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. 

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

 

 

Dr. Andrew Bostom: Muslim Leaders Seek Sharia in the US

Gaffney at Dallas Eagle Forum: Shariah and Civilization Jihad in America

Frank Gaffney spoke to the Dallas Eagle Forum on September 27, 2012, giving a short course on Shariah Law and Civilization Jihad in America.

 

 

GOP Platform Addresses Sharia Encroachment

By Andrew Bostom:

Reports  (at “Live”  wire , repeated at Salon)  are quoting Kansas Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach to the effect that  the GOP platform has adopted an amendment which addresses Sharia encroachment.  Kobach stated,

We  see it from the top where the United States Supreme Court has repeatedly quoted  foreign law in interpreting our U.S. constitution and it’s actually coming in at  the bottom as well, it’s being raised as an argument in courts around the  country. We actually put a provision affecting Kansas statute this year and I  think it’s important for us to say foreign sources of law should not be used as  part of common law decisions or statutory interpretations by judges in the lower  state courts as well.

…I’m  not aware of any court that’s accepted the argument, but in cases involving  either spousal abuse or assault or other crimes against persons, sometimes  defenses are raised that are based in Sharia law

Despite  the predictable sneering and distressing ignorance which frames these reports by  two agitprop  “journalists,”  and Kobach’s own noble, if incomplete assessment of the profundity of the  problem, this is very welcome news.

Kobach  referred to Kansas’s recently passed law-a version of American Laws for American  Courts (ALAC) legislation-which should remind us all that the earliest of these  laws (now also passed in Tennessee, Arizona, and Louisiana) have been in effect  for several years without being challenged, let alone overturned. David  Yerushalmi recently provided a very clear, didactic example of the need for  ALAC-style laws, which corrects Kobach’s assessment about courts not having  accepted Sharia-based arguments.

Yersuhlami  described in brief an appellate court decision from Maryland, cited in a Center for Security  Policy Study, where

…the  court enforced a Pakistani Sharia court’s judgment of custody  in favor of the father even though the mother had argued that she was not  provided due process because had she gone to Pakistan to contest the case, she could have been subject to capital  punishment for having a new relationship with a man not sanctioned by sharia.

The  salient facts of the case,  and appellate court ruling, were summarized by  Yerushalmi as follows:

The  Maryland appellate court ruled that since the woman could not prove she’d be  executed had she gone to Pakistan to litigate custody in the Pakistan Sharia  Court, which is a national-state court in Pakistan, her failure to go to  Pakistan and take the risk of execution precluded her from making the void as  against public policy argument. ALAC  would have provided the Maryland appellate court the legislative clarity to have  reversed the lower court’s outrageous  decision.

Here  are the Maryland appellate court’s own words, cited by Yerushalmi:

Additionally,  appellant [the mother] asserts that the Pakistani custody orders were founded on  principles of law repugnant to Maryland public policy because the Pakistani  courts allegedly “penalized the mother for not appearing without considering the  affect of her admission to adultery on her ability to return to Pakistan.” In  this regard, appellant points out that if convicted under Pakistani criminal law, her penalty could be public whipping or death  by stoning. Although Dr. Malik [the expert] opined that appellant would be arrested for adultery if she returned to  Pakistan for the custody proceedings, he also conceded that punishment for  adultery was extremely unlikely and that proving the crime was extremely  difficult. Given this testimony, the circuit court was not clearly erroneous in  not considering the effect of whether appellant’s admission to adultery [under  sharia] was “repugnant” to Maryland public policy in its failure to find that  the Pakistani courts punished her for not appearing.”}

Let  me summarize for the (hope against hope) edification of  the “Live”  wire , and Salon,  agitprop journalists, the liberty-crushing, dehumanizing nature of Sharia:  open-ended jihadism to subjugate the world to a totalitarian Islamic order;  rejection of bedrock Western liberties-including freedom of conscience and  speech-enforced by imprisonment, beating, or death; discriminatory relegation of  non-Muslims to outcast, vulnerable pariahs, and even Muslim women to subservient  chattel; and barbaric punishments which violate human dignity, such as  amputation for theft, stoning for adultery, and lashing for alcohol  consumption.

I  would also point out how the two agitpropjournalists  steadfastly ignore: ominous polling data from US  Muslims; jihad funding trial  revelations and the content of more banal Muslim litigation  proceedings; mosque  surveillance reports; analyses  of Islamic education institutions and their Muslim schoolchildren’s textbooks;  the issuance of obscurantist “fatwas” (Islamic legal rulings) by the respected,  mainstream Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America; and an open declaration by  one of America’s largest mainstream Muslim organizations, the Islamic Circle of  North America (ICNA), in its 2010 ICNA Member’s  Hand Book, which calls for the (re-)creation of a global Muslim Caliphate,  and the imposition of Sharia in America.

Notwithstanding  the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America’s (AMJA’s) mainstream acceptance,  including uncritical  endorsement of its seventh annual American conference in Houston (October  15-18, 2010) to train American imams, AMJA  has issued rulings which sanction the killing of apostates (here),  “blasphemers” (including non-Muslims guilty of this “crime”; here),  or adulterers (by stoning to death, here),  and condone  marital rape. Even more ominously, another Arabic-language fatwa from AMJA’s Dr.  Salah Al-Sawy leaves open the possibility for offensive jihad against America  and the West, as soon as Muslims are strong enough to do so. When asked whether  “the Islamic missionary effort in the West … [was] to the point where it could  take advantage of offensive jihad,” Al-Sawy ruled:

The  Islamic community does not possess the strength to engage in offensive jihad at  this time. With our current capabilities, we are aspiring toward defensive  jihad, and to improve our position with regards to jurisprudence at this stage.  But there is a different discussion for each situation. Allah Almighty knows  best.

Just  six months ago (3/14/12), Translating  Jihad put what one might wish to deem as these circumscribed, “purely  Islamic” rulings, in a more disturbing-and entirely unacceptable, seditious  context. AMJA’s own  words make plain the organization’s long term commitment to superseding the  US legal code with its antithesis, a Sharia-based system.

Read more at American Thinker