Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
The United Kingdom now has 85 separate Shariah courts for Muslims that operate in parallel with the Crown courts of the nation, and one judge in New Jersey already has cited Shariah in a defense of a man accused of assaulting his wife, but such decisions suddenly have become illegal in Oklahoma.
It’s the first state – and many more are watching – to put before voters the proposition that Shariah courts, Shariah laws and Shariah-based court decisions should be banned.
State lawmakers approved the ban in July and put it on today’s ballot, with multiple polls showing significant support for it.
According to the secretary of state’s election results, with about half of the precincts reporting, the measure was being approved by voters by a 2-1 margin. There were 239,654 votes for and 100,463 against.
Act for America spokeswoman Brigitte Gabriel, whose life experiences are documented in her books on terror, “They Must be Stopped” and “Because They Hate,” told WND that it’s imperative for voters to establish that the U.S. Constitution, and no other document, is the controlling law of the land before the U.S. begins looking like the U.K.
“We are trying to warn Americans to look at what’s happening in Europe. If Europe is any preview, we need to make sure we put up the barriers right now,” she said.
The legislation was sponsored by state Rep. Rex Duncan, who noted that about a dozen other states are watching the 2010 election results to determine whether they might want to copy the effort.
Gabriel said Shariah, which calls for punishments ranging from chopping off the hand of a thief to death for infidelity, “is an oppressive, discriminatory law system. It suppresses religion, speech.”
“We want to make a very strong message [to Muslims], you are welcome to America, pray to whatever god you want to pray to, the Constitution gives you that right, but in America our law is the Constitution.”
Duncan has warned local reporters that while the threat is not yet “imminent” in Oklahoma, there’s “a storm on the horizon.”
State Question 755, or “Save Our State,” got the support of 82 out of 92 members of the state House and 41 out of 43 members of the Senate.
According to critics of the plan, there’s never been a single use of Shariah in Oklahoma, but voters, in a Tulsa World survey recently, supported the plan nearly 2-1.
Islamic officials in Oklahoma deny there is any “threat” of Shariah.
“It’s just fear mongering,” Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City chief Saleem Quraishi told a U.K. newspaper.
Act for America contributed 250,000 automated telephone calls to voters, warning them against what Gabriel called “the destructive effects of this radical legal system in Europe.”