Aug 16 (Reuters) - Oklahoma's attorney general said on Friday he was reviewing the decision of a U.S. judge that barred the state from adopting a measure that would ban its state courts from considering Sharia law under any circumstances.
"We have received the order and, as always, we are in the process of carefully reviewing the judge's decision," said Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt. He did not say if the state would appeal the decision.
U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange ruled on Thursday that the measure, contained in an amendment to the Oklahoma state constitution, violated the freedom of religion provisions of the U.S. Constitution. Sharia law is based on Muslim principles.
"It is abundantly clear that the primary purpose of the amendment was to specifically target and outlaw Sharia law," she wrote.
Oklahoma voters approved the measure, called "Save Our State Amendment," in 2010. The judge's ruling will prevent the state's election board from certifying the results of that 2010 vote, in which the measure passed with 70 percent support.
The lawsuit challenging the measure was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Muneer Awad, a Muslim man living in Oklahoma City and the former director of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and also other Oklahoma Muslims.
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I have just one simple comment regarding this business: if they were talking about Mosaic law rather than shariah, what would the response be? Anyone?
South Dakota has a similar law, but which instead bans court decisions based on "any religious code". Personally, I'm in favor.
"Any religious code" is far more like it, and a better reflection of the attitude of the US Constitution. That they single out shariah speaks instantly to their bias ... and makes me wonder if they know either shariah OR Mosaic law at all.
Good point. I was wondering if the should pass an amendment to prevent institution of the Code of Hammurabi. I could see that threatening the Oklahoman way of life.
Nah, they would ban simply because it sounds foreign. They wouldn't even bother finding out what it actually is.
Texas might like the Code of Hammurabi, though! It would give them a lot more chances to execute the death penalty. ;)