A Muslim advocacy group is suing to stop a measure approved by Oklahoma voters on Tuesday that would ban judges in the state from considering Islamic law in court proceedings.
About 70 percent of voters approved State Question 755, which says “the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia Law.”
Muneer Awad, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations's Oklahoma chapter, filed the suit in U.S. District Court to block officials from certifying the measure. Awad told the Wall Street Journal the measure violates the First Amendment right to practice religion without government intervention.
CAIR legal adviser Gadeir Abbas said SQ755 was "designed to stigmatize Muslims, to turn the Constitution of Oklahoma into a vehicle for oppressing a minority that is currently unpopular."
The "Save Our State Amendment" was proposed by Republican state Sen. Anthony Sykes, who said the amendment isn’t about persecuting Muslims but keeping the Oklahoma judiciary system from “sliding down a slippery slope.”
Former CIA Director Jim Woolsey, who worked to get the amendment passed, said on Fox and Friends this morning that it's about not allowing criminals to use religious code to circumvent the system when they're "prosecuted for beating or assaulting their wives or daughters."
“What we really need to do is make sure people can’t void the impact of criminal law by citing their religious beliefs,” he said.
In New Jersey, a judge declined to place a restraining order on a Moroccan man who forced his wife to have sex. The ruling was later overturned.
A hearing is set for Monday.