|Updated: 10/21/2010 6:47 pm
||Published: 10/21/2010 3:07 pm
Cries of bigotry as an Oklahoma ballot measure strikes a nerve. In less than two weeks, Oklahomans will vote on State Question 755, which aims to keep Islamic law out of Oklahoma courtrooms. Fox 23’s Douglas Clark has the story.
The group pushing for this referendum cites a New Jersey ruling, where a judge condoned a case of sexual abuse because he said the suspect was acting according to his Muslim faith. Now one Oklahoma lawmaker wants to make sure that doesn’t happen here.
It’s called Shariah law. It’s recognized in most Islamic countries as the basis of religious law. It’s been used to condone harsh punishments like beating and stonings in Iran and Somalia. Republican State Representative Rex Duncan wants to make sure Oklahoma judges never use it to decide court cases.
“This is the picture of what is American,” says Duncan.
He says the referendum is designed to counter the stance of the Oklahoma Council on Islamic Relations”, or CAIR.
“CAIR's mission statement: They’re not here to be one of many religions they are here to be the dominant religion,” he says.
“It’s not about Shariah law at all. It’s really about anti-Muslim bigotry,” says Razi Hashimi, spokesperson for CAIR.
Muslim Americans say the measure sends a message of hatred and intolerance and non-Muslims should not be concerned about Shariah law.
“As long as it doesn’t affect you in any way, why should you be concerned how I solve a problem between me and my brother, or neighbor who is Muslim. I do not think it should be a matter of concern for a non-Muslim,” says Tulsan Mohamed Boudhhir.
CAIR argues the initiative is unnecessary, since the Constitution does not allow religious law to supercede American law.
State Question 755 is on the ballot November 2nd. If it passes, Oklahoma’s constitution would not only prohibit Islamic law in court but all international law.
Opponents of the ballot measure also argue that it could discourage foreign companies from doing business in Oklahoma if they think international agreements won’t be honored in court.