A judge in Oklahoma has stopped the certification of a vote that keeps Shariah Law and international law from being used in Oklahoma courtrooms. The text that was presented to voters is as follows:
This measure amends the State Constitution. It changes a section that deals with the courts of this state. It would amend Article 7, Section 1. It makes courts rely on federal and state law when deciding cases. It forbids courts from considering or using international law. It forbids courts from considering or using Sharia Law.
International law is also known as the law of nations. It deals with the conduct of international organizations and independent nations, such as countries, states and tribes. It deals with their relationship with each other. It also deals with some of their relationships with persons.
The law of nations is formed by the general assent of civilized nations. Sources of international law also include international agreements, as well as treaties.
Sharia Law is Islamic law. It is based on two principal sources, the Koran and the teaching of Mohammed.
What interests me about this case is not that Shariah Law may be banned, but that the plaintiff is claiming his 1st Amendment rights would be violated if such a ban was in place. So, Shariah Law, based on religious beliefs, should be allowed to override federal and local law. This must really put people who do not want Judeo-Christian iconography on federal, state, or public land in general into a twist. You basically have someone who wants religious rights upheld while those rights violate the rights of others.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am really looking forward to reading some write-ups by people who are vehemently against religion in the public sector. I have to wonder which way they will swing on this issue. Do they back up a law that prohibits religion from interfering with federal and state law or do they say defend the 1st Amendment.
In reality, this law does nothing to prevent people from practicing their freedom of religion. It simply removes the possibility of religious or international law being used in Oklahoma courts. Basically, if you perform an honor killing (which Shariah allows for), you cannot be protected from being prosecuted. This would not be the first time that beliefs and religion have been turned down as adequate defenses.
A very interesting case is unfolding in front of us. It will be very interesting watching this play out over the next few months.