Oklahoma’s Shariah Law Ban Is Unconstitutional & Gone for Good
Oklahoma’s attempt to “specifically target and outlaw Shariah,” or Islamic law, is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Thursday.
Chief U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange in Oklahoma City permanently blocked state officials from certifying the 2010 election results for the so-called “Save Our State Amendment,” which “forbids courts from considering or using international law [and] Shariah law” when deciding cases.
Seventy percent of voters approved the constitutional amendment on Nov. 2, 2010. It had been placed on the ballot after state lawmakers passed a similar measure, House Joint Resolution 1056, about six months earlier.
Two days after the election, Muneer Awad, the former head of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK), challenged the amendment’s constitutionality in federal court.
He called the amendment “ridiculous” and a “gross transgression of the Establishment Clause,” as it could void legal contracts between Muslims, though courts are allowed to consider the traditions of other religions. He said no other state constitution “attaches special burdens on a religious tradition.”
“The goal was to stigmatize Islam by establishing in the public’s mind that Islam is something foreign and to be feared,” Awad argued in his motion for a preliminary injunction.
More: Courthouse News Service