Missouri anti-Sharia law advances

JEFFERSON CITY • In what has become a regular ritual here, a state Senate committee heard testimony Tuesday on a bill that would prevent Sharia Law from taking over Missouri.

The Senate General Laws committee also discussed a measure that would outlaw any federal attempts to regulate firearms in Missouri.

The committee hasn’t acted on either measure, and both appear unlikely to have much chance at becoming law. But they both touch on some of the hottest ideological issues in the nation right now.

“They should call that the Tea Party Committee,” Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, a committee member, scoffed as she left the hearing.

Both bills are sponsored by Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, who acknowledged that Missouri isn’t in any immediate danger of being overtaken by foreign legal theories. But he said he wants to make sure the state “keeps things the way they are.”

The bill doesn’t specifically mention the Islamist Sharia religious law. But more than 20 states have considered similar measures in the past few years, generally tied to the ongoing debate over alleged Islamist influences in the U.S.

There’s no current mechanism under which a foreign law could apply in Missouri.

The second bill would make it illegal for any government official to attempt to enforce any federal firearms regulation in Missouri.

Oklahoma Senate panel approves bill prohibiting judges from basing decisions on foreign law

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma lawmakers are considering banning judges in the state from basing any rulings on foreign laws, including Islamic Sharia law.

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A Senate panel on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved the bill, which has broad support in the Republican-controlled Legislature. The bill would specifically make void and unenforceable any court, arbitration or administrative agency decision that doesn’t grant the parties affected by the ruling “the same fundamental liberties, rights and privileges granted under the U.S. and Oklahoma constitutions.”

“This is a way to protect American citizens … where somebody may try to use any kind of foreign law or religious law to affect the outcome of a trial,” said Sen. Ralph Shortey, R-Oklahoma City, who sponsored the bill. Shortey described it as “American Law for American Courts.”

“This bill is entirely unnecessary and creates significant uncertainty for Oklahomans married abroad as well as those Oklahomans who have adopted a child from another country or are seeking to do so,” Executive Director Ryan Kiesel said in a statement. “These Oklahoma families don’t deserve to have this type of doubt cast over them.

“It also creates an atmosphere of uncertainty for foreign businesses seeking to do business with Oklahoma businesses.”

Foreign law ban proposal advances in Wyoming House Judiciary Committee

A proposal to ban Wyoming courts from considering foreign or international law narrowly won approval from a legislative committee Tuesday. The legislation under review is similar to an unsuccessful 2011 proposal that would have prevented courts from considering international law or Sharia law. This new legislation however does not specifically name Sharia, or Islamic, law. But During the January 22 hearings, it was said  that the possibility of Sharia law being considered in Wyoming is one of the things the resolution would prevent.Sharia-law-Billboard

Britain debates Sharia courts

19 November 2012

 

The implementation of the Sharia (Islamic law) in the UK has been a very controversial topic. Although certain aspects of Islamic law have been implemented in the UK for a decade, certain sections of the society seem to be resisting the idea.

 

Rulings under Sharia law are enforced through the 1996 Arbitration Act, which warrants any form of agreement provided that both parties agree to adhere to its decision. Since then practicing Muslims have been seeking remedies from the Islamic law at the Sharia courts to resolve disputes among themselves.

 

Sharia law was first brought to the attention of the public in 2008 when Dr Rowan Williams, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, in a BBC interview remarked that adoption of some aspects of Islamic Sharia law in the UK “seemed unavoidable”. He then received some hostile reactions and his remarks were then followed by a report on Sharia courts. According to the report published by a think thank called Civitas in 2009, around 85 Sharia courts operate in Britain. The report claimed that the decision of these courts most of the time are incompatible with British common law and “inherently discriminatory against women in matters relating to child custody, domestic violence and divorce.”

 

The use of Sharia in the UK came under heavy criticism from the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO), which is campaigning to stop its use in Britain:

 

”We have spoken to many women and all of them tell us the same story; sharia law is not providing them with the justice they seek. The councils are dominated by men, who are making judgements in favour of men,” said Diana Nammi, a spokesperson for IKWRO.

 

Further Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, has long opposed the use of Sharia in the UK, and argued the rule of law “must not be compromised by the introduction of a theocratic legal system operating in parallel”.

 

 

On 7 June 2011 Baroness Cox introduced a new Bill in the House of Lords that aims to outlaw the Sharia law where it conflicts with English law. In proposing the new Bill she said:

 

“Through these proposals, I want to make it perfectly clear in the law that discrimination against women shall not be allowed within arbitration. I am deeply concerned about the treatment of Muslim women by sharia Courts. We must do all that we can to make sure they are free from any coercion, intimidation or unfairness. Many women say, ‘we came to this country to escape these practices only to find the situation is worse here’.”

The Bill will receive a second reading later this year.

 

According to a BBC report however, increasing numbers of British Muslims are using these courts to resolve family and financial disputes. In the report Sheikh al-Haddad, a representative of the Islamic Sharia Council, the biggest Sharia body in the UK states that ”Our cases have easily more than tripled over the past three to five years, on average, every month we can deal with anything from 200 to 300 cases. A few years ago it was just a small fraction of that”.

 

Further, a leading UK barrister Sadakat Kadri supported the use of Sharia law in the UK. He told the Guardian that sharia courts were good for “the community as a whole” by putting Sharia on a transparent, public footing and should be more widely accessible to those who want to use them.

 

Kadri said they played a role in safeguarding human rights: “It’s very important that they be acknowledged and allowed to exist. So long as they’re voluntary, which is crucial, it’s in everyone’s interests these things be transparent and publicly accessible. If you don’t have open tribunals, they’re going to happen anyway, but behind closed doors.”

Anti-Sharia Activists Influencing Tennessee GOP

Thursday, August 09th, 2012, by Blake Farmer

It’s getting tougher to be a Republican in Tennessee while also fully accepting the practice of Islam.

 

An incumbent in the U.S. House found herself on the defensive after being called soft on Sharia law, and the governor has been forced to explain why he hired a Muslim as part of a growing public push to raise suspicions of Islam.

 

“By stopping this now, we’re going to save ourselves a lot of difficulty in the future,” says Lee Douglas, a dentist in Brentwood who sees what he calls an “infiltration” of Islam in federal and state government.

 

Douglas points to the appointment of Samar Ali to work in Tennessee’s economic development office. He and others drafted a resolution criticizing the governor and making a case that Islam is bent on world domination.

 

A version of the document has been signed by a growing list of county-level Republican executive committees, including the state’s wealthiest and arguably most influential GOP stronghold of Williamson County.

 

Douglas uses the term Sharia, laws outlined in Muslim holy books, almost interchangeably with the religion itself.

 

He says the government should be showing deference to the religion on which the country was founded – Christianity. Instead, Douglas sees the U.S. Justice Department going to bat for Muslims, who make up one percent of the state and the U.S. as a whole.

 

Federal courts intervened in a lawsuit that attempted to keep the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro from opening.

Tennessee Republican Primary Candidates Wage Anti-Islam Contest

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Aug 1 (Reuters) – An argument over who is more opposed to the Islamic faith and the construction of a mosque near Nashville has become an unlikely issue in a nasty Tennessee Republican congressional primary to be decided on Thursday.

Freshman Republican Representative Diane Black is challenged by Lou Ann Zelenik, who lost to Black in a primary to represent the rural district two years ago by less than 300 votes.

The heart of the struggle is over the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Nashville, which has been controversial since construction began two years ago.

Zelenik, who vigorously opposed the mosque and warned of potential terrorist connections, said Black was not forceful enough in her opposition.

“I will work to stop the Islamization of our society, and do everything possible to prevent Sharia law from circumventing our laws and our Constitution,” Zelenik said.

Some states dominated by Republicans have passed laws to prevent Islamic or Sharia law from applying in U.S. court cases. The United States legal system is founded in the U.S. Constitution.

But a wealthy conservative donor, Nashville health care investor Andrew Miller, has weighed in on the side of Zelenik, contributing $105,100 to a new group called Citizens 4 Ethics in Government, according to the latest reports the group had submitted to the Federal Election Commission as of July 20.

The group has spent nearly $188,000 on media and automated telephone calls with the goal to unseat Black.

Miller is also chairman and executive director of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition, a conservative non-profit which lists as the top issue on its website: “Educate citizens on the realities of Sharia and stop the growth of Radical Islam.”

Salafists in Germany Heading for ”Urban Terrorism”?

Until now, German public perception of the Salafists placed the phenomenon firmly on foreign soil. Recent events involving followers of this radical school of Islamic thought such as the distribution of copies of the Koran in German cities and violent clashes with police have raised some concerns, but how dangerous are the Salafists in reality? Answers from Albrecht Metzger

Until recently, German public perception of the Salafist movement was of a phenomenon primarily taking place abroad. The fundamentalists with the long beards and cropped trousers captured some 20 per cent of the Egyptian vote. Now they aim to impose Sharia law on the nation and induce society to live by the example of the Prophet and his disciples.

They also made negative press in Tunisia, with verbal attacks on Jews and anyone challenging their rigid world view. But in Germany? For sure, police and intelligence agencies have long had the German Salafists on their radar, and they warn of the potential dangers posed by this ideology. Members of what was known as the “Sauerland cell”, who planned attacks on US installations in 2007 and were sentenced to serve long jail terms, came from this milieu.

New Book: DEBATING SHARIA: ISLAM, GENDER POLITICS, AND FAMILY LAW ARBITRATION

When the Islamic Institute of Civil Justice announced it would begin offering Sharia-based services in Ontario, a subsequent provincial government review gave qualified support for religious arbitration. However, the ensuing debate inflamed the passions of a wide range of Muslim and non-Muslim groups, garnered worldwide attention, and led to a ban on religiously based family law arbitration in the province. Debating Sharia sheds light on how Ontario’s Sharia debate of 2003-2006 exemplified contemporary concerns regarding religiosity in the public sphere and the place of Islam in Western nation states.

Focusing on the legal ramifications of Sharia law in the context of rapidly changing Western liberal democracies, Debating Sharia approaches the issue from a variety of methodological perspectives, including policy and media analysis, fieldwork, feminist examinations of the portrayals of Muslim women, and theoretical examinations of religion, Sharia, and the law. This volume is an important read for those who grapple with ethnic and religio-cultural diversity while remaining committed to religious freedom and women’s equality.

Sharia Law in Germany?

03.02.2012

Last week, Rhineland-Palatinate’s Interior minister Jochen Hartloff (SPD) ignited a huge media debate after he declared his support for Sharia Law in Germany – however, in a “modern form”. In an interview with the Berlin tabloid BZ, Hartloff said that some aspects of Sharia-law could have a place in Germany, particularly in civil cases relating to marriage and divorce settlements, but also in certain instances of contract law, in which devout Muslims seek to avoid paying interest. According to Hartloff, applying sharia rules such cases could help avoid hostility.

Reactions to his comments, however, have not been supportive and criticism has been fierce. Most commentators, such as Hesse’s justice minister Jörg-Uwe Hahn, stressed that Germany did not need special Islamic courts, which would foster a sense of parallel justice system. Furthermore, as many people in the West associate Sharia law with brutal punishments and human rights violations, some people commented that there was no room for a barbarous and human law system. However, these people overlook elements of Sharia law that are less horrifying.

Virginia anti-Sharia law unconstitutional

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says a new law that has been proposed in the State of Virginia is anti-Muslim and unconstitutional.

Titled Morris’ HB631, the new bill was introduced by Virginia General Assembly Delegate Rick L. Morris (R-House District 64) on January 11.

“Unfortunately, a state delegate in Virginia, has introduced a piece of legislation that is copied from an extreme anti-Muslim (and) racist who has made a template for such laws nationwide and they have been introduced in more than 20 states and now Virginia and Pennsylvania being the latest,” CAIR’s National Communications Director, Ibrahim Hooper, has told Press TV’s U.S. Desk.

The anti-Sharia proposed law would ban courts from applying religious traditions to proceedings, such as the execution of a will among Muslims. Not only the religious Muslim code, the new bill would also prohibit the application of the Catholic equivalent, canon law, and other religious guidelines.

The suddenly controversial bill is scheduled to be heard by a Virginia legislature House subcommittee next Monday.

In U.S. courts, judges can refer to Sharia law in Muslim litigation involving cases about divorce and custody proceedings or in commercial litigation.