Federal appeals court upholds ruling blocking Oklahoma’s ban on Shariah law
A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court’s ruling that blocked the implementation of an Oklahoma law barring judges in the state from considering Islamic law when making their decisions. According to the Denver Post, The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, “one rung below the U.S. Supreme Court, said it is likely the initiative will be found unconstitutional because it singles out Islam for discrimination. The court said Oklahoma hasn't shown any reason for the need to specifically ban Islamic law.”
Oklahoma voters “overwhelmingly” approved the ballot initiative creating the law in 2010, the Denver Post says. The law bans judges from using international law to make their rulings and specifically mentions Islamic law, also known as Shariah law, the paper says.
Muneer Awad, the executive director for the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, filed a lawsuit to have the law overturned.
“Awad argued that the initiative stigmatizes Islam and also denies him rights that are available to people of other religions,” according to the Denver Post. “For instance, Awad said his will instructs a judge to look to Islamic precepts in situations where Awad's wishes aren't clear. The initiative, Awad said, would prevent a judge from doing that, even though the judge could do that for people who are Christian or Jewish.”