Mar 18 2011
Missouri becomes the latest state to join at least a dozen others in proposing anti-Shari’a legislation. “Shari’a, or Islamic law, is like an infection that could quickly spread and undermine Missouri’s judicial system and a state constitutional amendment is the best way to stop it,” the proposed bill’s sponsor told a House committee yesterday.
Columbia Tribune—Rep. Don Wells, R-Cabool, said his measure, which has more than 100 co-sponsors, is like a vaccine. “Did you get a polio vaccine?” Wells asked during an exchange with Rep. Jason Kander, D-Kansas City. “So Shariah law is like polio; it is a terminal disease?” Kander asked. “Absolutely,” Wells said.
When making decisions, state courts shall “uphold and adhere to” the Missouri Constitution and laws, the U.S. Constitution and laws, and if necessary, the law of other states when guidance is needed. “The courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures,” the proposal says. “Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia law.”
Shariah law guides Muslims in food and moral choices, prayer and, when used as a judicial system, can result in harsh punishments. And radical Muslims want to force it on nonbelievers, Wells said.
“Sharia law is being pushed right now,” Wells said. “A few weeks ago, there was a Muslim cleric from the UK pushing Sharia law, and he said that is what the law should be throughout the whole world. This is push back. … It is a statement that we don’t want this in Missouri.”
Under questioning from the outnumbered Democrats on the committee, Wells said he sees no reason why anyone would be offended by his bill specifying that a Muslim form of law was banned in Missouri.
Kander told of his experiences in Afghanistan and the American Muslim interpreter who became his friend there. “It worries me that we are offending someone like” his interpreter. “This would be extremely offensive to him,” Kander said. “Why would he be offended?” Wells asked. “You are singling out a part of his religion,” Kander said.
To prove his point, Wells placed a phone call. When the connection was made, the man speaking said he was Kamal Saleem and said he was a former Lebanese operative for groups ranging from the PLO and Saudi princes to the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamists.
Sharia would undermine all the basic freedoms Americans hold dear, Saleem said. “They are not human mandates; they are Islamic. Sharia law mandates everything: how to eat, how to drink, who to marry, what to think.”