Archive for Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Group urges Brownback to veto bill aimed at Sharia law

May 15, 2012


— The nation’s largest Muslim civil rights organization on Tuesday called on Gov. Sam Brownback to veto a bill that the group described as an attack on Sharia, the religious principles of Islam.

“The public’s action in support of religious freedom is critical to prevent legalized discrimination against Muslims in Kansas and nationwide,” said Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “This bill and the others like it are based on misinformation and fear-mongering.”

Brownback has not indicated whether he will veto the bill or sign it into law.

The Washington, D.C.-based CAIR said the measure is one of more than 25 “similar pieces of discriminatory and unconstitutional legislation that have been introduced in state legislatures nationwide. These legislative initiatives are promoted by those who seek to marginalize American Muslims and demonize them.”

Senate Bill 79 was approved last week by the Senate, 33-3, and the House, 120-0.

The measure bans Kansas courts and administrative agencies from basing rulings on foreign laws or legal systems.

It doesn’t mention Sharia law, but several senators said that was their concern.

“They stone women to death in countries that have Sharia law,” said Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita. “If you vote to not adopt (the bill), it’s a vote against women.”

But Sen. Tim Owens, R-Overland Park, said the bill was unnecessary because courts already are ruled by United States laws and the U.S. Constitution. He said the bill was based on intolerance and fear and would make people think only those with a Christian, religious-right perspective were welcome in Kansas.

Awad said the legislation could infringe on the right to choose Islamic marriage contracts, implement Islamic wills or to be buried according to one’s religious beliefs. It could also negatively affect the validation of international adoptions and foreign marriages.


Hooligan_016 5 years, 9 months ago

Wow, I did not realize it went 120-0 in the House. Was there any comment from Rep. Davis as to why he voted "Yea"?

Shelley Bock 5 years, 9 months ago

Hooligan, I was the wondering the same. Usually, Rep. Davis can't do no wrong in my book, but I think he should have voted against this one. My only thought is that this might have been a strategic vote so that some procedural rule would allow a reconsideration initiated by one who voted for it..

HutchSaltHawk 5 years, 9 months ago

I find it amazing that we can't get a budget bill passed, but the Legislature took time to debate this bill and some other bill dealing with the UN.

Mike Wasikowski 5 years, 9 months ago

Do our state legislators not realize that the US Constitution and basically all of our legal precepts are based on British common law dating back to the Magna Carta?

Shelley Bock 5 years, 9 months ago

Really? Oh, that's just a minor technicality.

By the way, you aren't an illegal, mikewaz, are you?

optimist 5 years, 9 months ago

While our legislators do judges at the state and appellate level throughout the country have considered or referenced Sharia Law in decisions handed down. This precedence deviates from the Constitution and cannot be tolerated. I applaud the legislature for taking this issue on before some nutty jurist invoked Sharia in Kansas.

Shelley Bock 5 years, 9 months ago

Courts make reference to laws from all over the world. That doesn't mean that it is applicable to the case before them. As Mikewaz said, American law is based on English law, with the exception of Louisiana which has roots in the Napoleonic Code and French law.

No Court would ever have justification to deviate from the US Constitution and the body of law created here. Any "nutty jurist" would be appealed to an appellate court and overturned.

Unfortunately, we have nutty legislators who can't focus on the job at hand and get the budget, tax policy and redistricting completed.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

One of those nutty jurists you speak of is Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. To which court would his decisions be appealed?

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 9 months ago

While I appreciate Justice Kennedy I certainly do not agree with on every issue-I will go with Scalia on this one-a justice who opposes such references.

question4u 5 years, 9 months ago

"The public’s action in support of religious freedom is critical to prevent legalized discrimination against Muslims in Kansas and nationwide,” said Nihad Awad"

Sorry Mr. Awad. You may not be aware that in Kansas religious freedom is not used "to prevent legalized discrimination" but rather to justify it.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 9 months ago

+1, for example the amendment against gay marriage.

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 9 months ago

Laws against gay marriage are not "discrimination" they are laws to protect the family against the ideological attack attempting redefine marriage.

hujiko 5 years, 9 months ago

Ironically, the country you love so much was founded on the idea that everyone deserves a fair shot in life. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, etc. I don't get what's so wrong with letting everyone pitch in.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago


I guess Americans who happen to be Muslim don't count.

asixbury 5 years, 9 months ago

There are American Muslims, and a lot of them. Are they not first-class citizens in your view? If not, is it because of actions of a few Muslim fanatics on the other side of the world? Because Christianity has had its fair share of fanatical extremism that dwarfs that of Islamists. Should we punish all Christians for the actions of a few? Then why should we punish peaceful, patriotic American Muslims for the actions of men in a different country?

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

That's a little harsh. There are Americans that are also Muslim. You should care about what they want as much as any other citizen.

1southernjayhawk 5 years, 9 months ago

Glad to see this happening in Kansas. Would love to see this done at a national level.

Jayhawk1958 5 years, 9 months ago

Yeah and I'd like to see an re-enactment of General Sherman's march to the sea.

asixbury 5 years, 9 months ago

You want American Muslims to be discriminated against on a national level? Wow, you have some major bigotry going on!

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

It is unconstitutional for the government to consider any other than American law. OTOH, to prohibit any person from adhering to laws when there is no conflict with local law (including US law on down) is a violation of first amendment rights.

If we can outlaw Sharia, we can also outlaw neighborhood associations and bingo.

The way I read it, the law passes muster.

"Awad said the legislation could infringe on the right to choose Islamic marriage contracts"

Judges can split the hairs of Article One and The Amendments. That's the sort of stuff we pay them to do.

optimist 5 years, 9 months ago

Marriage is not a civil right. That has been addressed in the issue of "same sex marriage". Consequently an Islamic marriage contract is subject to the laws of each state and can only be entered into and enforced where allowed by law.

jonas_opines 5 years, 9 months ago

That's interesting. You both appeared to say the same thing.

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

Yes, an Islamic marriage is legally indifferent from the Catholic version. However, if the husband and wife decide to live their lives according to Sharia law and both accept the rulings of an Imam, and the decision isn't counter to US or local law, it would be wrong to prevent them that option.

People of other religions follow the tenets of those religions or they are excommunicated from the church, and I don't see why Islamic law should be treated different.

Still, the bottom line is the body of American law. Any self-imposed law, be it a religion or bingo rules can be ignored without legal recourse other than possibly a restraining order to keep the "rule-breaker" off of private property.

hujiko 5 years, 9 months ago

I thought the legislature was interested in preserving our religious freedoms.

Must only apply to Christianity.

Jeff Barclay 5 years, 9 months ago

Well done Rep. Davis. You did the right thing. You really did.

Shane Garrett 5 years, 9 months ago

I am not worried about this. US laws are applied to US citizens. One can get married in any religious building they wish or no building at all conducted by what ever religious person they want represented. One still has to have a state marriage license. I think Mr. A wad protests to much. And I certainly would not trust CIAR. This is just a law for useless law suits that will try to create precidence under non-US laws.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 9 months ago

The real problem with Unicorns is that they vote illegally. Just ask KK.

oldexbeat 5 years, 9 months ago

Glad we're not going to be following those silly Hebrew laws, like the 13 commandments and that we get to eat oysters again. And cut our hair. I sas really getting hot unable to cut my hair.

And no stoning gay people allowed now either. So glad. Although getting stoned was always fun..

Paul R Getto 5 years, 9 months ago

+1, and don't forget burning "witches" and killing snotty kids if they talk back to you.

Jayhawk1958 5 years, 9 months ago

said Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita. “If you vote to not adopt (the bill), it’s a vote against women.”

Says one of the biggest anti-abortion proponents...

Jayhawk1958 5 years, 9 months ago

Or kill the woman so the child can live.

John Hamm 5 years, 9 months ago

@ hujiko this law does not infringe upon "religious freedoms." This law is to prevent Muslims from ignoring the laws of the United States and substituting laws formulated by a religion - remember "separation of Church and State?"

Paul R Getto 5 years, 9 months ago

I don't follow that. No religion can "substitute" their laws for ours, unless you count the Radical Right, Sam's C-Street Cult and others who are trying to substitute their interpretation of their brand of "religion" for current laws, regulations and policies. Their fingerprints are all over the place. Mullah Sam is in charge now; get used to it.

hujiko 5 years, 9 months ago

First off, you're all acting as if this is going on all over the place as a flagrant disregard for the American legal system. It's not. The case in Florida that has the fear-mongering evangelical christian republican taliban feeding off the huddled xenophobic masses was a MUTUAL agreement between two parties in an arbitration. No one has been coerced, and the laws enacted fell within the bounds of our Constitution. Jews enact covenants that are legally binding and based in the Torah and Tanakh all the time, but we don't see stories about disallowing the use of Old Testament Law. This is discrimination inside and out.

This is only a ploy by the radicalized right to snuff out any and all non-christian elements from American society. My quip about religious freedoms being impinged upon was directed at the recent attempt by these same radical few to allow landlords to refuse tenants based on sexual orientation because they disagree on a religious level. Also, so that pharmacists and medical professionals can lie to patients about circumstances that could lead to an abortion.

Until these aforementioned parties "go find a job somewhere else", there will never be "Separation of Church and State".

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 9 months ago

We already have sharia style laws in this country. Witness the crackers and bigots in North Carolina in their hate vote last week. Toeing to religious bigotry based on a book of "scriptures" created at the behest of King James I of England who, in 1611, empowered the Council of Hampton Court to create a "bible" that met the requirements of the King of England and the Church or England of 1611. Basically, all of this babble about bible based religion is simply following the orders of the King of England. Those who did not do the bidding of the King in creation of the Holy Bible of 1611 had their heads cut off. Just like the muslim followers who discover an infidel among their kindred.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 9 months ago

"facist", Gotland.

No, I am disgusted with the people who want to continue the gay bashing and trashing in the name of phony and imaginary religion.

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

"crackers and bigots"

If the irony is delicious, you must eat it. :-)

voevoda 5 years, 9 months ago

I guess that the State Legislature just forbade judges to make any reference to the Ten Commandments in judicial procedings. If any court does so, it provides instant grounds for a rehearing of the case.

Jeff Kilgore 5 years, 9 months ago

Though I am liberal on nearly every issue, I stand with the yea vote. This is the reason: the adherents of Islam demand freedoms all over the world that they do not bestow on any other culture in their homelands. If you doubt this, build a Christian church in Egypt, Iran, Iraq, or any other Islamic theocracy and see what happens. I only support cultures that reciprocate freedom. There are literally hundreds of current examples of this intolerance that I can cite but won't for what should be seen as fact. That doesn't mean that I don't tolerate Muslims in America. In fact, I am happy that Muslims are able to enjoy freedom here. A vote to stop the intent of Sharia law is necessary from my point of view to stop this before it tries to start.

This sort of culture war is being won by Islam all over the world. It is past time that they are told no.

Bryan Moore 5 years, 9 months ago

jkilgore, "If you doubt this, build a Christian church in Egypt, Iran, Iraq, or any other Islamic theocracy and see what happens."

There are now between 16 -20 million Christians in Egypt (mostly Coptic Orthodox Church). There are over 600 Christian churches in Iran (Armenian Apostolic Church, Assyrian Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic Church, Presbyterian, Pentecostal and the Anglican Diocese of Iran. When we invaded Iraq there were between 800,000 and 1.4 million Christians living there with at least 11 churches in Bagdad alone. Approximately two-thirds of Iraqi Christians are Chaldeans, nearly one-fifth are Assyrians, and the remainder are Syriacs, Armenians, Anglicans, and other Protestants. Are you saying that all these Christians have no and/or can build no churches?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 9 months ago

"Cracker" = "Ignorant, white southern man (sorry, my dictionary said this, should be "person")." I am white. Why am I a racist?

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

He should have said "bigot". Also, your dictionary is wrong. Cracker refers to 19th century cattlemen in Florida, though Floridians have adopted the term in general even though most have never ridden a horse.

North Carolina has hillbillies.

I was born in the foothills of South Carolina and raised from about 14 in Florida. I count myself as both.

That's not really important though. You condemned a group of people by calling them what you mistook for a pejorative simply because they exercised their democratic right to vote in a way you don't like. You should be ashamed of that.

Melissa_Bower 5 years, 9 months ago

The Lawrence community has an expert in Sharia law in its midst at Sam Brownback's alma mater, The University of Kansas School of Law. I interviewed Raj Bhala, Rice Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law, when he taught a class to Fort Leavenworth military officers on the subject of Sharia law last fall. He has written a textbook on the subject, comparing elements of his own religion of Catholicism that help western readers relate to what Islamic law truly means. I hear he also utilized elements of the Muslim community around KU and Lawrence for his book. Perhaps Kansas legislators could get a clearer picture of what Muslim law means by reading it. My first impression was that Sharia law is much more complicated than "honor killings" and is in no way intended to circumvent the law of the land.

kansanjayhawk 5 years, 9 months ago

The point is while this may be good cultural information it should not be used by courts to interpret our law.

salad 5 years, 9 months ago

Thank God that our brave legislators are on the front lines of enacting laws to solve problems that don't exist.

Mark Currie 5 years, 9 months ago

To be honest I didn't read all the comments. I just wondered if they are going to bring back crucifying as a means of punishment too?

tbaker 5 years, 9 months ago

There is a line between respecting a religious belief system, and subverting the law. Sharia is a legal system. The US is a constitutional republic, not an Islamic state. Sharia is incompatible with our secular legal system because it seeks to place itself above our law. If you want to live under Sharia law, there are several Islamic states to chose from. Bon voyage.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 9 months ago

+1 Good points, and a reminder that no others can substantially influence our laws, court decisions and constitutions, state or federal. This is a nonissue intended to pump up the Sheeple and get them to the polls in August.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

So, what if a couple of Muslims enter into a contract, which has a provision that disputes will be settled using Sharia principles?

Is that contract invalid, or should they be permitted to abide by it?

I believe that there are cases in which Catholics use Catholic doctrine, and Jews use Jewish doctrine, etc.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps it would depend if the terms of said contract violated our laws. Say an Islamic shop owner sold his business to another Muslim. In the sale contract was a provision that any disputes would be settled by the local Imam. A dispute does arise, say a non compete clause was alleged to have been violated. Should one party go to a U.S. court, would it be permissible for that court to enforce the terms of the contract and have the Imam resolve the dispute or could the court simply make a ruling? I would think that like an agreed upon mediation, the court could force both parties to go to the Imam. But if the parents of a 5 year old boy and a five year old girl agree that they would marry at age 18, surely a U.S. court could/would/should rule that the terms of that contract cannot be enforced.
The bottom line is that if the parties agree and if it doesn't run contrary to U.S. law or policy, then Sharia Law could be used. That's my guess.

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

"which has a provision that disputes will be settled using Sharia principles?"

You are almost there. As long as the settlement doesn't call for anything unlawful under American law, it would be unconstitutional to forbid it.

Tom McCune 5 years, 9 months ago

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of [Muslims]; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any [Muslim] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

 --Treaty of peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli, of Barbary, 1797

This was one of the first major treaties executed by the United States, negotiated under the administration of George Washington and signed by president John Adams.

pace 5 years, 9 months ago

Churches should not be tax free, if they have a non profit charity arm, the arm, sure, but they should pay taxes, including sales.

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