Verne Strickland Blogmaster
JIHAD WATCH Sunday, May 1, 2011
It is good to see that there are a growing number of such bills all over the country. They will always be challenged by claims that they infringe upon Muslims' religious liberties. But they wouldn't exist at all, of course, were it not for the political and authoritarian aspects of Sharia. Backers of such bills need to familiarize themselves with those aspects and be ready to answer those challenges.
"Bill would ban courts from using 'foreign law,'" by Michael Biesecker for the News & Observer, April 29:
RALEIGH -- A group of Republican legislators is backing a measure that would make it illegal for judges to consider "foreign law" when making rulings in North Carolina's courts.
Though the federal and state constitutions already guarantee the supremacy of U.S. law in domestic cases, primary sponsor Rep. George Cleveland said he is concerned that Shariah law could gain a foothold in American communities with sizable Muslim populations.
House Bill 640 makes no mention of the Islamic legal code. But Cleveland said Shariah would be defined as a "foreign law" under his bill, and therefore banned from North Carolina's courtrooms if the legislation he proposes is approved.
"It's to ensure that any individual in this state does not have to worry about being taken advantage of by foreign laws," said Cleveland, a retired Marine who lives in Jacksonville. "It's barring any international law. If Shariah law tries to be enforced in the state, yeah, it would do it."
Uncertain of effect
Critics of the bill said that the broadly worded legislation could have unintended consequences, such as impeding international businesses or invalidating overseas marriages or adoptions.
Rooted in the teachings of the Quran, Shariah governs the conduct of an observant Muslim's life, from when to pray to how animals should be slaughtered for meat. It is also the basis for the legal codes in some Middle Eastern and south Asian countries.
Asked to provide real-world examples of the scenario his bill seeks to remedy -- cases where foreign laws infringed on the constitutional rights of American citizens in U.S. courts -- Cleveland said he did not know of any.
Rep. Joe Hackney, the House Democratic leader, said Republicans are wasting time attacking an issue that doesn't exist.
"I think it's a solution in search of a problem," said Hackney, a lawyer from Chapel Hill.