Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Judge blocks Oklahoma's ban on Islamic law - CNN.com

Judge blocks Oklahoma's ban on Islamic law - CNN.com

Oklahoma voters approved the amendment in last week's elections by a 7-3 ratio. But the Council on American-Islamic Relations challenged the measure as a violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange issued a temporary restraining order Monday morning that will keep state election officials from certifying that vote.

"What this amendment is going to do is officially disfavor and condemn the Muslim community as being a threat to Oklahoma," said Muneer Awad, executive director of CAIR's Oklahoma chapter and the lead plaintiff in the suit. In addition, he said, it would invalidate private documents, such as wills, that are written in compliance with Muslim law.

The amendment would require Oklahoma courts to "rely on federal and state law when deciding cases" and "forbids courts from considering or using" either international law or Islamic religious law, known as Sharia, which the amendment defined as being based on the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed.

In bringing suit, CAIR argued that the amendment violates both the establishment and free-exercise clauses of the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom. Awad said the amendment passed "under a campaign of fearmongering" about Islam.

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