Florida and Oklahoma Vote for Freedom

Florida and Oklahoma just passed legislation restricting the use of foreign law in state courtrooms, and many other states are considering similar laws. These laws are designed to halt the use of Islamic law, Sharia, by American judges – a measure that many see as necessary, since Sharia has already been involved in cases in twenty-three states. Yet many such initiatives, including an earlier one approved in Oklahoma by seventy percent of the voters, have already been stopped by activist judges who see them as encroachments upon First Amendment protection of religion; however, anti-Sharia laws do not actually infringe upon religious freedom at all, and become more urgently needed by the day.

The prevailing mainstream media view is that anti-Sharia law, and the more general laws banning the use of foreign law in American courts that are now being passed, are simply a manifestation of “Islamophobia” and bigotry. In criticizing Oklahoma’s earlier attempt to pass an anti-Sharia amendment to the state constitution, which was struck down, Daniel Mach, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, said: “This amendment did nothing more than target one faith for official condemnation. Even the state admits that there has never been any problem with Oklahoma courts wrongly applying religious law. The so-called ‘Save Our State Amendment’ was a solution in search of a problem, and a blatantly discriminatory solution at that.” Ryan Kiesel of the ACLU’s Oklahoma branch declared: “No one in Oklahoma deserves to be treated like a second-class citizen. This proposed amendment was an affront to the Constitution and everything it stands for.” The Muslim writer Reza Aslan hysterically and inaccurately charged that “two-thirds of Americans don’t think Muslims should have the same rights or civil liberties as non-Muslims.”

In reality, the properly formulated anti-Sharia laws neither infringe upon Muslims’ civil liberties or religious freedom nor address a non-existent problem. Last year in a critique of anti-Sharia initiatives published in First Things, law professor Robert K. Vischer articulated some reasons why Americans are concerned about Sharia: “Proponents of this legislation tend to focus on manifestations of Sharia overseas: the stoning of adulterers, cutting off of the hands of thieves, and the denial of basic freedoms for women in some Islamic countries,” and that “there are many schools of interpretation among Islamic legal scholars, and some interpretations stand in tension with the rights that we have come to take for granted in liberal democracies, including the rights of women, homosexual persons, religious minorities, and religious converts.”

Vischer meant to imply that Muslims in America have no intention, now or ever, of bringing “the stoning of adulterers, cutting off of the hands of thieves, and the denial of basic freedoms for women” to America, and that there are schools of interpretation among Islamic legal scholars that do not “stand in tension with the rights that we have come to take for granted in liberal democracies.” In reality, however, there is no school of Islamic jurisprudence among either Sunnis or Shi’tes that does not mandate stoning for adultery, amputation of the hand for theft, and the subjugation of women. Stoning adulterers is in accord with the words and example of Muhammad, whom the Qur’an holds up as the supreme example of conduct for believers (33:21); amputation of the hand for theft is mandated in the Qur’an itself (5:38); and the oppression of women in numerous ways is amply attested by the words of both the Qur’an and the prophet of Islam. Opponents of anti-Sharia laws have no basis for their assumption that no Muslims will ever try to bring such laws here. While there are individual Islamic legal scholars who have crafted interpretations of the Qur’an and Sunnah that are more compatible with Western pluralism and liberal democracy than is Sharia in its classic formulations, these have never gained any significant traction among Muslims. Wherever Sharia has been the law of the land, throughout Islamic history and in Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other areas of the Islamic world today, it has had largely the same character – one that has never resembled liberal democracy by any stretch of the imagination. Sharia polities throughout history and today have denied the freedom of speech and the freedom of conscience, and mandated discrimination against women and non-Muslims.

Sharia is also political and supremacist, mandating a society in which non-Muslims would not enjoy equality of rights with Muslims. And that is the focus of anti-Sharia laws: to prevent this authoritarian and oppressive political and social system from eroding the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. It is plainly disingenuous to claim that anti-Sharia laws would infringe upon Muslims’ First Amendment rights to practice their religion. As Thomas Jefferson said, it doesn’t matter whether my neighbor believes in one god or seventeen; it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. It is only when my neighbor believes that his god commands him to pick my pocket or break my leg that his beliefs become a matter of concern for those who do not share them. No one wants to restrict individual Muslim religious practice, or even cares about it. The purpose of anti-Sharia laws is not to stop Muslims from getting married in Islamic religious ceremonies and the like, but to stop the political and supremacist aspects of Islam that infringe upon the rights and freedoms of non-Muslims.

The Islamic state, as delineated by Sharia, encroaches on the basic rights of non-Muslims.  It would be a sad irony for non-Muslims to oppose anti-Sharia laws and thereby abet their own subjugation.

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  • crackerjack

    When and where exactly has Sharia Law ever challenged the US law system? Foreign law does not apply in US courts. German law does not apply in France, nor Canadian law in Israel. Judges can only rule by national law. International rulings are negotiated between nations and passed by national parliaments.

    Sounds like lawmakers in Florida and Oklahoma don't understand the basics of law and lawmaking.

    • Michael Copeland

      New Study Finds Shariah Law Involved in Court Cases in 23 States …
      creepingsharia.wordpress.com/…/new-study-finds-shariah-law-involv…May 18, 2011

      • crackerjack

        These "cases" are about recognition of marriges , mostly connected to immigration. And in all cases, US law applys and US courts rule. This is basic law for dummies.

        • reader

          One precedent is all that the US court system needs to go down the slippery slope. How's that for basic law for dummies?

    • AnOrdinaryMan

      You have a real short memory. In February 2012, Pa. judge Mark Martin threw out a case in which Ernest Perce, wearing a zombie Muhammad outfit, was attacked by a Muslim,Taalog Elbayomy. The assault was filmed with a video camera, but Martin refused to allow it as evidence; stating to the effect that the 1st Amendment didn't allow Americans to offend others, and that Perce needed to show more "sensitivity"(awwww….) to the feelings of Muslims. Sharia law won, in Mechanicsburg, Pa. And Martin is still on the bench. Just one case out of many, and it was written up on this site.

      • Ross

        Is there a law defending sensitivity? Is there is, I have got a ton of scores to settle.

      • defcon 4

        Didn't judge Mark Martin admit to being an islamofascist during his "deliberations"? It's interesting that he's still on the bench, considering he allowed a fellow muslime to violate someone else's civil rights and assault them simultaneously.

        • AnOrdinaryMan

          I read that Martin is still on the bench, but they changed his office location, because of the large number of threats he received.

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        Could the judgement be appealed in a different court???

        • defcon 4

          I'm not sure if a district attorney can re-file charges against someone once they've been dismissed by a judge. You would certainly think it would be worth his while and you would certainly think the local people in his jurisdiction would be protesting the fact he hasn't (I believe district attorneys are elected officials).

      • crackerjack

        The 1st Amendment is US law, not foreign.

        • SCREW SOCIALISM

          crackerjackass,

          The 2ND AMENDMENT is US law too.

        • reader

          So that makes it ok for foreigners to violate the US laws in the US? Is that in your law for dummies too? I wonder about how often do you brush up on Al Qaeda manual on how to work the US court system.

    • Cassandra

      They are many examples of sharia law having being used in this countries and other counties in Europe. In England for example they have about 70 sharia courts. I do NOT care if they apply it to Muslims but I do care when they apply it to non Muslims. That's why We should apply the law of the land in this country and in all non Muslim countries. Period. If Muslims do not like it they should move to a Muslim country. Here in Michigan it was defeated but we will try again and try to get it to pass. We have a very corrupt governor who got money from a wealthy Muslim for his political campaign and i am sure this had something to do with the non passing of ALAC

      • logdon

        I live in England with its seventy Sharia Courts but worse a Police Service which purposely ignores grooming and rape of teenage girls by muslim predators.

        The excuse was 'to preserve community cohesion'.

        So in other words classic Shariah where rape of infidels is encouraged comes into being because if not the Pakistani's and Bangladeshi's who make up the bulk of our muslim and indeed our immigrant population will riot.

        Fifteen years ago this would have been unheard of but because we appease and appease whilst they advance it's reached this stage.

        I've just finished reading Churchill's The Malakand Field Force which traces the activity of the titular force at the turn of the century in the Swat Valley on the now Pakistani/Afghan border.

        Fifty Martini-Henri rifles had gone missing and we wanted them back. A warning was issued and no rifles. Next a threat. Result, one or two returned. This impertinence and stalling was considered beyond the pale and an insult to our honour so our forces burned down a village.

        As expected a few more rifles turned up but not the fifty as demanded so another village went.

        And so it carried on and more villages destroyed until the Emirs realised that we meant what we said, that British law and honour was not to be trifled with and thus eventually all fifty were recovered.

        That's the way to do it and in a perverse way respect was restored.

        • SCREW SOCIALISM

          That is why the uk, now West Pakistan, is doomed.

    • Loyal Achates

      The short answer is 'never'. Religious law never takes precedence over US law. Some religious institutions have asked for and received exemptions regarding their religious freedom (such as the right to intake certain banned substances) but in cases where an individual's rights are violated by the religious law the US law always wins out – if the individual chooses to follow through.

      Yes, some Muslim communities have their own religious courts – as any religious (or, indeed any group) in the US can do – but these are not 'laws'; they are enforced by the communities and have no legal basis.

      By the way, there's no understanding on this website of what 'sharia' is. It is the ongoing discussion and interpretation of Islamic law and not a set of rules.

      • Western Canadian

        Is that what they told you at your mosque?? Your ignorance is disgusting.

      • defcon 4

        Yeah, all the stories of adulterous women (and even, gasp, the occasional man) being stoned to death, gays being hanged, amputations, beheadings and people being arrested for the "crimes" of blasphemy, heresy and defaming islam in islamofascist states are all just a figment of our imagination. You really need to become a better liar…

      • LibertarianToo

        Once again, you are wrong on the facts.

      • reader

        So, how is discussion ongoing? I suppose there's no discussion on the fatwa against the Jews, is it? That one is pretty much settled judging by your body of work here.

    • http://twitter.com/leila53233 @leila53233

      Dear Jack, They DO understand it and they are making specific reference to foreign law to forestall [and prevent] the attempts to force Sharia in their states—saving all the time, money and litigation that Sharia backers have instigated elsewhere in this country against our legal system. It IS sad that laws need to be drafted to reinforce existing laws but our legal system is under constant attack by Islam.

      • JacksonPearson

        Well stated.

    • http://twitter.com/stevenfelix259 @stevenfelix259

      If you think Francis`s story is something…, three weeks-ago my uncle also broght in 5512 workin seventeen hours a week in their apartment and they're classmate's half-sister`s neighbour has done this for four months and worked and got paid more than 5512 parttime from there pc. the tips from this site… http://www.App70.com

    • JacksonPearson

      What exactly do you think CAIR is doing? Oh forgot, you don't think!

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    Oh yeah…a blessing on their judicious heads….faster…faster….as the implantation/infestation/penetration of Sharia continues on ALL levels, many of which is hidden deep underground and continues at warp speed – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/07/25/the-muslim-ma

    The only thing stopping their overall triumph is a resurgent American citizenry, one which is willing to pull out ALL stops!

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • Asher

    Glad people are ready to oust this foreign law which has no business in American Courts. Let the Muslims stay in the Middle East and use their own barbaric laws to live by!

  • No Sharia Here

    Sounds like Crackerjack doesn't have a clue: http://shariahinamericancourts.com/

    • Loyal Achates

      The short answer is 'never'. Religious law never takes precedence over US law. Some religious institutions have asked for and received exemptions regarding their religious freedom (such as the right to intake certain banned substances) but in cases where an individual's rights are violated by the religious law the US law always wins out – if the individual chooses to follow through.

      • Loyal Achates

        Sorry double post

        • Western Canadian

          You should be sorry for double posting a load of rubbish like that. Actually, you should be ashamed of the incredible ignorance and/or dishonesty in your post.

        • SCREW SOCIALISM

          Goes with your double digit IQ.

      • defcon 4

        Either you're arrogantly stupid (to believe the kufrs/infidels here would believe your immature lies) or stupidly arrogant (to stupid to believe anyone would see through your facile lies).

      • Mary Sue

        It does when Western Courts excuse muslims from rape because they didn't know it was wrong, and that it's permissible in Islam, so why is the West forbidding it.

    • Seriously folks

      That website is a load of crock! Most of the cases don't even deal with Sharia, much less mention it.

      • defcon 4

        LOL, what would happen to ANY one of the authors who criticise your death cult in ANY one of your islamofascist pigsties Farshad? Would the dissenting view of the authors be welcomed as providing a refreshing change of perspective on islam? Or would they be imprisoned? Or murdered in the streets? Or murdered while in police custody?

    • JacksonPearson

      Thanks for the link…
      Crackerjack has always been clueless, and he's usually behind the curve, if not under it.

  • Betsy

    "The Muslim writer Reza Aslan hysterically and inaccurately charged that “two-thirds of Americans don’t think Muslims should have the same rights or civil liberties as non-Muslims.”

    And probably over two thirds of Americans think that Muslims should go back to whatever benighted tribal territory they came out of in the first place. Now that my anger has passed, a more cool headed remark that is so so obvious: The Constitution in guaranteeing religious freedom in the same stroke guarenteed separation of Church/mosque and State. bending to Shariah law is a violation of this basic democratic principle.

    • defcon 4

      Islamic "civil rights" come at the expense of everyone non-muslime and anyone female.

  • antisharia

    It must be nice to be a judge, you're answerable to no one, and no one will ever stand up and repudiate the stupid and unconstitutional things you do. What is it about American law that progressive judges don't get. What happen in other countries is not applicable in an American court. Tell you what I'll be ok with judges considering sharia law in their cases when Iran starts applying the standards of the American constitution in their court cases.

  • Lan Astaslem

    If muslim hotheads want sharia, they should go back to the islamocesspools they crawled from.

  • James

    Proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
    "
    Whereas The citizens of the United States of America accept that this Republic is a nation of laws guided by the Constitution.

    Whereas Any belief, or persons that promote said belief, that at its core denies the citizens of the United States the freedom of religion or the opportunity to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is anathema to the concept of a free people.

    Whereas Any belief, or persons that promote said belief, that at its core promotes the destruction of people and property based on ones race or religion, and further promotes slavery is also anathema to the concept of a free people.

    Be it resolved that anyone or any group that pursues a program of war and mayhem based upon religion, race, or historical slight shall be declared an enemy of freedom loving people and classified as a dangerous cult and not a religion.

    Be it further resolved that these people will be expelled from this Nation.".

  • Jen

    These Anti-Sharia laws have good intentions, but its overkill. Sharia is a fluid document. Spencers claim that all Sharia involves stoning and honor-killings and amputations just does not add up to reality. If Sharia was as bad as he claims it was, then every mosque in the country would have a secret torture chamber in their basements, and so many people would be mutilated and tortured in them that people would notice the amount of blood and bodies leaking into the water table and being disposed of daily, even 'mutlicultural-minded' liberals.

    • Western Canadian

      Whoever told you about sharia lied to you. And your effort at sarcasm, demonstrates not just stupidity, but dishonesty.

      • defcon 4

        Muslime humor isn't.

    • defcon 4

      Islamic "civil rights" come at the expense of everyone else NOT muslime.

    • Mary Sue

      Then why is it that wherever Sharia is implemented ( in a muslim majority society), nobody but Muslims ever have any rights, and women's rights are restricted or absolutely disappear?

    • JacksonPearson

      "These Anti-Sharia laws have good intentions, but its overkill. Sharia is a fluid document. Spencers claim that all Sharia involves stoning and honor-killings and amputations just does not add up to reality. If Sharia was as bad as he claims it was, then every mosque in the country would have a secret torture chamber in their basements, and so many people would be mutilated and tortured in them that people would notice the amount of blood and bodies leaking into the water table and being disposed of daily, even 'mutlicultural-minded' liberals."

      You're are joking right? Because from evil seeds grow evil weeds

  • Diann

    Jen – have you done any research on how Sharia now controls much of Europe? This is part of the creeping sharia – to lull the invaded country and people into believing sharia is benign – but the end result is ALWAYS the same. Check out sharia in the Netherlands, the UK, etc. it's coming here if people do not learn about it – and then fight it.

  • Tom

    Keep your heads in the sand and it will 'wash' over you as is happening in Europe. As there, there will be "Sharia Zones" as in England No-go zones for non-Muslims – includes police and firefighters – as in France. It's coming just as the downfall of the freedom of the US of A is already here. Soon, you will give up all of your freedoms & ALL of your property, to gain the protection of the State from the Muslim hoard. With the New World Order, all will be well. USA & Canada – get your heads out of the sand!

    • defcon 4

      Canada is ALREADY enforcing an aspect of Sharia law. The fact that it is now illegal to criticise islam or muslimes in Canada is nothing less than the imposition of an aspect of Sharia law. Of course the law on its face is prohibiting "hate speech", but islamofascist blasphemy and heresy laws smell just as bad no matter how they're scented.

  • knucklehead

    I, for one, will NEVER give in to sharia law. I am a FREE AMERICAN, I have lived a FREE AMERICAN and I will die a FREE AMERICAN. Bring on the sharia-infested islamic hoards. They will face my guns and I'll take out as many as I can before they get me. They will kill me, but they will never enslave me, and I WILL die a FREE AMERICAN rather than live a DHIMMI.

  • Tony Christensen

    Bravo to those states passing anti-Sharia laws. Sharia and the US Constitution are mutually exclusive. Any gain for Sharia is a loss for the Constitution — it's a zero sum game. Moreover, any foreign law, including Sharia, is simply irrelevant to US courts. Our system is based on case law and above all on the Constitution. Any encroachment by outside law undermines constitutional governance. Thank you, Mr. Spencer, for another great article!

  • jerome

    the penny has finally dropped ; at least some people see the threat as real.

  • johnnywoods

    Smith & Wesson vs. Sharia. Which will win?

  • San Frank

    Excellent article. I wish the public would become better informed of these things. Sharing the atrocities committed by islam in other nations might seem the place to start.

  • Front PgSubscr

    Regardless of what has happened in history, Islam continues to be a real and present danger.

  • Nick

    I only hope that muslims come to this site and read the comments but I doubt they would care what is written. Muslims stay in our own countries and practice all the sharia laws you want on your own people.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    May the false prophet muhammed, prophet of satan, continue to BURN IN HELL FOR ETERNITY.