Local & Regional
Mon April 15, 2013
State Measure Would Target Sharia Law
The legislature’s Counterterrorism Caucus worries about Islamic law in America’s courts. The caucus brought the founder of the Center for Security, Frank Gaffney, to Oklahoma City to discuss what he feels are the dangers.
“That is a fight against a doctrine that is our generation’s most serious, and I believe most potential, mortal peril. The adherence to it: call it, Sharia,” Gaffney says.
In 2010, Oklahoma voters approved an amendment barring Sharia law in the state, but it was overturned by the courts. Gaffney prays for the legislature to fix the problems that were ruled unconstitutional.
“State legislature of Oklahoma in just the past few days adopted a tremendously important piece of legislation aimed at helping to counter this phenomenon of Sharia, but more importantly of any foreign law,” Gaffney says.
A bill to ban foreign laws from state consideration has cleared both houses. It has been sent to the governor’s desk and is waiting for her signature.
The Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relation opposes the bill, which it says is based on fear.
“They’re trying to create fear in the hearts and minds of Oklahomans,” says Adam Soltani, Executive Director of CAIR Oklahoma, “and trying to convince them that Oklahoma Muslims are here to do something other than abide by the law, which is actually far from the truth.”
Soltani says Sharia law requires following the law of the land.
“The idea that, you know, Sharia law is evil,” he says, “or we’re here to take over the state, is just far-fetched, and really it’s fear-mongering. And it’s what we say is Islamaphobia at its best.”
He expects the measure, if passed, could be subject to legal challenges. He says objections would be similar to those that overturned the anti-Sharia law state constitutional amendment.