U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange
A federal judge has placed a temporary restraining order on Oklahoma’s newly approved constitutional amendment prohibiting state courts from considering international or Islamic law when deciding cases.
U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange ruled this morning that the amendment, which was approved by 70 percent of Oklahoma voters through a ballot initiative known as State Question 755, should be put on hold until a Nov. 22 hearing over a possible preliminary injunction.
As WND reported, the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state ballot measure, contending it violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause protecting freedom of religion.
“Today’s ruling is a reminder of the strength of our nation’s legal system and the protections it grants to religious minorities,” responded CAIR-OK Executive Director Muneer Awad. “We are humbled by this opportunity to show our fellow Oklahomans that Muslims are their neighbors and that we are committed to upholding the U.S. Constitution and promoting the benefits of a pluralistic society.”
This past week, Oklahoma became the first state to put before voters the proposition that Islamic courts, Islamic law – known as Shariah – and Shariah-based court decisions should be banned.
Awad told The Oklahoman newspaper that “there’s no threat” of Shariah law being enforced in the U.S., calling it “a legal impossibility.”
One of the chief sponsors of the measure, state Rep. Rex Duncan, however, has argued that while the threat of Shariah in Oklahoma is not “imminent,” there’s “a storm on the horizon.”
The United Kingdom, for example, 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, though the judge’s decision was overturned in appeal.
Furthermore, Republican state Sen. Anthony Sykes, who helped author the measure, said both SQ 755 and another ballot initiative, which requires official state actions to be conducted in English, reflect the values of Oklahomans.
“Certainly each of these measures had critics, but the crushing margins by which these constitutional amendments passed shows without a doubt that those critics are deeply out of touch with the values and views of Oklahomans, just as Washington, D.C., is out of touch with America,” Sykes said.
Critics of the measure argue there’s never been a single use of Shariah in Oklahoma, and Islamic leaders have called it “fear-mongering.”
The non-profit advocacy group Act for America contributed 250,000 automated telephone calls to voters, warning them of what founder Brigitte Gabriel calls “the destructive effects of this radical legal system in Europe.”
Gabriel called Shariah, which stipulates 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,” she said.
Gabriel said 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.
According to the Associated Press, Judge Miles-LaGrange’s decision prevents the state election board from certifying the results of last week’s general election until the Nov. 22 court date. At that time, the court will decide whether to issue an injunction against the amendment, blocking it from going into effect until CAIR’s lawsuit is decided.
CAIR, whose national office is in the nation’s capital, describes itself as a civil-rights group, but FBI evidence points to its origin as a front group for the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoot Hamas, and the Justice Department designated it an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror-finance case in U.S. history. The Washington, D.C.-based group, which has more than a dozen former and current leaders with known associations with violent jihad, is suing two investigators behind the best-selling expose “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America”.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The CAIR legal attack on WND’s author is far from over. WND needs your help in supporting the defense of “Muslim Mafia” co-author P. David Gaubatz, as well as his investigator son Chris, against CAIR’s lawsuit. Already, the book’s revelations have led to formal congressional demands for three different federal investigations of CAIR. In the meantime, however, someone has to defend these two courageous investigators who have, at great personal risk, revealed so much about this dangerous group. Although WND has procured the best First Amendment attorneys in the country for their defense, we can’t do it without your help. Please donate to WND’s Legal Defense Fund now.