Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Shariah OK for Now in Oklahoma

Last week the voters of Oklahoma passed an amendment to the state constitution banning the use of Islamic law in any court in the state. This was in response to the non-existent possibility that the Muslims would somehow take over Bartlesville and turn the Will Rogers Museum into a mosque. Yesterday, a judge put the amendment on hold.

A federal judge in Oklahoma has issued a temporary restraining order barring the state from adopting a constitutional amendment voters passed last week that forbids state courts from enforcing Islamic law, also known as Shariah.

The executive director of the local branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Muneer Awad, filed suit over the measure, claiming that it violates religious freedom guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Awad said, for instance, that the measure could preclude the courts from enforcing or executing his will, since it includes references to Islamic law.

According to unofficial results, Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly adopted the measure by a vote of 70 percent in favor to 30 percent opposed. The proposal also included a ban on state courts’ use of international law.

I’m sure the Islamophobes will go on a tear about this, but the First Amendment is pretty clear about what the government can and can’t do in terms of the free exercise of religion.

As is the case with most of these batshit-crazy paranoid-inspired legal idiocies, the proponents went a bridge too far when they added the ban on international law. Last year the state legislature in Oklahoma enacted a law that enshrined the Ten Commandments in the state capitol. Well, unless Moses came sweeping down the plain with the tablets instead of Mount Sinai in the Middle East, the Ten Commandments would be considered “international law.”