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.
Photo from Roel Wijnants via flickr.