Muslim Group Sues Okla. Over Sharia Ban
The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations announced its plans to sue the state, claiming that state Referendum Question 755 banning Sharia law is anti-Islamic and violates the U.S. Constitution.
"It specifically targets the Muslim community, it specifically targets the faith of Islam in a way that it doesn't target any other faith," CAIR Executive Director Muneer Awad said.
CAIR asserts Sharia does not pose any threat to the U.S. or state Constitutions. "Our constitution ensures that our religious law will never conflict and replace with our laws," he stated.
The state amendment will, however, threaten Muslims' Islamic faith, he contended.
On Tuesday, Oklahoma voters overwhelming approved the state amendment banning state judges from consulting Islamic law by a 70 percent margin.
CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, stated in its fact sheet that the amendment "will prevent Oklahoma courts from implementing international agreements, honoring international arbitrations, honoring major international human rights treaties, honoring marriages and divorces from other countries."
According to the fact sheet, the amendment will also cost Oklahoma jobs because it sends the message that contracts between Oklahoma companies and international partners will not be enforceable.
Several Christian leaders have told The Christian Post that the local constitutional amendment is rash, if not unnecessary.
"If there's not been any indication that [Sharia] would actually be applied, I think [passing a law against Sharia is] very rash at this point," said Paul Estabrooks, senior communication specialist of Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors.
Dr. Bill Wagner, author of How Islam Plans to Change the World, also commented that in Oklahoma "there is no danger of an attempt to bring in Sharia law for the next few years."
At the same time, they do, in general, have concerns about Islamic law. Estabrooks believes it is legitimate to say that "women are not treated equal with men" and Christians are threatened with death under Sharia.
And Wagner has noted that Muslims' ultimate goal is to convert the whole world to follow its teachings. "The Koran states, before the world comes to an end, all people will be Muslims. The Muslim World League has a goal to achieve this by 2080," he stated.
J. D. Greear, pastor of Summit Church in Durham, N.C., and author of Breaking the Islam Code: Understanding the Soul Questions of Every Muslim, expressed similar concerns.
"I would hate to see Sharia law as it exists in many of its common practices in places like Saudi Arabia, parts of Indonesia, Afghanistan, or even Turkey, come to America," he said.
But Oklahoma's ban is extreme, he added. "I think just to pass a blanket ban on all forms of Sharia law will be perceived as simply a slap in the face of Muslims," said Greear.
While announcing the lawsuit, Awad called the amendment a reproach on Islam and said it is unmerited. "Sharia law has never been used in Oklahoma courts. No one ever proposed for Sharia law to be used in Oklahoma Court," he noted.
The amendment's sponsor, former Republican state Rep. Rex Duncan acknowledges that there has been no example of Sharia law being practiced in Oklahoma state courts. But he is concerned that it may be an issue in the state's future. "Why wait until it's in the courts?" he posed.
Duncan is concerned because he believes American courts are increasingly consulting Sharia law to decide matters pertaining to the U.S. Muslim community. The newly elect district attorney called this practice "grossly inappropriate."
"I think the benefit of this referendum will be felt in other states drowning in liberal judges," said Duncan.