By John M. Rogitz
There has been a lot of back and forth in the blogosphere lately regarding the recently passed Oklahoma ballot measure that bans Oklahoma state courts from considering Islamic Sharia law when deciding cases. The central issue most of the blogosphere has concentrated on is whether such a law conflicts with our Constitution’s right to freedom of religion.
That said, there’s one critical fact that both sides seem to have missed: This law does not affect anyone’s freedom of religion.
Oklahoma’s law has been analogized to laws that do in fact dictate what people can do according to their religious beliefs, such as France’s new law banning burqas. By contrast, the Oklahoma law only limits what judges can do, not Muslims. The law simply reinforces existing requirements that judges only consider laws under their jurisdiction.
Yet the Center for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed suit against Oklahoma last week immediately following the elections. Then on Monday, a Federal judge issued a temporary restraining order preventing the Oklahoma law from going in to effect until CAIR’s suit can be fully heard on November 22, 2010. CAIR subsequently hailed the judge’s decision as a victory for the First Amendment.
Since when does CAIR care about the First Amendment? This is the same group that systematically attempts to stifle free speech when that speech allegedly disparages their “Religion of Peace.” This is further proof that CAIR has no regard for our Constitution and only manipulates it to suit their own conveniences.
Maybe shedding some light on the origin of the Oklahoma law will provide some understanding. A recent New Jersey trial court denied a Muslim woman’s request for a restraining order against her Moroccan husband, who asserted his right to rape her under Sharia law. Because Sharia law requires a wife to “put out” at the husband’s will, the court sent her back home to her husband instead of issuing the restraining order. An appellate court eventually overturned that decision and issued the order, but God only knows how many more times that poor woman was raped while the case sat on the appellate court’s docket waiting to be heard.
Being the opportunists that they are, Oklahoma took it upon themselves to make sure that no women were raped in their state while awaiting appellate review. The Moroccan rapist situation didn’t happen in Oklahoma, but it did happen in America. Can you blame them?
Let’s consider the opposite for a moment. What would happen if courts were allowed to consider Sharia law? Here’s just a sampling of the constitutional violations that would ensue. Consideration of Sharia law by U.S. Courts would violate:
- The Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and inhumane punishment via stoning for adultery and amputation for theft.
- The right for gays to participate in homosexual acts that have already been held to be constitutionally protected by the Supreme Court.
- The First Amendment’s protection against establishment of religion (a different clause then the “free exercise” clause that CAIR sued under) by way of the fact that consideration of Sharia law by a court would itself was be an establishment of religion.
- The Fourteenth Amendment’s due process and equal protection guarantees to people of all creeds and races.
- The Fifteenth and Nineteenth Amendment guarantees that all races and sexes be allowed to vote.
Wow. I say we keep things the way they are. What about you?
My point is this: You can allow people to freely practice their religion while still prosecuting them for rape. Rape is rape even if it’s perpetrated on your own wife. The Oklahoma law thus allows Muslims to continue kneeling in the general direction of Mecca five times a day while preventing heinous crimes. What’s wrong with that?
COPYRIGHT 2010 JOHN M. ROGITZ