They’re laughing because everyone knows Sharia could never, ever come to Oklahoma, right?
Preemptive strike: “Islamic Sharia Law to Be Banned in, ah, Oklahoma: Oklahoma Calls Ban on Islamic Law a ‘Preemptive Strike,'” by Joel Siegel for ABC News, June 14 (thanks to all who sent this in):
Oklahoma is poised to become the first state in the nation to ban state judges from relying on Islamic law known as Sharia when deciding cases.
The ban is a cornerstone of a “Save our State” amendment to the Oklahoma constitution that was recently approved by the Legislature.
The amendment — which also would forbid judges from using international laws as a basis for decisions — will now be put before Oklahoma’s voters in November. Approval is expected.
Oklahoma has few Muslims – only 30,000 out of a population of 3.7 million. The prospect of sharia being applied there seems remote. But a chief architect of the measure, Republican State Rep. Rex Duncan, calls the proposed ban a necessary “preemptive strike” against Islamic law coming to the state.
“I see this in the future somewhere in America,” Duncan, who chairs the state House Judiciary Committee, told ABC News. “It’s not an imminent threat in Oklahoma yet, but it’s a storm on the horizon in other states.”
Sharia – which means “path” in Arabic – governs many aspects of Muslim life and influences the legal code in a majority of Muslim countries.
There are many interpretations of what Sharia means, but in some countries strict interpretations “are used to justify cruel punishments such an amputation and stoning as well as unequal treatment of women in inheritance, dress and independence,” according to the Council on Foreign Relations.
There is actually no form of Sharia that doesn’t contain those things. There are Muslim countries where these elements of Sharia are not enforced, but there is no version of Sharia itself that doesn’t have them.
Sharia has gained a toehold in some western countries, notably Great Britain, where five sharia courts have been established to settle certain disputes among Muslims, with the government’s blessing.
The proposed Oklahoma amendment is aimed, in part, at “cases of first impression,” legal disputes in which there is no law or precedent to resolve the matter at hand.
In such cases, judges might look to laws or rulings in other jurisdictions for guidance. The proposed amendment would block judges in Oklahoma courts from drawing on sharia, or the laws of other nations, in such decisions….