Oklahoma Ballot Measure: Forbids Sharia Law and International Law

Posted: November 5, 2010 in International Oppression, Sharia, Trans-Border Crime

Oklahoma Ballot Measure 755 Judicial Reform: Federal/state laws used to decide cases forbidding courts from considering international law.

Text of measure
Ballot title
The ballot title that voters will see on their ballot reads:[4]

“This measure amends the State Constitution. It changes a section that deals with the courts of this state. It would amend Article 7, Section 1. It makes courts rely on federal and state law when deciding cases. It forbids courts from considering or using international law. It forbids courts from considering or using Sharia Law.

International law is also known as the law of nations. It deals with the conduct of international organizations and independent nations, such as countries, states and tribes. It deals with their relationship with each other. It also deals with some of their relationships with persons.

The law of nations is formed by the general assent of civilized nations. Sources of international law also include international agreements, as well as treaties.

Sharia Law is Islamic law. It is based on two principal sources, the Koran and the teaching of Mohammed.

Shall the proposal be approved?

For the proposal

Yes: __________

Against the proposal

No: __________ “

The summary of the measure reads:[5]

A Joint Resolution direction the Secretary of State to refer to the people for their approval or rejection a proposed amendment to Section 1 of Article VII of the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma; creating the Save Our State Amendment; requiring the courts of this state to uphold and adhere to the law as provided in federal and state constitutions, established common law, laws, rules and regulations; prohibiting consideration of certain laws; providing ballot title; and directing filing.

Constitutional changes
Oklahoma International Law Amendment (2010), Constitutional changes
If approved by voters, the measure would amend Section 1, Article 7 of the Oklahoma Constitution.[5]

Sharia Law
The following are certain points in Sharia Law:[6]

Sharia Law is described as “a religious code for living, in the same way that the Bible offers a moral system for Christians.”
Sharia Law cites “Haram” offenses that carry punishments for those who commit them.
Offenses include pre-marital sex, adultery, alcohol intake, theft, robbery, etc.
Sharia Law has been adopted across various countries.
Sharia Law is intended to be applied to only Muslims.


Representative Rex Duncan was the chief author of the bill, and stated that Sharia law was a “cancer” in the United Kingdom because those courts enforced shariah. Duncan stated, “SQ 755 will constitute a pre-emptive strike against Shariah law coming to Oklahoma.” Duncan also added, “While Oklahoma is still able to defend itself against this sort of hideous invasion, we should do so.”[2]

Representative Lewis Moore co-authored the bill and commented on Sharia law and how it shouldn’t be used in court rulings: “I don’t think we should accept or encourage Sharia law in any way, shape or form.”[2]

Senator Anthony Sykes co-authored the bill and is on the record as saying, “Shariah law coming to the U.S. is a scary concept. Hopefully the passage of this constitutional amendment will prevent it in Oklahoma.”

A campaign called Act! For America, has begun what reports call a “media blitz” in the state of Oklahoma. The campaign includes a radio ad that began airing on October 18, 2010 and opinion articles in state newspapers. Brigitte Gabriel, CEO of the campaign, stated, “We want to make sure that the people in Oklahoma are educated about what Shariah law is all about and its ramifications. We’re not taking any chances with this initiative passing marginally. We hope it passes with great victory.”[2]

An opinion column written by Brigitte Gabriel, international terrorism analyst and president of ACT! for America.org, and Lauren Losawyer of ACT!, argued, “Sharia law, in short, is a comprehensive, theo-political law system used in many Islamic countries including Iran that is based on precepts contained in the Quran and the hadith (the sayings and traditions of Mohammed). Under sharia law, women have few rights compared to men, freedom of speech is severely curtailed and freedom of religion is limited or nonexistent.”[7]

John Swails, who is the director of the Center for Israel and Middle East Studies at Oral Roberts University, stated the law is “pretty well solidified”, however it is different from separate Islamic nations. Swails is for the measure, because “They’ll tell you it provides religious freedom, but that’s true only if you’re a Muslim.” Swails also stated that he sees that the law’s supporters are beginning a campaign to have the U.S. embrace Sharia.[8]

Representative Cory Williams stated, “If I was a Muslim Oklahoman, I would be offended by my religion being singled out. Some people buy into the whole butterfly theory that if a judge in Europe flaps his wings and adopted Sharia law then it will come to Oklahoma. I, on the other hand, do not.”

Saad Mohammed, director of Islamic information for the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, opposes the measure. Mohammed stated that Sharia Law coincides with about 80% of the United States Constitution. This, according to Mohammed, reflects justice and equality for all and that extremists use Sharia in a distorted way. Mohammed claimed, “Sharia is more of a protection than something used to oppress.”[2]

Razi Hashmi, executive director of CAIR-Oklahoma, said there are more pressing issues in the state that need more attention from lawmakers instead of this issue. Hashmi countered claims by Rex Duncan that the CAIR wants Sharia Law in the the state and nation. Hashmi claimed, “That’s absolutely absurd. I don’t know anybody who wants Sharia here. Where is he getting that?”[2][9]

Spokeswoman for the Islamic Society of Tulsa Sandra Rana said that the question is a “non-issue”. According to Rana, “I don’t know why anyone feels we should spend valuable time and resources on this. There are so many other important issues that need to be addressed.”[8]

According to Orvil Harris, who participates actively in the Islamic Society of Ada, “I don’t think there needs to be something like this now. I’m interested in what is going on in this country, and I don’t want to do anything to make Islam objectionable.”[10]

Jari Askins, gubernatorial candidate, is against the measure, stating, “The last time I looked at my old notes from law school, most of America’s jurisprudence system was based on England and jurisprudence there, so I think we need to be, really, smarter, about how we phrase some of these things.”[11]

Resident Mohamed Boudhhir argued that the measure sends a message of hatred and that people who are not Muslims shouldn’t be concerned with Sharia Law. Boudhhir stated, “As long as it doesn’t affect you in any way, why should you be concerned how I solve a problem between me and my brother, or neighbor who is Muslim. I do not think it should be a matter of concern for a non-Muslim.”[12]

According to Muneer Awad, another executive director of CAIR stated, “We take a stand in opposition to the proposed amendment. It’s ridiculous that anyone would suggest it would happen. Our Constitution would not allow any religious law to supersede the existing laws.”[2]

Media endorsements

The Tulsa Beacon made recommendations for all the state questions on the ballot, and recommended a ‘yes’ vote on the measure.[13]

The Oklahoman recommended a ‘no’ vote on the measure, stating, “As it is, judges exclusively use state and federal law to guide their judicial decision-making. Passing the question might make some politicians happy and make some Oklahomans feel better. That’s all it would do. Voters should reject it as unnecessary.”[14]

The Enid News and Eagle recommended a ‘no’ vote on the measure, stating, “This measure would prohibit the use of international or Sharia law when cases are decided in Oklahoma courts. There is no need for this law because judges exclusively use state and federal law to guide their decisions. This is meant as nothing more than a feel-good measure.”[15]

The Tulsa World is against the measure, recommending a ‘no’ vote: “SQ 755 would prohibit state judges from using international law, and specifically Shariah law, in making their decisions. The proposal is bigoted and seeks to solve a nonexistent problem. It should be rejected.”[16]

The Oklahoma Daily is against the measure, stating, “We say: NO. Oklahoma couldn’t miss out on the Islamophobia in America. If passed, SQ 755 would outlaw the use of Sharia Law in state courts. The idea that these courts use or could use Sharia is ridiculous, and the measure implies Oklahoma’s Muslims are all extremists trying to subvert U.S. laws. Let’s not marginalize the state’s Muslim population.”[17]

[My note: This ballot measure was in part introduced because a New Jersey court DID use Sharia law to acquit a man of raping his wife because under Sharia law the woman has no rights; under American law, a man can be convicted of raping his wife under verty specific circumstances. The New Jersey court decision was overturned on appeal, but New Jersey did open the door to Sharia law in its decision and this type of amendment would be preventative action from that ever happening again anywhere.]


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