Video: Sharia and the Threat to American Freedom

American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) Co-Founders and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise gave a presentation in Cincinnati to a standing-room-only crowd entitled, “Sharia: Threat to American Freedom.”  Yerushalmi explains sharia as “the enemy threat doctrine”. A highlight of Muise’s presentation is his discussion of American Freedom Defense Initiative’s freedom of speech cases. Watch this very informative video.

Florida ALAC passes First Hearing at Senate Judiciary Committee in Tallahassee

Florida State Senator Alan Hays Sponsor of  SB 386, American Law for American Courts

Florida State Senator Alan Hays Sponsor of SB 386, American Law for American Courts

NER, By Jerry Gordon:

There was a hearing of the Florida version of American Law for American Courts (ALAC) legislation, SB386: “acceptance of foreign laws in certain cases” before the Senate Judiciary Committee chaired by Republican  Sen. Tom Lee..  The vote was on party lines,  6 Republicans to 3 Democrats. See who voted for the ALAC measure at the Florida Family Association website. The House version passed  the first hearing on March 18th in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee. The House version of ALAC has also been  referred  to the Judiciary Committee for a hearing, the last stop before a House floor vote.

According to  Sen. Alan Hays, Senate Sponsor of ALAC,  the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar Association and a representative of Muslim Advocacy group , Emerge USA spoke in opposition.   A contingent from Melbourne, Florida composed  of retired senior military officers  and an author waved testimony in favor of the measure.  Watch this video of  hearing on SB386 before the Senate Judiciary Committee beginning at time mark 111 minutes.

One of the Republicans who voted in favor of the ALAC legislation, Sen. John Thrasher, Chair of the Florida Senate Rules Committee approved the measure today.  Clearance by the Rules Committee will be the final hearing before scheduling a  Senate floor vote.  The next Senate hearing will be conducted by the Florida Senate Government Oversight and Government Accountability Committee. Chairman and Deputy Chairman are Democrat Sen. Jeremy Ring and Republican and ALAC sponsor, Sen. Hays.   Ring voted against SB386 at today’s Senate Judiciary Hearing.

Support may be stronger for passing SB 0386  on this fourth try for Florida ALAC. Part of that is attributable to  research  by the American Public Policy Alliance that revealed nearly two dozen decisions that recognized foreign laws at both the lower and appellate court levels in the sunshine state.  Further, this legal research has been bolstered by  disclosures of  abductions and removal of American children by Saudi parents to Saudi Arabia, in violation of state, federal and international laws criminalizing such parental abductions. These Saudi abductions were allegedly justified  in accordance with Sharia doctrine. See our NER and Iconoclast  interviews with former Arkansas State University professor Margaret McClain,  An American Child Kidnapped in Accordance with Shariah, and a Floridian, Ms. Yasmeen A. Davis, rescued by  her family , Rescue from An Abduction to Saudi Arabia.  Ms. Davis coincidentally lives in Sen. Ring’s district in South Florida.  Sen. Hays and Professor McClain were featured speakers at the Annual Leadership Prayer Breakfast on March 13th in Tallahassee, sponsored by the Christian Family Coalition of Miami (CFC). See our Iconoclast post, “Meet the Florida Citizen Lobbyists backing ALAC in the 2014 Legislative Session”.   Anthony Verdugo, CFC executive director indicated that passage of ALAC is one of the group’s major legislative priorities in the 2014 Session of the Florida Legislature.

“Civilization Jihad” Comes to Court

shariah-will-dominate-AFPBreitbart, By Frank Gaffney:

Want to know what our Islamist enemies have in mind for America? Look at Europe.

Virtually every country there has found itself under siege from Muslims seeking to impose the supremacist Islamic doctrine they call shariah on everyone else. The preeminent organization promoting this agenda is the Muslim Brotherhood, now banned as a terrorist group in its home country of Egypt but prospering in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in what has been known as the Free World. In fact, as Egyptian courts hand down death sentences to those engaged with the Brotherhood’s violent efforts to overthrow the government there, ours is opening the door to asylum for those who have only engaged in “limited” material support for terrorism.

More insidious than the Muslim Brotherhood’s violence, however, is its stealthy subversion. In a 1991 strategic plan introduced into evidence in the Holy Land Foundation trial, a senior member named Mohammed Akram described this form of warfare as “civilization jihad.”

In Akram’s words, the goal of the Brotherhood’s civilization jihadists is “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within… so that God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” His “Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America” lays out how this ambitious goal is to be achieved under our noses by penetrating and subverting “from within” the West’s civil society and governing institutions.

The London Telegraph reports that this campaign has just scored a major success in Great Britain. The country’s trade association for lawyers, the Law Society, has declared its members can begin drawing up shariah-compliant wills that will be enforceable in British common law courts.

Under ground-breaking guidance, produced by The Law Society, High Street solicitors will be able to write Islamic wills that deny women an equal share of inheritances and exclude unbelievers altogether.

The documents, which would be recognized by Britain’s courts, will also prevent children born out of wedlock – and even those who have been adopted – from being counted as legitimate heirs.

Anyone married in a church, or in a civil ceremony, could be excluded from succession under Shariah principles, which recognize only Muslim weddings for inheritance purposes.

Such inroads are coming on top of the presence of something on the order of 87 shariah courts that operate side-by-side with Britain’s own judiciary. One of the U.K.’s most courageous opponents of such practices, Baroness Caroline Cox, said: “No longer do we have a single legal code in our society. Instead, alongside our own law, there is now effectively a parallel quasi-legal system operating within some Muslim communities.”

Think that cannot happen here? Think again. The Muslim Brotherhood’s largest front group in this country, the Islamic Society of North America, requires each of its chapters to maintain arbitration panels that serve as proto-shariah courts. It is a matter of time before Islamists and their apologists begin demanding that such courts be allowed to adjudicate disputes not just between willing parties but in cases where one party – most likely women and/or children – would prefer to have the protections of our Constitution.

Worse yet, as a study published by the Center for Security Policy in 2011 has documented, there have been at least 27 different instances in which U.S. courts have allowed the use of shariah law to govern – even where doing so has violated constitutional rights of the plaintiffs or defendants. (An updated version of this study now nearing completion indicates that, as of today, there are many more such cases.)

As a corrective to this civilization jihadist incursion into American jurisprudence, seven states have adopted legislation known as American Laws for American Courts (ALAC). If they wish to avoid the fate now facing British citizens who are likely to be denied their rightful inheritances and, in due course, other privations at the hands of shariah, every state in the country should adopt ALAC.

Of course, our Constitution’s Article VI declares that it is the supreme law of the land. But that will not long be the case if the civilization jihadists have their way. We must ensure that shariah is not allowed to undermine that constitutional precept – to the detriment of women, children, and the rest of us.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. formerly acted as an Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Reagan. He is President of the Center for Security Policy (www.SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for Breitbart News Network, and host of the nationally syndicated program, Secure Freedom Radio. 

Meet The Florida Citizen Lobbyists backing ALAC in the 2014 Legislative Session

By Jerry Gordon:

The Florida version of the American Law for American Courts (ALAC) is up for its fourth try in the 2014 Legislative session in Tallahassee. In contrast to prior years, there is concerted effort by bill sponsors, Sen. Alan Hayes (R- Umatilla) and Rep. Neil Combee in the House of Representatives to seek Senate and House leadership, as well as Committee commitments for passage of the bills..  There is also  new message that was conveyed to Florida legislators on both House and Senate Committees; Senate Bill 0386/House Bill 903:  “acceptance of foreign law in certain cases”.  The message is that ALAC guards against the recognition of foreign laws in Florida Courts in violation of fundamental Constitutional rights of all citizens, especially women and children.

Professor Margaret McClain at CFC 2014 Legislative Prayer Breakfast, Tallahassee

Professor Margaret McClain at CFC 2014 Legislative Prayer Breakfast, Tallahassee

That message was communicated  at the March 13th  Florida Christian Family Coalition (CFC)   Annual Legislative Prayer Breakfast by Professor Margaret McClain , a retired Arkansas State University professor, whose  daughter Heidi  was kidnapped at the age of 5 and removed to Saudi Arabia by her ex-Husband..  See our New English Review article, An American Child Kidnapped in Accordance with Shariah.  Professor McClain’s experience was also  amplified  in a recent  Iconoclast  interview  with  Yasmeen Alexandria Davis, a Florida young woman, who at  13 years of age  was  rescued from  a kidnapping by her Saudi father through the resourcefulness and persistence of her mother and grandmother,  Her Saudi father relentless keep tabs on her through a  US lawyers and an ex-FBI agent retained by him.. See   An American’s Rescue from Abduction to Saudi Arabia.    Both incidents were violations of state, federal and international conventions on parental kidnapping, but sanctioned under Sharia Islamic law.  Professor McClain and Yasmeen Alexandria Davis testified about abduction of American children to  Saudi Arabia  in a panel of such women, children, and a father at a US House 2002 Government Reform Committee chaired by former Indian Republican Rep. Dan Burton.  Professor McClain  gave proof f to the CFC lobbyists based on   her personal experience why passage of ALA in Florida  was needed to protect American women and children against alien laws that imperil their  fundamental Constitutional  and basic human rights. The CFC has made passage of ALAC a priority in the 2014 legislature.

Sen. Alan Hays, Sponsor of Florida ALAC, SB 0386 at CFC Legislative Prayer Breakfast, 2014

Sen. Alan Hays, Sponsor of Florida ALAC, SB 0386 at CFC Legislative Prayer Breakfast, 2014

The 75  trained men and women, members of the CFC who heard Professor McClain and ALAC Senate Bill sponsor, Sen. Alan Hays,  Rep. Larry Ahern, sponsor of  a bill, Offenses against the Unborn Children (OAUC), fanned out to meet legislators. They  were  equipped with FAQs sheet on why ALAC  is needed and a  list of nearly  two dozen Florida lower court and appellate cases in which foreign laws were recognized .  How effective were they?   According to a report by the CFC:

They met with a total of thirty-nine (39) lawmakers and secured thirty-two (32) co-sponsors/supporters on our legislative priorities. Nineteen (19) co-sponsors and supporters on American Laws for American Courts and thirteen (13) co-sponsors and supporters on the Offenses Against the Unborn Bill.

Neither they nor CFC’s executive director, Anthony Vertigo is resting on their laurels.  They are planning another Legislative Prayer Breakfast and Citizen Lobby Day in Tallahassee the week prior to the close of the Florida legislative session on May 2nd, to assure that those ALAC commitments and others are honored.

Read more at New English Review

*****************

Florida Family Association:

Florida Senate Judiciary Committee to consider America Laws for American Courts bill which would prohibit Sharia and other foreign laws. 

Please click here to send your email to the committee members.

The Florida Senate Judiciary Committee will consider SB 386 titled Application of Foreign Law in Certain Cases on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 between 9:00 and 11:00 am. 

This legislation, commonly known as “American Laws for American Courts”, would prohibit Florida courts from considering certain provisions of foreign laws, including Islamic Sharia law, if such provisions are inconsistent with the Florida and United States of America Constitutions.

If Florida courts accept provisions of Islamic Sharia law or other foreign laws or legal codes which are inconsistent with American laws it will undermine public policies enacted by our representative form of government and change our value system.

Application of Foreign Law in Certain Cases: Defines “foreign law, legal code, or system”; specifies public policy on application of foreign law, legal code, or system in proceedings relating to dissolution of marriage, support, time-sharing, UCCJEA, & UIFSA; provides that certain decisions rendered under such laws, codes, or systems are void; provides that certain contracts & contract provisions are void; provides for construction of waiver by natural person of person’s fundamental liberties, rights, & privileges guaranteed by state or federal constitutions; provides that claims of forum non conveniens or related claims must be denied; provides that act doesn’t require or authorize court to adjudicate, or prohibit any religious organization from adjudicating, ecclesiastical matters in violation of specified constitutional provisions or to conflict with any federal treaty or other international agreement to which U.S. is party to specified extent.  Full text of SB 386

Florida Family Association has prepared an email for you to send urging the members of the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee to vote for SB 386 - Application of Foreign Law in Certain Cases. 

To send your email, please click the following link, enter your name and email address then click the “Send Your Message” button. You may also edit the subject or message text if you wish. 

Please click here to send your email to the members of the Florida Judiciary committee. 

Florida Senate Judiciary Committee contact information.

Rabbi Hausman’s Letter to Georgia Legislators on America Law for American Courts

Rabbi Jonathan Hausman(1)

New English Review,

By Rabbi Jonathan Hausman:

Re: HB 895 – Foreign Law; prohibit the application of foreign law in Georgia courts; violations of rights guaranteed natural citizens by U.S. and Georgia Constitutions

Dear Congressman  Hightower,

My name is Rabbi Jonathan Hausman.  I have a BA in Judaic Studies, MA in International Affairs concentrating on the Middle East (both degrees from The George Washington University), JD from Emory University (licensed to practice in the State of Connecticut and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania), and my Rabbinic degree from Kollel Lomdei Torah of The Tifereth Israel Rabbinical Yeshiva.  I spent a great deal of time living and studying in the Middle East having lived and worked in Israel and studied at The American University of Cairo.  I read, speak and write Hebrew and Arabic, and am conversant in Jewish and Islamic sacralized texts and literature.

It has come to my attention that representatives of the Anti-Defamation League gave testimony opposing the aforementioned legislation SB 895 – Foreign Law; prohibit the application of foreign law in Georgia courts; violations of rights guaranteed natural citizens by U.S. and Georgia Constitutions

I write to you in response as one who possesses the unique skills to plumb the sources of two traditions (Judaism and Islam) along with the requisite legal training appertaining to US law and Constitutional governance.

Indeed, a comprehensive study was undertaken by the Center for Security Policy (CSP) in 2011 which uncovered the extent of the use of Sharia (Islamic Law) as the basis for legal decisions.  50 Appellate court cases from 23 States were reviewed in this study.  Most of the cases referenced in this study involve Muslim women and children, who were asking American courts to preserve their rights to equal protection and due process in cases dealing with divorce and child custody. These families came to America for freedom from the discriminatory and cruel laws of Shariah.  However, all 50 Appellate decisions dealt with the application of Sharia in contravention to the Constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law.

The CSP study’s findings suggest that Sharia law has entered into state court decisions, in conflict with the Constitution and state public policy. Some commentators have said there are no more than one or two cases of Sharia law in U.S. state court cases; yet the Center for Security Policy found 50 significant cases just from the small sample of appellate published cases in 2011.  The number of lower court decisions that did not result in appeals is not known as such cases are generally not reported.

With all due respect to the claims of the ADL that the aforementioned legislation’s supposed purpose is to counter the infiltration of our judicial and legal system by Sharia (Islamic) law while subsequently claiming that no Georgia court decision, or any other court decision, demonstrating an actual need for this legislation can be found is demonstrably incorrect.

Many have asserted with certainty that state court judges will always reject any foreign law, including Sharia law, when it conflicts with the Constitution or state public policy; once again, the Center’s study found 15 Trial Court cases, and 12 Appellate Court cases, where Sharia was found to be applicable in these particular instances. The facts are the facts: some judges are making decisions deferring to Sharia law even when those decisions conflict with Constitutional protections.  The complete study is available at http://shariahinamericancourts.com/

Some have also claimed that such legislation is applicable to all religious law. So, for instance, the observant Jewish community regularly uses religious tribunals (Batei Din) to resolve all kinds of disputes, including divorce settlements, which often are the basis for civil court divorce decrees and orders. But this legislation would prevent a Jewish couple in Texas from voluntarily using a Bet Din to resolve their divorce settlement, and also would invalidate an out-of state divorce based on a Bet Din arbitration.   This is incorrect.

There is a basic Rabbinic principle that has operated since roughly the year 226 CE. That principle is known asDina d’malchuta Dina, the law of the country is binding and, in certain cases, is to be preferred to Jewish law/Halacha.  Rabbinical developments evidenced a practicality regarding dealing with and maintaining positive relationships with the governing non-Jewish civil society (e.g. Parthian and subsequent Sassanid Persian rulers of Babylonia) which surrounded the Jewish community.  This extended to the Jewish communities of Europe and, subsequently, transplanted to the United States.

While it is true that Jews maintained their own courts in certain locales during certain historical periods whose decisions were enforced by the secular authorities, such Rabbinical court decisions always were set aside if there was a conflict with the society at large.  As a member of the Rabbinate who engages frequently with many different issues regarding matters of personal status (marriage, divorce, property settlements, etc.), I can attest to one basic fact of legal life.  If a Get (Jewish bill of divorce) is issued by a husband to a wife without a civil divorce, that couple is still married in every jurisdiction in this country.  This is just one example amongst many.

Halacha/Jewish Law has this precept that one must be reconciled to changed circumstances regarding government, and that civil law is necessary for the functioning of the greater society. The result was an internal recognition of Judaism’s non-supercessionist and non-conversionary character. According to the Prophet Nehemiah, Jews should obey the laws of their rulers (Nehemiah 9:37).  It extends to real property issues (after all, the government could/can confiscate property), common currency, taxes, recognition of administrative officers and documents and regulations issued by such authorities, as well as the appointed juridical positions within and outside of the Jewish community.

As for those issues dealing with personal piety (e.g. Kashruth, that is observance of the Jewish dietary rules), such only apply to Jews specifically and not to the world at large.  There is nothing coercive vis a vis general society.

Sharia, on its face might be described as the religious code for living the moral system according to Islamic tradition; perhaps, in the same way the Bible would serve for Christians. The difference is quite stark, however.

Sharia refers both to the Islamic system of law and the totality of the Islamic way of life. It is immutable, perfect, unchangeable, static, and unchanging.  Death penalty for apostasy, as well as homosexuality, adultery, freedom of speech issues when it comes to criticizing Islam or Muhammad or drawing satire cartoons, disfigurement for theft, depredations suffered by women (e.g. the increasing frequency of honor killings in the US protected under Shariah, female genital mutilation, child custody and absconding of minor children) and the irrelevancy of women’s testimony as well as lower percentage of inheritance and no rights regarding issues of child custody, plaintiffs exacting legal revenge (eye for an eye is taken literally), gambling, alcohol consumption all command exacting punishment under Sharia.

The only instance in the United States dealing with a criminal prosecution for female genital mutilation occurred in Georgia.  Furthermore, there are known to be two cases of children of a marriage between a non-Muslim American mother and a Saudi Muslim father who absconded with the children because Sharia law dictates that custody resides solely with the Muslim father and male relatives.

The United States has a Constitution under which the government functions, and the Bill of Rights which protects basic human rights and freedom – rights derived from the Almighty according to the secular foundational documents of these United States – freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom of education and freedom to organize political parties. The pertinent question regarding Sharia is thus.  Does Sharia, as a legal system act in consonance with the Constitutional legal principles so cherished by and supported by over two centuries of American case law or does it stand for a diminution of the rights of many segments of our population?  If the latter, then legislation such as HB 895, The application of foreign law and foreign forum selection in certain family law proceedings certainly is one of the surest methods to protect the Constitutional rights of parties in family law matters under Georgia law and practice, as well as in front of the Georgia Judiciary.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Jonathan H. Hausman

BA,MA, JD, Rabbinic Ordination

Spiritual Leader

Ahavath Torah Congregation

Stoughton, Massachusetts

Cc:  Congressman Wendell Willard, Chair, GA House Judiciary Committee

Congressman David Ralston, Speaker, GA State House

Congressman Alex Atwood, Secretary, Public Safety and Homeland Security

Committee

 

 

Islamist-Interfaith Alliance Battles Foreign Law Bans

IslamWillDominateWhiteHouseBy Ryan Mauro:

Shoulder-to-Shoulder, an interfaith coalition allied with the Islamic Society of North America, is mobilizing its supporters against state legislation that stops foreign law from superseding the Constitution. The Islamists’ non-Muslim allies are helping frame it as an unnecessary, bigoted initiative that threatens all people of faith.

The coalition is holding a webinar on February 27. The announcement correctly notes that current legislation does not mention Shariah, though it is covered under the terminology of “foreign law.” Seven states have passed such bills since 2010.

Shoulder-to-Shoulder’s description makes it sound like the legislation is a ban on foreign law influencing judges’ decision altogether. It states:

“Most religious laws that influence these contracts (like Jewish Halakha, Catholic Canon law, or Islamic Shariah law) were not developed within the United States and would be considered foreign law under such legislation. While anti-Muslim sentiment is still the motivating factor behind these laws, Americans of every faith should be concerned about their impact on religious freedom.”

This is an easily refutable misrepresentation of the bills, based on the American Laws for American Courts draft legislation. It does not ban religious contracts like those mentioned by Shoulder-to-Shoulder, nor is it a blanket ban on foreign law. It only applies when there is a conflict between the U.S. Constitution and foreign law in court and it victimizes no one, especially not Muslims because Muslim-Americans are benefactors of it.

2011 study found 50 cases where Shariah or foreign law based on Shariah influenced the court case. The American Public Policy Alliance has a list of 10 cases where a Muslim-American party objected to the role of Shariah. The summary is as follows:

“In cases 1-3, the Appellate Courts upheld Shariah law; in cases 4-7, the Trial Courts upheld Shariah, but the Appellate Courts reversed (protecting the litigant’s constitutional rights); in cases 8-10, both Trial and Appellate Courts rejected the attempts to enforce Shariah law.”

ALAC is sometimes criticized as unnecessary and driven by unsubstantiated paranoia. It is hard to imagine that an American judge would ever rule give foreign law precedence over American law. The American Public Policy Alliance explains that the bill fixes a troublesome loophole:

Most states merely state that foreign laws and judgments that violate the state’s “public policy” shall not be recognized. But the courts consistently rule that the state legislature has the responsibility to articulate clearly what the state’s public policy actually is.

The ALAC website points out the hypocrisy of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. In response to business dress codes enforced on Muslim-American women in France, CAIR communications director Ibrahim Hooper unwittingly supported the rationale behind ALAC.

“A discriminatory dress code implemented in France does not supersede American laws protecting the religious rights of American citizens,” he said. He said CAIR is “defending American law from foreign intrusion.”

The American-Islamic Forum for Democracy supports ALAC-type bills because it has seen how Shariah has affected Muslims in Europe. The bills’ purpose is not to pre-empt a hypothetical situation. It’s a reaction to what is actually happening right now.

2010 study found that Shariah courts in the United Kingdom lack accountability, to say the least. There are not clear standards for appointing judges and monitoring proceedings and rulings often conflict with British law. For example, British courts’ first priority is the interest of the child. Shariah courts rule that children automatically go into the custody of the father after a certain age.

The British Justice Ministry investigated Shariah courts and had to end give up because of a lack of cooperation from the court staffs.

The misrepresentations by Shoulder-to-Shoulder stem from its relationship with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity and unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation. The Foundation was another Brotherhood entity that was shut down for financing Hamas. This isn’t six degrees of separation: The Holy Land Foundation operated within ISNA, according to a 2009 ruling by a federal judge.

ISNA said on its website last month that it “founded” Shoulder-to-Shoulder to counter increasing bigotry against Muslims. Elsewhere on its website, ISNA saysit “helped convene” the coalition of 28 religious organizations. Whichever way it is worded, the point is that Shoulder-to-Shoulder is largely a product of ISNA.

And who is the ISNA official leading its interfaith campaign and, therefore, its work with Shoulder-to-Shoulder? Former Secretary-General Sayyid Syeed, who is seen in The Grand Deception documentary saying in 2006, “Our job is to change the constitution of America.” His current job title at ISNA is National Director of ISNA’s Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances.

Read more at Front Page

AFLC’s Defense of American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) & Response to Critics

download (14)AFLC:

In a must see video, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel Robert Muise responds to critics of AFLC’s public policy initiative, American Laws for American Courts (ALAC), which is model legislation that was drafted by AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi.

In this compelling video, Muise debunks the often repeated and wrongheaded criticisms of ALAC advanced by those with good intentions, such as Joe Carter, who criticized ALAC in “The Dangers of Anti-Sharia Laws,” which was published in The Gospel Coalition Blog, and by those with evil in mind, such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which objects to ALAC for obvious reasons: it undermines CAIR’s goal of imposing sharia in America.

American Laws for American Courts Protects Constitutional Rights against Foreign Laws

20120302_court+muslim+SHARIA+LAWFamily Security Matters, By Christopher Holton:

On Thursday, 15 August, US District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange struck down an Oklahoma state constitutional amendment (known as SQ755) that forbade Oklahoma’s courts from considering Islamic law (Shariah) in judicial decisions.

SQ755 had overwhelmingly passed a vote of the people in Oklahoma in November 2010.

This decision was not a surprise and echoed an earlier ruling by the Tenth US Circuit Court of Appeals back in 2010. As detailed in this article, SQ755 contained several flaws which rendered it counterproductive:

Fortunately, there is an effective and constitutional alternative to measures such as SQ755 and Oklahoma joined a host of other states this spring in passing it into law. That law is called American Laws for American Courts (ALAC).

Authored by Representative Sally Kern and Senator Gary Stanislawski of Oklahoma,  ALAC passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives 85-7 and the Oklahoma Senate 40-3. The bill was signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin on 22 April.

Versions of ALAC have now been signed into law in Tennessee, Louisiana, Arizona, Kansas, and Oklahoma. A version of ALAC passed the Alabama legislature overwhelmingly as a constitutional amendment and goes to a vote of the people on the ballot in the next statewide election. A version of ALAC also passed both houses of the Missouri legislature but was vetoed by the governor; an override session is scheduled for September. Most recently, a version of ALAC passed the North Carolina Senate and House by a wide, bi-partisan margin and is awaiting the governor’s signature there.

ALAC remedies the flaws in Oklahoma’s SQ 755, and in many ways takes a diametrically opposite approach to SQ 755:

  • ALAC is facially neutral. In an honest debate, it cannot be accused of discriminating against any religion or protected class.
  • ALAC is based on a completely different legal premise from SQ 755′s.

Rather than seeking a ban on foreign or international law, ALAC seeks to preserve the constitutional rights and state public policy protections of American citizens and legal residents, in cases involving foreign laws in the particular dispute being adjudicated.  If a case arises in which a foreign law or foreign legal doctrine is involved in a dispute in a state court, ALAC prevents the use of that foreign law or foreign legal doctrine if any of the parties’ fundamental constitutional rights or state public policy would be violated in the process.  This is very different from a blanket ban on foreign laws.

  • ALAC is not vague. It provides specific guidance for judges on complex legal issues involving comity, choice of law, choice of forum, conflict of laws and forum non conveniens, protecting fundamental constitutional rights.

Because of the careful planning and thought behind ALAC’s wording, in contrast to SQ 755, from a practical standpoint, it is effective in preventing the enforcement of any foreign law – including in many cases, shariah law – that would violate U.S. and state constitutional liberties or state public policy.

And the need for an effective law preserving constitutional rights against the enforcement of unconstitutional foreign law is both real and urgent: an independent study conducted by the Center for Security Policy found fifty cases in 23 states where shariah law had been introduced into state court cases, including many appellate and trial court cases where the judges ruled for shariah law over U.S. law.  Most victims of foreign laws in these cases had come to America for freedom and individual liberty – including American Muslims seeking to escape shariah laws.

Christopher Holton is a Vice President with the Center for Security Policy and the Director of its Divest Terror Initiative. Chris Holton is a past president and marketing director of Blanchard & Co. and editor-in-chief of the Blanchard Economic Research Unit from 1990 to 2003. As chief of the Blanchard Economic Research Unit in 2000, he conceived and commissioned the Center for Security Policy special report Clinton’s Legacy: The Dangerous Decade. Holton is a member of the Board of Advisers of WorldTribune.com.

U.S. Islamists Press to Block Anti-Sharia Legislation

states enacting ALACBY CLARE LOPEZ:

As momentum builds across the U.S. to reinforce safeguards for the primacy of American laws in the U.S. legal system through legislation at the state level, the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters are beginning to panic.

To date, Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Tennessee have all enacted legislation that would ensure primacy for U.S. Constitutional law in cases where enforcing foreign laws or judgments, including Islamic law (sharia), “would deprive a party of a constitutional right or liberty,” as explained by David Yerushalmi, Co-Founder and Senior Counsel of the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC).

In mid-summer 2013, the North Carolina legislature, both House and Senate, passed HB 522, the Foreign Laws/Protect Constitutional Rights Bill, with broad bipartisan support. Not surprisingly, the HAMAS and Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which was named by the Justice Department an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation HAMAS terror funding trial, has mounted an email blitz campaign, urging North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to veto the bill instead of signing it.

Written in neutral language, this bill is modeled after American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) language offered by the American Public Policy Alliance (APPA). The North Carolina bill, now before Governor McCrory for signature into law, specifies that the intent of the measure is to “protect its citizens from the application of foreign law that would result in the violation of a fundamental constitutional right of a natural person.”

Thus, contrary to some of the criticism aimed at this bill, there is nothing in its language that would prohibit consideration of foreign law in North Carolina courts: it is only if and when application of such foreign law (sharia or any other) would deprive persons before a North Carolina court the rights to which they are entitled under the U.S. Constitution (and its derivative laws).

In such a case, American law would take precedence over foreign law. In cases that involve no conflict between U.S. law and foreign law, comity (mutual recognition of a respective country’s legislation) may be applied.

With the June 2011 publication by the Center for Security Policy (CSP) of a report entitled “Shariah Law and American State Courts: An Assessment of American Appellate Court Cases,” the American Public Policy Alliance took notice that Islamic law increasingly has entered into state court decisions in ways that conflict with the U.S. Constitution and state public policy.

Alarmingly, not only do some judges not understand what sharia is, but make decisions that defer to it even when those decisions conflict with U.S. Constitutional protections. Islamic law is antithetical to American laws, principles and traditions in many ways, but most specifically in its rejection — and even criminalization — of basic freedoms, including freedom of belief, press, speech, due process, equal protection under the law, privacy and the right to bear arms

Read more at The Clarion Project

 

CAIR Targets Constitutional Rights in North Carolina

download (26)By Christopher Holton:

Recently the North Carolina legislature passed American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) legislation with broad bipartisan support.

The purpose of ALAC is to protect individual, fundamental constitutional rights in cases involving foreign laws and foreign legal doctrines. Among those fundamental constitutional rights are freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, due process and equal protection under the law.

One of the primary opponents of ALAC legislation is the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which seeks to supplant US constitutional rights and norms by accommodating foreign laws and foreign legal doctrines, such as Shariah.

CAIR has targeted North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory with a nationwide e-mail and telephone blitz in an attempt to intimidate him into vetoing the ALAC legislation that both the North Carolina House and Senate approved with overwhelming, bipartisan majorities:

http://www.bizpacreview.com/2013/07/28/cair-hits-nc-governor-with-email-blitz-to-veto-anti-sharia-bill-80548

As the article linked above explains, promoting Shariah in the US is one of CAIR’s top agenda items. In March 2012, the organization published a tool-kit for promoting Shariah for community organizers across America.

CAIR has attempted to create many misconceptions about ALAC legislation which require correction and clarification.

For instance, CAIR suggests that the purpose of ALAC legislation is to target religious practices. This accusation is baseless.

Anyone who actually takes the time to read the legislation can readily see this. The purpose of ALAC is explicitly spelled out: American Laws for American Courts is designed to protect individual, fundamental constitutional rights against the application of foreign laws and foreign legal doctrines, when the application of a foreign law or foreign legal doctrine would violate any of the parties’ fundamental constitutional rights—including freedom of religion.

In fact, the model ALAC language clearly states that it shall not interfere with ecclesiastical matters or be construed to violate anyone’s religious practice.

Moreover, CAIR’s supposition that ALAC is “unconstitutional” is laughable at best. ALAC has been in force in Tennessee and Louisiana since 2010, Arizona since 2011 and Kansas since May of 2012 and it has never been challenged. That’s because there is simply no legal basis for the embarrassingly contradictory theory that protecting individual fundamental constitutional rights is somehow unconstitutional.

America has an established tradition of allowing people of faith to make agreements and resolve disputes within the parameters of their religion, as long as any resulting contract complies with the US constitution. That is exactly what ALAC is designed to do—as is explicitly stated in the legislation.

CAIR documents have dishonestly portrayed ALAC. For instance, a letter sent by CAIR to the Oklahoma legislature in the spring of 2013 referred to the American Bar Association as being opposed to “such legislation.” This is an important point because it is not true. If you actually examine the American Bar Association literature on this, they were not referring to American Laws for American Courts legislation. In fact, the resolution they passed did not oppose American Laws for American Courts legislation.

CAIR has also created a phantom argument to scare state elected officials into thinking that standing up for individual, fundamental constitutional rights will somehow negatively impact the business community of a state or inhibit commerce in some way. There is absolutely no evidence to support this claim. Not only does ALAC expressly apply to individuals, not businesses, but there has been no negative impact on business or commerce in any of the several states that have passed ALAC since 2010.

The reality of ALAC legislation can be summed up in three points:

1. American Laws for American Courts does not target a religion or religious community.

2. American Laws for American Courts is not explicitly aimed at Shariah.

3. American Laws for American Courts is targeted at safeguarding individual, fundamental constitutional rights and does not impact business or commerce in any way, shape or form. It has had no impact whatsoever on the business or commerce of the several states in which it has already passed.

Since we have taken the time to address the issues CAIR has raised with regard to ALAC, now we will take the time to address the myriad concerns thousands of freedom-loving Americans have about CAIR itself. These concerns are especially relevant given CAIR’s opposition to protecting the individual, fundamental constitutional rights of Americans:

Read the rest at Center for Security Policy

More states move to ban foreign law in courts

Source: Pew Research Center's Religion and Public Life Project Janet Loehrke and Kimberly Railey, USA TODAY

Source: Pew Research Center’s Religion and Public Life Project
Janet Loehrke and Kimberly Railey, USA TODAY

By Kimberly Railey, USA TODAY:

Some say that preventing judges from recognizing foreign law when issuing decisions could affect religious arbitration used to handle family and personal disputes.

A growing number of states are targeting what they see as a threat to their court systems: the influence of international laws.

North Carolina last month became the seventh state to pass legislation barring judges from considering foreign law in their decisions, including sharia. The bill awaits the signature of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.

*************************

CAIR asks national membership to bombard North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory with emails urging him to veto ALAC legislation

Please click here to send your email urging North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to sign HB 522 Application of Foreign Law into state law.

Contact information:

Office of the Governor
20301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-0301
Phone: (919) 814-2000
Fax: (919) 733-2120

pat.mccrory@nc.gov

*********************

Six other states — Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Tennessee — have already enacted similar legislation since 2010, and at least 25 have introduced such measures, according to the Pew Research Center’s Religion and Public Life Project.

One exception to this trend is Missouri. In June, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, vetoed a foreign law bill, saying it would make international adoptions more difficult.

Sharia, or Islamic law, is both a moral code and religious law that governs all aspects of Muslim life, ranging from religious obligations to family relationships. It is derived from the Quran, the main religious text of Islam, and the teachings of Mohammed, the Muslim prophet.

Many of the bills, including North Carolina’s, would apply only in situations in which invoking foreign law would violate a person’s constitutional rights.

“They exist purely to create a conversation around what sharia is,” said Corey Saylor, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Advocates of the foreign law bans say they safeguard American constitutional liberties, but critics argue they are unnecessary and could complicate international business and contract law.

The bans could also make it difficult to enforce foreign money judgments and matters of family law, like divorce decrees, that are based on a foreign law or religion, said Matthew Duss, a policy analyst at the left-leaning Center for American Progress.

“We’ll have to wait for the test cases to come, but there are a range of issues in which these bans could create real legal uncertainty,” Duss said.

Supporters of the legislation, including Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, say that Islamic law is slipping into U.S. courts.

“It’s an affront to the Constitution of the United States,” he said, “and detrimental to those whose rights are infringed.”

In the U.S., sharia, like other religious law, can enter court through divorce and custody cases or in commercial litigation, mainly when contracts cannot be settled in a religious setting. But the exact frequency of such instances is hard to measure.

A 2011 report by the Center for Security Policy, a Washington, D.C., think tank, cited 50 examples. However, in many of them, constitutional rights trumped foreign or religious laws in judges’ decisions.

One outlier is a 2010 New Jersey case, where a state court found that a man did not intend to rape his wife because he thought his religion allowed him to have sexual intercourse with her at any time. An appeals court eventually overturned that ruling.

The wave of state action began in Oklahoma in 2010, when a voter initiative to prohibit sharia in state courts passed with 70% of the popular vote. In 2012, a federal circuit court struck down the measure.

In its wake, the laws have been retooled to ban all foreign law in state courts to avoid targeting one religion.

But some still say the legislation can harm faith groups. Debra Linick, a director at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, said foreign law bans could affect religious arbitration used to handle family and personal disputes.

Michael Gerhardt, a constitutional law expert at the University of North Carolina School of Law, said the legislation, particularly North Carolina’s ban, is a solution to a non-existent problem.

“I simply cannot imagine any state court would recognize sharia to defeat a federal constitutional right,” Gerhardt said.

Here are the facts: FAQ for State Legislators On American Laws for American Courts

CAIR asks national membership to bombard North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory with emails urging him to veto ALAC legislation

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory

North Carolina
Governor Pat McCrory

Click here to send your email urging Governor Pat McCrory to sign the bill into law.  If you choose to modify the email content or subject line please maintain a positive tone and respect for Governor Pat McCrory.

Florida Family Association:

The national office of the Council on American Islamic Relations sent out an email call to action asking their national membership to urge North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to veto HB 522 entitled Application of Foreign Law.  HB 522 prohibits North Carolina state courts from considering certain provisions of foreign law including Islamic Sharia law.

The following states have already enacted similar legislation modeled after American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) language offered by the American Public Policy Alliance:  Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.  Alabama legislators placed a similar measure on the 2014 ballot for voters to consider adding the restriction to the Alabama Constitution.

TheState.com reportsNC Muslims hope Gov. Pat McCrory vetoes anti-Sharia bill.

One of CAIR’s top agenda items is to defend Sharia law from being restricted in the United States.  Thus far, CAIR’s rhetoric has resonated with some overly politically correct legislators resulting in numerous states rejecting legislation proposed by ALAC.

The hardcoded portion of the email prepared by CAIR for their national membership to send to Governor Pat McCrory states in part: The bigoted nature and origin of this bill is the predominant reason why it was overwhelmingly rejected in Florida, Alabama, Virginia, Texas, New Jersey, and Minnesota, and was let expire in eleven other states.

Florida Family Association has prepared an email for you to send urging North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to sign HB 522 Application of Foreign Law into state law.

To send your email, please click the following link, enter your name and email address then click the “Send Your Message” button. You may also modify the subject or message text if you wish.  If you choose to modify the email content or subject line please maintain a positive tone and respect for Governor Pat McCrory.

Please click here to send your email urging North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to sign HB 522 Application of Foreign Law into state law.

Contact information:

Office of the Governor
20301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-0301
Phone: (919) 814-2000
Fax: (919) 733-2120

pat.mccrory@nc.gov

 

 

North Carolina Senate passes ALAC inspired bill

american-justice2By Annalise Frank at the News Observer:

RALEIGH –  The state Senate on Friday passed a bill that would keep courts from recognizing Sharia law.

While proponents of the legislation said it would keep people safe from foreign laws, critics derided the bill as sending a message of intolerance and bigotry to followers of Islam.

The Senate had already approved the measure when it was attached to a controversial measure that would impose stricter regulations on abortion providers in the state. But the foreign law provision wasn’t sufficiently critiqued because abortion overwhelmed the floor debate, said Sen. Floyd McKissick, a Democrat from Durham.

Now called House Bill 522, the provision’s contents haven’t changed. It reminds judges that the U.S. and N.C. constitutions are the law of the land and no foreign law can supersede them. Sometimes international laws are used in court as evidence before a judge, or in written opinions. But this bill would stop judges from considering foreign law when it violates a citizen’s constitutional rights.

“Unfortunately we have judges from time to time … that sometimes seem to forget what the supreme law of the land is, and sometimes make improper rulings,” said Sen. E.S. “Buck” Newton, a Wilson Republican and the legislation’s Senate sponsor.

Though the bill doesn’t specifically mention it, Newton was clear during Friday’s session that the legislation targets Sharia law, a legal system based on the religious and moral tenants of Islam. Few Muslim countries apply the entire body of rules, instead choosing measures relevant to them. More than 60 countries use at least part of Sharia law in their governance.

Its improper use has “worked to deprive” U.S. citizens and immigrants of their constitutional rights, Newton said. There have been 27 reported cases around the country in which Sharia law has been used, he added.

More than 20 states have introduced legislation banning Sharia law or foreign law in state courts. Many bills – including North Carolina’s – would apply only to cases in which the application of foreign law would violate a person’s constitutional rights.

Sen. Ellie Kinnaird of Chapel Hill, a Democrat, said she thinks the bill’s sponsors don’t truly mean to inform judges that foreign law is unacceptable, but rather the people of North Carolina.

“I think the audience is really wider,” Kinnaird said.

The N.C. Bar Association opposed the bill in its former incarnation, House Bill 695. The American Bar Association said in a resolution that the passage of such bills will have a “widespread negative impact on business, adversely affecting … economic development in the states in which such a law is passed and in U.S. foreign commerce generally.”

The danger doesn’t come from the legislation’s exact wording, said Omid Safi, a professor of religious studies at UNC-Chapel Hill. He contends this wave of anti-foreign-law legislation comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of Sharia law and a “bigoted” perception of Muslims.

“We would be delighted to have a conversation about what Sharia law actually is and what it is not,” he said. “It would be important, if we’re passing legislation on the topic, for (lawmakers who support the bill) to actually benefit from the expertise of people who might actually know something about the subject.”

The bill wouldn’t affect only Sharia law. Jewish organizations have spoken out against anti-foreign-law legislation across the United States because the measures could negate the common Jewish practice of resolving disputes according to their religious laws, Halacha.

Related articles

SHARIA COURTS IN BRITAIN: A HIDDEN CAMERA REPORT

muslim-arbitration-tribunal (1)Watchdog Wire, by Guy Rogers:

A BBC Panorama Documentary goes undercover in one of the eighty-five sharia courts operating as a parallel legal system in the UK, uncovering the extensive abuse of women, refusal to grant divorces, charging of the woman but not the man for divorce proceedings, and even the taking away of the woman’s children, and rulings contrary to British law.

The International Policy Council (IPC) from the Gatestone Institute states, “The undercover investigation proves what has long been suspected: namely, that Sharia courts, which operate in mosques and houses across Britain, routinely issue rulings on domestic and marital issues according to Islamic Sharia law that are at odds with British law. Although Sharia rulings are not legally binding, those subject to the rulings often feel obliged to obey them as a matter of religious belief, or because of pressure from family and community members to do so.”

The IPC notes:

The documentary contends that the Sharia courts, run by Muslim judges known as qadi, are putting women at risk of violence from abusive husbands by pressuring them to stay in abusive marriages.

In one case, the BBC secretly filmed proceedings at the Islamic Sharia Council in Leyton, a heavily Islamized area in east London. While there, a BBC reporter met Sonia, a Muslim woman from Leeds who has suffered extreme physical abuse from her husband. When Sonia obtained a civil divorce, the courts allowed her husband only indirect access to the children.

Go inside a sharia court in Britain and ask yourself: Do we want this in the United States?

Hamas-connected CAIR claims that American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) legislation is “anti-Muslim.” The attempt to pass ALAC in 2013 stalled in the Florida legislature when Democrats used a procedural maneuver to kill the bill.

When you watch this must see video below, you’ll see how dishonest that CAIR claim is. That’s because the Muslim women abused by the sharia court system in Britain would be protected under American Laws for American Courts.

“There are some who are putting women at risk. And doing so for ridiculous reasons, namely that they are somehow responsible for the abuse they are suffering.” — Nazir Afzal, head of the Crown Prosecution Service, northwest England.

Related articles

Taking Action: State Initiatives to Combat Islamism in the U.S.

we the people 2By Christopher Holton and Ryan Mauro:

The failure to recognize, let alone confront, the Islamist ideology on the federal level does not mean that nothing can be done. An increasing number of states are passing or considering legislation designed to take on this task.

Below are five initiatives you can promote in your state:

American Laws for American Courts

In 2011, the Center for Security Policy released a studied titled Shariah Law and American State Courts: An Assessment of State Appellate Court Cases. The study found 50 appellate court cases in 23 states where Shariah-based legislation from 16 foreign countries contradicted American law.

The primary victims of this “conflict of law” are Muslim-Americans. Areview of 10 cases where Shariah-based law and American law clashed in court found:

“In cases 1-3, the Appellate Courts upheld Shariah law; in cases 4-7, the Trial Courts upheld Shariah, but the Appellate Courts reversed (protecting the litigant’s constitutional rights); in cases 8-10, both Trial and Appellate Courts rejected the attempts to enforce Shariah law.”

The American Public Policy Alliance explains that unclear state law has resulted in “the courts and the litigants hav[ing] repeatedly failed to recognize that comity to a foreign judgment may be at odds with our state and federal constitutional principles…”

American Laws for American Courts is model legislation that prohibits courts from putting foreign law before American law. This has often been described as “Anti-Shariah” legislation, but it doesn’t even mention Shariah or Islam. Its purpose is to protect Americans from being abused by any kind of foreign law.

American Laws for American Courts has been passed in Tennessee, Louisiana, Arizona, Kansas and Oklahoma. It was recently passed by the Alabama legislature as a constitutional amendment and will soon be put to a vote by the people. In Missouri, the legislature will meet in September to try to override the Governor’s veto of the bill.

Free Speech Defense Act

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld was sued by a Saudi billionaire named Khalid bin Mahfouz because her book linked him to terrorism-financing. Because 23 copies of the book were bought online in the United Kingdom, Mahfouz was able to exploit the U.K.’s libel laws and sue Ehrenfeld even though she lives in America. Altogether, he targeted 45 publishers and journalists and only she refused to settle.

In 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Committee warned that loose libel laws “discourage critical media reporting on matters of serious public interest, adversely affecting the ability of scholars and journalists to publish their work, including through the phenomenon known as ‘libel tourism.’”

Federal legislation called the SPEECH Act, also known as “Rachel’s Law,” has been passed but there is a glaring loophole that could result in Americans being denied a trial in U.S. courts.

The Free Speech Defense Act protects the First Amendment rights of Americans from foreign libel tourism. A modified version of this legislation has been passed in South Dakota, New York, California, Illinois, Florida, Utah, Tennessee, Louisiana, Maryland and Oklahoma. It is pending in the South Carolina legislature.

Read more at The Clarion Project