In the past year, over 10,000 American citizens have petitioned elected representatives from their respective state governments to enact the “American Laws for American Courts” (ALAC) legislation, which is designed to prohibit the application of foreign law when it would violate fundamental constitutional rights such as due process and equal protection. David Yerushalmi, Co-Founder and Senior Counsel of the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), was the principal drafter of the model legislation, which has passed in states such as Arizona, Louisiana, Kansas, and Tennessee.
AFLC sponsored a citizens awareness drive to alert Americans about this public policy initiative to protect their rights from constitutionally offensive foreign laws, including – but not limited to – sharia law. Indeed, extensive research conducted by the Center for Security Policy, a national security thank tank, has found over 50 significant cases from a small sample of published cases indicating that sharia law has permeated state court decisions nationwide.
Yerushalmi commented: “The fact that 10,000 individual Americans responded to our citizens awareness drive demonstrates the growing concern about the imposition of sharia law and its pernicious effect in American courts. Even more important, it shows that Americans are listening to AFLC’s arguments, which have exposed the fact that numerous judges nationwide have applied sharia over United States law. People get it: American Laws for American Courts is not a slogan, it is actual legislation available to every state that enacts it, and it will ensure that no state court applies foreign laws or judgments that deprive a party of their constitutional rights.”
In Hosain v. Malik, a classic example of a state court enforcing sharia law, a Maryland appellate court agreed with a lower court’s decision to defer to a Pakistani Sharia Court that granted sole, unrestricted custody of a child to her father even though the mother was not provided due process in the proceedings. The mother had argued that if she had gone to Pakistan to contest the case, she would have been subject to capital punishment for having a new relationship with a man not sanctioned by sharia. Nonetheless, the Maryland appellate court ruled that her failure to go to Pakistan and take the risk of execution precluded her from making a public policy argument against the enforcement of sharia law. In this case, ALAC would have provided the Maryland appellate court the legislative clarity to reverse the lower court’s decision.
In spite of its constitutional defenses, ALAC has faced fierce opposition from Muslim Brotherhood groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which claim that passing ALAC legislation discriminates against Muslims.
Yerushalmi commented: “Muslim Brotherhood front groups like CAIR have joined the ‘blame-America’ Left to challenge these laws, but the fact is ALAC has not been overturned in any of the states that have passed it because it is not just a constitutional law, it is the best way to protect the constitutional liberties of all American citizens.”
Robert Muise, Co-Founder and Senior Counsel of AFLC, added: “The American Freedom Law Center commends those loyal and courageous American citizens who have sounded the alarm to their elected officials about the threat posed by sharia and other foreign laws to the American legal system. And we hope these officials heed their citizens’ concerns by sponsoring this important legislation.”