Feb 15 2012
A long list of S.C. lawmakers plan to send a message to Palmetto State courts: Don’t apply foreign (sharia) laws here. A proposed law, which a House panel will consider later this month, is part of a growing movement in legislatures around the country.
Miami Herald Twenty other states are considering similar measures to ban judges from applying the laws of others nations, particularly in custody and marriage cases. Three states — Tennessee, Louisiana and Arizona — already have added the laws to their books. Oklahoma put it in its state Constitution in 2010, a move now being challenged in federal court.
Proponents say the S.C. measure will ensure only U.S. and S.C. laws are applied in Palmetto State courtrooms, and foreign laws do not trump constitutional rights guaranteed to Americans.
Opponents (Hamas-linked CAIR) say the proposal addresses a nonexistent issue and, while not specifically naming Islamic Sharia law, smacks of anti-Islamic sentiment (Exactly what it’s supposed to do). They say such bills target the practice of Sharia, a wide-ranging group of Islamic religious codes and customs that, in some countries, are enforced as law.
State Rep. Wendy Nanney, R-Greenville, the bill’s sponsor, said she introduced the proposal after speaking with several family court judges around the state about problems with child-custody cases. “It would simplify things to say, ‘We’re in a South Carolina court, and let’s use South Carolina law.’ It’s meant to help our judges not to be pushed and pressured and prodded to enforce other countries’ laws,” Nanney said. Nanney said her bill does not target Sharia law or any other specific foreign code or law. Her proposal has 27 House co-sponsors, including House Majority Leader Kenny Bingham, R-Lexington, and 26 other Republicans, who control the General Assembly.
Liberal groups, including the S.C. Progressive Network, say the proposal is a waste of legislative time. “I’m much more concerned with laws being imposed by aliens from the Planet Oz,” said Brett Bursey, the group’s director. “A stealth-alien invasion of the minds of our legislators is the most plausible explanation for their obsession with fixing things that aren’t broken.” (Not broken? Then why are Muslims fighting so hard against anti-Sharia legislation in every state and putting up billboards like the one below?)
At least one national group, the New Jersey-based (Terror front group CAIR) Council on American-Islamic Relations, which works to promote understanding of Islam, says the intent of the state proposals is devious. “There’s no mistaking the intent of these bills. It’s to provide a mechanism for channeling and cultivating anti-Muslim sentiment,” said council attorney Gadier Abbas. (No it isn’t, Muslims have cultivated the anti-Muslim sentiment in this country all by themselves)
Recent versions of the bills — like South Carolina’s — do not specifically mention Sharia law, but the intent is clear, Abbas said. (Damn right, it’s all about sharia because sharia is the only law that threatens this country)
“There are some misconceptions about Islam in the United States,” he said. “That, coupled with a very vocal and well-organized minority of organizations and figures that have had for their mission, for years now, to ensure Muslims are not treated as equals in the United States, is creating this new effort to bring inequality into the laws. It’s alarming.” (Then leave)
Abbas said there are no valid fears of foreign laws being applied in U.S. courtrooms. “Only if American law allows for it does religious tradition or foreign laws even come into play.” But proponents of the legislation, including the American Public Policy Alliance, point to several court cases as proof that Sharia law is seeping into the U.S. court system.
In one 2009 example, a New Jersey judge denied a Muslim wife’s request for a restraining order after she claimed her husband repeatedly raped her. The court said the man thought it was his religious right to have nonconsensual sex with his wife and, therefore, he did not meet the criminal-intent standard needed to issue the restraining order. An appellate court reversed the ruling in 2010, granting the restraining order.
In a 1996 case, a Maryland appellate court deferred to a Pakistani court in granting custody of a child to her father in Pakistan instead of her mother in Maryland. One factor mentioned in the ruling was an Islamic belief that a father gets preference in custody cases.