By Bill Sherman, Tulsa World, 10/13/10
A proposed amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution that would ban Shariah
law in the state court system is either a pre-emptive strike against
encroaching Islamic law in the U.S. or an expression of Islamophobia,
depending on who you ask.
State Rep. Rex Duncan, R-Sand Springs, authored State Question 755,
which requires state courts to rely only on federal and state laws when
deciding cases, and forbids courts to consider international law or
Shariah law. It will appear on the Nov. 2 general election ballot. . .
“I would describe this as a pre-emptive strike,” Duncan said. “We don’t
want to let it get a toehold.”
Razi Hashmi, former executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the
Council on American- Islamic Relations, said the proposal is motivated
by hate for Muslims.
He said Duncan has a history of anti-Muslim bigotry, including backing a
proposal to ban Muslim headscarves on driver’s license photos and
refusing to accept the Quran as a gift.
“A law such as this sends us backward, and is really bad for business,
especially in an oil state that deals with the Middle East,” he said.