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Appeals Court Strikes Oklahoma’s Sharia Ban

Appeals Court Strikes Oklahoma’s Sharia Ban

Maybe it’s because the Republican presidential candidates have been too busy beating up on the poor and African-Americans, but it’s been relatively quiet on the anti-Muslim front. A ruling from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals might change that though.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Oklahoma’s ban on Sharia law, unanimously affirming the lower court’s permanent injunction and holding the ban violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.

The opinion could not be clearer. The fear of Oklahoma courts being overrun with Sharia law was not grounded in reality, but simply an indiscriminate fear of Muslims. Specifically the order states, “Appellants do not identify any actual problem the challenged amendment seeks to solve. Indeed, they admitted at the preliminary injunction hearing that they did not know of even a single instance where an Oklahoma court had applied Sharia law or used the legal precepts of other nations or cultures, let alone that such applications or uses had resulted in concrete problems in Oklahoma.”

Cloaking discrimination with rhetoric of needing to “save” the Constitution from some hyper-paranoid Islamic threat, for now at least, appears to have failed. This is the highest court to strike the law and it is unclear if the state of Oklahoma plans an appeal.

Other states followed Oklahoma’s lead an enacted anti-Sharia laws including Louisiana, Tennessee and Arizona. While the decision does not impact those other states, there’s no reason why other courts should find any different than the 10th Circuit.

Related Stories:

Ban On Sharia Law Still In Legal Limbo

Oklahoma Voters Consider Constitutional Ban On Sharia Law

 

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Photo from Roel Wijnants via flickr.

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133 comments

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11:05AM PST on Jan 31, 2012

Quick! Let's fix something that isn't broken just in-case it might become a problem in the future! That not only makes no sense what so ever - it is a complete waste of resources strait across the board. It wastes the taxpayers money and the courts time that could have been applied to... oh, I don't know, something that actually IS a problem.

6:20PM PST on Jan 21, 2012

I see the list of states, and then I'm not surprised to see anything backwards and bizarro.

11:12AM PST on Jan 19, 2012

What a waste of time on all unrelated comments. Talk about Sharia Law?What ti is? We have our own laws based on common law and constitution.. It is not the time to talk about Sharia Law but it will a good idea to learn something new.

9:33PM PST on Jan 18, 2012

Alright Dr. C., how about this one:

S.D. v. M.J.R., 2 A.3d 412 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2010).

S.D. (wife) and M.J.R. (husband) were both Muslims and citizens of Morocco and both resided in New Jersey. After only three months of marriage, husband began physically abusing wife. The physical abuse administered by husband injured wife’s entire body including her breasts and pubic area. Additionally, husband forced himself on wife and had non-consensual sex with her on multiple occasions.

Husband stated to wife that Islam allowed him to have sex with her at any time he wished. Wife asked the trial court to grant a restraining order against husband shortly after he verbally divorced her in front of their imam.

The trial court refused to issue a final restraining order against husband finding that, although husband had harassed and assaulted wife, husband believed it was his religious right to have non-consensual sex with his wife and that belief precluded any criminal intent on the part of husband.

The New Jersey appellate court reversed the trial court and ordered that the trial court enter a final restraining order against husband. The New Jersey appellate court stated that the trial court erroneously allowed the husband’s religious beliefs to excuse him from New Jersey’s criminal code and that husband knowingly engaged in non-consensual sex with wife.

9:15AM PST on Jan 18, 2012

Confused...bad company Liz.....You can do better...surely.

6:27AM PST on Jan 18, 2012

(@Beth S.) It is not my responsibility to prove a negative. It would be like me asking you to prove that space aliens have not landed on earth so as to justify not needing a intergalactic space army law,

If you feel there have been cases decided whose legal basis in the law was sharia , in an American court feel free to name them. If such a critter does exist , there are existing legal remedies for such things.

6:26AM PST on Jan 18, 2012

You're very cute, Liz. :-)

Gotta' get up early in the a.m. to get the cat to the vet, so I'm headed to bed. Will check in later tomorrow. G'nite all.

6:25AM PST on Jan 18, 2012

Just an inside joke Liz...

The reference is like the one used to identify spies in the war... like what's the name of the Brooklin ist baseman.?..etc.
It's an American tradition liz.... Who's on first?....herself... get it?... naw ...didn't think so.

6:10AM PST on Jan 18, 2012

Beth S.

"herself"?

You keep getting confused about other posters.

6:09AM PST on Jan 18, 2012

Dr. C.,

I understand that you think that the constitution already demands a separation of C&S, so you think anything else would be redundant.

But what if there are cases that have taken Sharia into account? Can you state unequivocally that there have been no such cases?

You still haven’t answered my specific question: if SQ 755 was defeated on constitutional grounds, would you be okay with a constitutionally-sound amendment that did not specify any religion, especially if it were shown that there are cases where Sharia has been taken into account?

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Colleen H. Colleen H. is an Online Campaigner with Care2 and a recent transplant to San Francisco from the East... more
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