen. Rex Duncan, R-Sand Springs, the chief author, described State Question 755 as a “preemptive strike” against the use of Sharia and international law in Oklahoma courts.

Approximately 1 percent of Oklahoma’s population is Muslim — about 30,000 out of 3.7 million people. Nearly half a billion Muslims live in the mainly Islamic countries without Sharia law, yet apparently the 30,000 Muslim-Americans of Oklahoma were a great enough threat to warrant a “preemptive strike.” In the weeks leading up to the elections, the debate should not have been whether to vote “yes” or “no” on SQ 755, but rather why such an irrational and nonsensical piece of Islamophobia managed to find its way to the ballot box.
Is it any surprise that Duncan was a tea party favorite?

I also thought some of Duncan's previous comments regarding Islam were worth mentioning.

"I don't believe anybody who would spend five minutes looking at the landscape and the political dynamics of Dearborn, Mich., would for one minute entertain the idea that they could pass a preemptive strike to keep Shariah law out of the courts," said Duncan.

Reminds me of comments made by Sharron Angle on the campaign trail.

"We’re talking about a militant terrorist situation, which I believe it isn’t a widespread thing, but it is enough that we need to address, and we have been addressing it. My thoughts are these, first of all, Dearborn, Michigan, and Frankford, Texas are on American soil, and under constitutional law. Not Sharia law. And I don’t know how that happened in the United States,” she said. “It seems to me there is something fundamentally wrong with allowing a foreign system of law to even take hold in any municipality or government situation in our United States.”

Can anyone remind me how Angle's senate run went?


  1. Rex Duncan loves to talk about "The will of the people."

    However, "the will of the people," is fickle and can be manipulated through "FEAR MONGERING" which is what exactly what he did to manipulate the good people of Oklahoma.

    We have a state and federal constitution and ALL laws must pass Constitutional standard to insure equality under the law.

    Duncan reminds me of Hitler who was in fact a "fear Monger" who's platform was morality and preemptive laws to protect the people, the good citizens of Germany. The rest is history of the what "fear mongering" can and will do.

  2. First, I would like to thank you for leaving a comment and would like to compliment you on your website - it is very interesting (and very visually appealing). Keep up the good work.

    As for the article, I have to admit that I was not familiar with Duncan prior to writing this, but you are correct in your comments. The will of the people is fickle, and not always right, as in this case - that is why we have the Constitution, which is not perfect but offers an excellent guideline to follow. Duncan is an idiot for thinking momentary lapses in judgment should override our established laws...


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