A federal judge has struck down a proposed anti-Shariah constitutional amendment in Oklahoma.
The lawsuit against the constitutional amendment was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on behalf of the executive director of CAIR's Oklahoma chapter, Muneer Awad.
Chief District Judge of the Western District of Oklahoma, Vicki Miles-LaGrange ruled on Thursday that there were certain references to Shariah, or Islamic law, that went against the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution which prevents the passage of any law that gives preference to or forces belief in any one religion. The federal court said the amendment was “abundantly clear that the primary purpose of the amendment was to specifically target and outlaw Shariah law” and struck it down.
By definition, Shariah is the moral code and religious law of Islam. In November 2010, Oklahoma voters considered to amend the state constitution to ban Shariah from state courts as they didn’t consider ‘Islamic’ international law as part of American laws and customs.
But the human rights and American Muslims organizations considered this amendment as biased and bigoted.
Daniel Mach, director of the ACLU's Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, said, "We're very pleased with the result, which will help secure religious freedom and equality for all Oklahomans." "Throughout the case, the state couldn't present even a shred of evidence to justify this discriminatory, unnecessary measure."
“This law unfairly singled out one faith and one faith only," said Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma. "This amendment was nothing more than a solution in search of a problem. We’re thrilled that it has been struck down."
“As Oklahomans, we are incredibly thrilled at the decision and applaud the judicial system for upholding our constitutional rights,” said Adam Soltani, executive director of CAIR0OK, “This is a victory not only for Oklahoma Muslims, but for all Oklahomans and all Americans.”
So what is your take on the federal judge’s ruling? Do you think the proposed amendment was discriminatory? You can share your opinion in the comments section below.