Would Oklahoma anti-Sharia law violate tribal treaties?

In the mid-term election, Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment, “State Question 755”, to their state constitution that would prohibit state courts from considering Sharia law. This has raised a lot of concerns over infringement on the First Amendment right to freedom of religion. On November 9th, U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles LaGrange issued a temporary restraining order blocking certification of the new law pending a ruling by a federal court on a constitutional challenge by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

A little talked about issue that raises extremely serious sovereignty concerns is the wording of the Oklahoma measure that prohibits state courts from considering, not only Sharia law, but also the law of other “countries, states, and tribes.” Courts have traditionally given tribal courts broad jurisdiction and resisted incursion because of the risk of violating treaties between the U.S. and what are considered to be sovereign nations. These concerns militate decisively in favor of striking down the Oklahoma law.

Editors Note:  All comments on Amicus are screened by a blog editor to filter out spam, but the CR-CL emphatically supports free expression and open discussion. That’s why, although the comments below make some irrelevant personal and offensive attacks, we have attempted to respond to any legitimate questions raised. We encourage inquiring minds and those better informed than we are to continue the conversation.

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  • You call yourselves “Harvard” educated?

    All the law does, quite simply, is restrict the judge from saying or expressing that his/her decision is based on some international, cultural, or faith-based law other then constitutional or state law.

    How freaking simple is that?

    You hairsplitters and hand wringers can twist yourselves into knots over this, but it’s very simple.

    Get over yourselves. Move on.

  • IF ANY GROUP TAKES THE OATH OF CITIZENSHIP
    THEY ABIDE BY THAT COUNTRIES LAWS.IF THAT GROUP SEEKS TO EXPLOIT LOOP-HOLES AND
    DECEPTIVELY UNDERMINE THE LAW,THEY ARE TRAITORS TO THEIR HOST AND SHOULD BE DEPORTED.

  • THE ANSWER IS NO, BECAUSE SHARIA IS A MILITARY AND POLITICAL “SYSTEM” THAT SEEKS TO CONTROL EVERY FACET OF THE INDIVIDUAL’S LIFE– IT IS NOT JUST A “LAW” IT IS A “SYSTEM” THAT IS SEDITIOUS IN NATURE. IT’S SOLE PURPOSE IS TO BULLY PEOPLE AND FORCE THEM TO BECOME A MUSLIM!

    TRIBAL TREATIES DO NOT BULLY PEOPLE AND FORCE THEM TO BECOME A MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN TRIBE.

  • GOOGLE: TOP TEN REASONS SHARIA IS BAD FOR ALL SOCIETIES

    GOOGLE: CREEPING SHARIA
    YOUTUBE SEARCH: EX MUSLIM AND EX TERRORIST

    …STUDY ISLAM…IT IS EVIL…AND IS IN DIRECT CONFLICT WITH THE FIRST AMENDMENT ITSELF.

    ISLAM IS THE MOST INTOLERANT “SYSTEM” ON THE PLANET AND DOES NOT ALLOW FOR FREEDOM OF RELIGION, OR FREEDOM OF SPEECH, WHICH IS VIOLATING THE FIRST AMENDMENT IN AND OF ITSELF!

  • Some interesting points from the New York Times editorial board: Would courts be able to mention the Bible in a ruling, or does this specifically single out the Koran as a violation? Would wills or contracts drawn up under religious law be thrown out of courts? The most important point is that this is a solution without a problem, pure demagoguery and fear-mongering to drive conservative voters to the polls. Hopefully the multitude of first amendment issues created by this law are dealt with by the courts before votes like this become common practice in other states.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/opinion/29mon1.html?_r=1&hp

    • I just attended a legal conference of law of succession in Abu Dhabi. Noah points to wills in his post, and here is where the law is very troubling to me. It is very likely that decedents do from to time write that they want their assets distributed in accordance with Sharia law, as here I advise expatriates to specifically specifiy that they want their home country laws to prevail in their wills. It is a person’s right to follow his religion or any other beliefs or desires in asset allocation. I don’t agree with all of the terms of Sharia allocation, but it is systematic and one can argue that it is just. If this law stands, then a court would be unable to consider the last wishes of a decedent.

      • I agree completely. There is no reason why an otherwise legal asset allocation designated in a will should be disregarded solely because it is based on Sharia law. This is the only likely area in which Sharia law might actually end up in an American court, and it’s an area in which current law settles the issue quickly and efficiently. If the exact same asset allocation without mention of Sharia law would be legal, then asking courts to set aside a will because it does mention Sharia is only creating an unnecessary burden on courts for purely prejudiced reasons.

  • To blithely ignore what Islam is, and just regard it as merely a benign religion that seeks to have its laws and ways for its own people, like the tribal and Jewish laws, is to ignore history, both ancient and recent. Islam has clearly declared its intention of placing the world under it’s laws, to force the world to follow their ways. It isn’t just a few radicals trying to hijack an otherwise peaceful religion-their leaders in every country, including this one, have clearly and openly made their case to rule the world under Sharia. To accept it here, in any way, will be the end of this country as we have known it, and not in a good way. We are fools to consider it. Open your eyes, folks!

  • Are you interested in your wives and daughters having forced clitoridectomies performed on them? This is part of Sharia law, friends. Women in burkas is one of the least things they do to women in Sharia-ruled nations.

  • Stop “The Great Anti-Sharia Freakout” by signing the petition at MoveOn.org . If you’d like to learn more before signing, join the LinkedIn discussion .

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