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.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?
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.
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.Is it any surprise that Duncan was a tea party favorite?
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.
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?