Hamas-linked CAIR and about 25 Muslims attended a rally Friday at the Statehouse urging Kansas Governor Sam Brownback to veto a bill banning foreign (anti-sharia) laws that they say actually is an attack on Islam.
CONTACT GOV. BROWNBACK’S OFFICE HERE
CJ ONLINE Faizan Syed, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ St. Louis branch, said similar “American Laws for American Courts” proposals have been floated in almost half of the 50 states this year. He said proponents have made them purposely vague to avoid running afoul of the Constitution like a 2010 Oklahoma law that specifically targeted Islamic law, or sharia. “We know this was targeted against Islam because of the Oklahoma law that was struck down,” Syed said. “They just changed the wording.”
The Kansas bill, House Substitute for Senate Bill 79, voids any state court decision that is based on a foreign or religious law that doesn’t comport with the state or U.S. Constitution. It passed the House 120-0 on May 7 and passed the Senate 33-3 on what was scheduled to be the last day of the session.
Some proponents have said it has nothing to do with Islam, but is merely meant to provide an extra layer of protection for Kansans’ constitutional rights. But from the beginning, a perceived threat of sharia creeping into Kansas communities has shadowed the debate.
When it first came to the House floor, Rep. Jan Pauls, D-Hutchinson, urged her colleagues to vote for it by saying it was critically important to address sharia. Rep. Peggy Mast, R-Emporia, who lobbied heavily to ensure the bill got a vote in the Senate, also has pointed to sharia as a growing threat.
“That’s not sharia law,” (Yes, it is) Omar Hazim, imam of the Islamic Center of Topeka, said after Friday’s rally. “People need to try to gain some knowledge before they make decisions that are going to affect a lot of people.”
Hazim, who said his organization has 250 to 300 members, spoke at Friday’s rally. He said that sharia refers to much more than a set of laws in Islam. Rather, he said it is a code of living that includes prayer, fasting, charitable giving, pilgrimage and service. (As well as stoning women, hanging homosexuals, executing blasphemers, cutting limbs off thieves, punishing victims of rape but not rapists, etc., etc.)
Hazim said the Koran states sharia shouldn’t be forced on anyone. (That’s why you burn churches and forcibly convert or kill non-Muslims in Muslim-majority countries who refuse to convert to Islam) He also said he was disappointed that neither he nor Washburn University law professor Liaquat Ali Khan were invited to speak to legislators about the bill.(The only thing you should be invited to do is leave the country, permanently)
Syed said women in America are already protected by the Constitution. (But Muslim women won’t be if sharia is imposed in their communities)
“It’s not about Muslim women,” he said. “That’s just an excuse they use to really push this Islamophobic agenda.”(Hey, whatever works) When asked why Friday’s rally included only a few women, Syed said he wasn’t sure. “Probably they had to work or something,” he said.
One woman who was there was Sharo Hancock, the Kansas City community coordinator of the Asian-American Democratic Caucus. Hancock said as a “white, non-Islamic citizen” she was disturbed by the bill. “Any legislation that violates freedom of speech, I have a huge problem with,” she said. “This isn’t just an issue for Muslims, this is an issue for all Americans.” (It’s Americans we care about, NOT muslims)