South Carolina House Passes Bill Excluding Sharia Law From State Courts

SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images

SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images

Breitbart, by Jordan Schachtel, Jan. 28, 2016:

The South Carolina House has passed a bill blocking Islamic sharia law from being recognized or approved in the state, after years of debate over similar legislation.

The legislation voted upon was explained as “A bill to amend the code of laws of South Carolina … so as to prevent a court or other enforcement authority from enforcing foreign law including, but not limited to, Sharia Law in this state from a forum outside of the United States or its territories under certain circumstances.”

On Thursday, the legislation passed with 68 for the bill and 42 opposed.

Sharia law is the legal and political system mandated in the Koran and other Islamic texts. It include laws governing religious practice, such as praying and ritual washing. But sharia also rules what Westerners see as non-government social practices — divorce, child-rearing, free-speech, clothing or sexual behavior, for example — and it also rules government responses to crimes, such as theft and murder.

Sharia law relegates women and non-Muslims to a lesser status, and grants men enormous authority over wives, daughters and sons. It allows for the primitive treatment of women and non-Muslims, and allows fierce punishment — sometimes, “honor killings” by fathers — for refusing to complying with sharia mandates.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Chip Limehouse. He told Breitbart News following the bill’s passage:

“This goes to demonstrate that the South Carolina House of Representatives is committed to preserving and protecting the American way of life here in South Carolina.”

“Sharia Law has been used as a defense in American courtrooms,” he adds. “We are working towards making that defense not an option for radical extremists from any country.”

“In South Carolina, we’ve had cases where people have tried to use [the rules of] Sharia Law as a defense, and we are speaking very clearly from the South Carolina House,” Limehouse said. “Shariah Law can not and will not be used as a legal defense in the state of South Carolina.”

Because the bill was passed at the beginning of the current legislative session, Rep. Limehouse said he was optimistic that the Senate would have enough time to pass the bill. In order for the bill to become law, it must now be passed by the South Carolina State Senate and signed by Governor Nikki Haley.

Tea Party and conservative grassroots organizations are credited with initiating the movement to ban sharia rules through the state legislatures. Conservative leaders Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and Michele Bachmann have publicly advocated for the need to enact nation-wide legislation against the threat of sharia.

Underground sharia courts operate in Muslim communities throughout Europe and alsoin the United States. Last year, Breitbart Texas reported that a “voluntary” sharia court had already been established in Texas.

Several countries in Europe, including the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, have many underground sharia courts within migrant communities. In the U.K, the government has formally deputized at least one sharia court to decide non-criminal issues among people who agree to use the court, even as public concerns rise that immigrant women are socially pressured to accept the courts’ authority

U.S. opponents of sharia courts point to Europe for evidence that western democracies can gradually cede more de-facto legal authority to self-segregating Muslim communities, so enabling the self-segregation of Muslim communities into no-go zones within cities.

Several states–including Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina South Dakota, and Tennessee–have passed “foreign law” bans against sharia. More than a dozen other states are currently considering similar legislation.

National Cathedral Presents More Kumbaya Islam

muslims-hold-prayer-inside-the-washington-national-cathedralFamily Security Matters, by Andrew Harrod, May 19, 2015:

The Very Reverend Gary Hall declared “one of the great blessings” in his life as being able to “encounter Islam” while introducing in Washington, DC, an April 21 National Cathedral presentation on “Islam and Politics in the U.S.”  The National Cathedral dean’s words once again set in this “spiritual home for the nation” a politically correct tone for a subsequent discussion naively presenting Islam as morally equivalent to Judeo-Christian beliefs.

An Islamic prayer service in the National Cathedral indicates that total lack of obedience to Jesus Christ in this alleged church which is now more more than a general for rent auditorium.

Like the previously analyzed first session of the National Cathedral’s “Exploring Islam in America” series, Hall emphasized ecumenism before about 60 mostly middle- and senior-aged individuals in the Perry Auditorium.  His opening prayer invoked the “God of the Prophet Muhammad” along with the “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” and the “God of Jesus.”  He then cited religion scholar Huston Smith for the proposition that a Martian “would see one religion with three branches” in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  “Deep continuity” and “respect” marked in his view the relationships between these three faiths claiming ancestry from Abraham.

Other event participants complemented Hall’s ecumenism.  As at the previous “Exploring Islam in America” presentations, the late Edward Said‘s sister Grace introductory prepared remarks befitted her brother’s distorted leftist views.  She discussed coming from an Arab community in which her Christian faith supposedly harmoniously coexisted with Islam throughout history.  “Exploring Islam in America” moderator Yvonne Haddad, a Georgetown University professor from a Christian Arab background like the Saids, likewise emphasized intra-Muslim harmony among Shiites and Sunnis.  She discussed how they had lived together and intermarried until the 20th century, overlooking an often bloody history of Shiite-Sunni animosity that has reemerged in recent years to make their intermarriages lethally acrimonious in places like Iraq.

The evening’s featured speaker, Brookings Institution fellow Khaled Elgindy, also asserted monotheistic and moral commonalities between Judaism, Christianity, and an “Islam…firmly rooted in the Abrahamic tradition.”  Concurring with Haddad’s assessment that the United States has “shariaphobia all over the place,” he found “no more abused term in the Islamic lexicon than sharia,” in American discussions of which  the “vast majority is nonsense.”  He cited the Islamic doctrine that sharia protects five fundamental values, namely life, worship, intellect, property, and lineage (a person’s knowledge of their ancestry), goals that could count as “natural rights in a liberal sense.”

Elgindy’s reference to these goals is a popular argument for sharia apologists, but scrutiny reveals the inadequacy of such platitudes in protecting human dignity in an Islamic context.  Muslims, for example, cite Quran 5:32‘s text that “whoever saves one-it is as if he had saved mankind entirely” in support of protecting human life.  Such citations, though, omit this verse’s exception for killing a person for taking a “soul or for corruption [done] in the land” such as blaspheming Islam, the capital punishment for which the subsequent verse 5:33 brutally delineates.

Likewise the “primary goal of sharia is to preserve the deen” or religion, notes one Muslim commentator, raising questions about worship in Islam suppressing the free expression of non-Muslim faith.  References to intellect also do not explain Muslim restrictions on intellectual pursuit of truth to protect against criticism.  Property under sharia excludes interest and forbidden items like pork while “penal laws that govern the breach of this right” noted by the commentator include Quran 5:38‘s command to amputate a thief’s hand.  That “Islam seeks to protect the lineage and honor of people” in his words can also include prohibitions against criticizing an Islamic faith with which many Muslims identify.

Elgindy found “frightening how pervasive” is “nonsensical fearmongering” concerning sharia, “almost like a straw man,” and decried that 22 states had passed anti-foreign law/sharia legislation to deal with an “imaginary threat.”  He repeated stock canards against such American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) initiatives, saying that they could prohibit Islamic marriage or inheritance while analogizing sharia to Jewish religious law (Halacha).  He also noted the sharia doctrine that Muslims should obey the laws of the lands in which they live.

Elgindy’s anti-ALAC arguments do not withstand scrutiny.  Such laws merely prohibit American courts fromapplying foreign law like sharia in their judgments in violation of state and federal constitutional rights, leaving unobjectionable matters like marriage or inheritance unaffected.  ALAC thereby parallels British law, which recognizes sharia contracts, but only upon court review of their conformity with British law as the Center for Islamic Pluralism’s report on sharia infiltration in Western Europe notes.

Elgindy’s sharia-Halacha equivalence is also false.  Halacha nowhere constitutes foreign law (not even in Israel) applicable under ALAC and recognizes a country’s civil law as binding, thereby relegating Jewish religious courts to minor ceremonial roles and private arbitration.  Additionally, one rabbi notes, “generations of interpretation explain a number of mitzvoth (Torah commandments) out of existence according to the principle of Torah Lo Bashamayim Hi (Torah exists here for us, not in Heaven).”  Therefore Old Testament passages contrary to modern human rights norms have no current applicability.

Elgindy’s comments notwithstanding, sharia diverges from Halacha’s subordination to civil law.  ALAC, after all, concerns American judicial application of foreign sharia laws, under which Muslims would indeed obey the laws of a land, just not America.  Obeying the laws of the land also says nothing about changing a country’s law and practices in conformity with Muslim norms, as evident in various Western societies with respect to matters like polygamy.

To prove that “Islam does not preclude the notion of modern citizenship rights” such as religion-state separation, Elgindy cited as a “social contract” the seventh-century Constitution of Medina drafted under Islam’s prophet Muhammad.  This popular Islamic apologia, though, inflates the importance of what was essentially an alliance between the early Muslim community and Medina’s Jewish tribes.  This alliance, moreover, ended with conflict between Muslims and Medina’s Jews and the latter’s expulsion and extermination.

Elgindy’s whitewashing of Islamic law has special significance in light of his comment that “not that huge” a distance separates Saudi Arabia from the murderous Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).  While Saudi authorities refrain from wearing black masks and publicizing their beheadings, “ideologically there are clearly similarities” between this globally prominent Muslim state and ISIS.  The latter’s proclaimed caliphate also has a “very romantic” appeal for many Muslim youth, further refutation of his contention that brutal Muslim groups like ISIS or the Taliban come to power primarily due to political chaos.

Elgindy has previously made ludicrously benign prognoses of Islamic developments flying in the face of facts.  This former advisor to the Palestinian Authority, for example, wrote in 2012 that the jihadist terrorist group Hamas’ “shunning by Washington may be…outdated and counter-productive.”  Unnoticed by others and perhaps influenced by the Brookings Institution’s Qatari funding, he found that a “growing pragmatism” and “yearning for political normalcy” marked Hamas’ “significant changes in recent years.”

Despite Elgindy’s best efforts, he simply cannot explain away serious Islamic controversies.  Problems associated Europe’s “ghettoized Muslim communities” are not simply attributable to, for example, a French “inherited sense of superiority” towards immigrants from former colonies or phobias about “swarthy men.”  Sharia-supporting Muslim groups with their dangers are not similar to “revivalist movements” in other faiths like evangelical Christians.  National Cathedral personnel like Canon Patty Johnson, however, are unlikely to understand these issues anytime soon.  At the presentation’s end, she hawked copies of the leftist Center for American Progress’ report Fear, Inc. on the “Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America” as a “wonderful document…one of the best I have ever seen.”

Video: Sharia No-Go Zones Threaten Free Speech and Breed Jihad

Robert Spencer on Hannity, January 9, 2015 on Sharia No-Go Zones as Incubators of JIhad:

Published on Jan 12, 2015 by JihadWatchVideo

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Sharia & No-Go Zones Threaten Free Speech:

Published on Jan 12, 2015 by act4america
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Also see:

Shariah in American Courts: The Expanding Incursion of Islamic Law in the U.S. Legal System

Center for Security Policy, Jan. 5, 2015:

SHARIAH IN AMERICA COURTS 2.0: CENTER’S NEW CIVILIZATION JIHAD READER SERIES STARTS WITH THE PENETRATION OF OUR LEGAL SYSTEM

(Washington, D.C.): Center for Security Policy Press today launched a collection of monographs called the Civilization Jihad Reader Series with the publication of an update to an earlier and highly influential study concerning the insinuation of Islam’s supremacist shariah legal code into the U.S. judiciary. Entitled Shariah in American Courts: The Expanding Incursion of Islamic Law in the U.S. Legal System, this inaugural booklet documents 146 cases in 32 states in which a party to litigation attempted to have the matter resolved by applying shariah, rather than the statutes of the state in question.

The Center first raised an alarm about the penetration of American jurisprudence by one of the most anti-constitutional of such foreign legal codes with its 2011 report, Shariah Law and American State Courts: An Assessment of State Appellate Court Cases. That study examined a sample of fifty cases and found that in twenty-seven of them, in twenty-three different states, the courts in question allowed the use of shariah, generally to the detriment of women and/or children whose rights under our Constitution were infringed.

With the bedrock of the American Republic being the U.S. Constitution and individual state constitutions derived therefrom, these analyses provide insights into how our own legal system can be – and is being – used as a mechanism to anchor and expand in this country shariah, an ideology wholly at odds with such documents and, more generally, irreconcilable with freedom and democracy.

Most Americans take the rule of law and our constitutional rights for granted. Yet, Shariah in American Courts is a reminder of how even institutions like our judiciary can be influenced – and potentially subverted – by foreign legal codes and practices, to the grave detriment of our nation and liberties.

FirefoxScreenSnapz024-697x1024This monograph also suggests that the effort to invoke shariah in U.S. courts is expanding. Worse yet, the total number of such cases is surely far larger in light of the fact that the proceedings of the vast majority of them are not published.

As the new monograph establishes, moreover, there is reason to believe that the surge in such cases is the result of the activism of Muslim Brotherhood-tied groups like the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA). The Brotherhood is an Islamic supremacist organization whose mission according to its secret plan (The Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal of the Group in North America), is to “destroy Western Civilization from within.”

The good news is that, at least at the appellate level, judges appear increasingly to be rejecting the use of shariah in their courtrooms. A contributing factor to these rulings may be the rising awareness in the judiciary of what is afoot, thanks to the adoption in numerous states of legislation drawing upon a model statute known as “American Laws for American Courts” (ALAC).

While the average citizen of this country would assume it to be the case that only laws derived from or consistent with our Constitution would be applied in U.S. courts at both the federal and state level, the evidence that foreign laws – including, but not limited to, shariah – are encroaching has moved legislatures across the country to act. Tennessee, Louisiana, Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Washington and Alabama have adopted ALAC’s prohibitions against the use of such foreign laws in their respective state courts if they are at odds with constitutional rights or state public policy. (Florida also enacted in 2014 a version of this legislation).

In unveiling the release of the Center for Security Press’ newest publication, the Center’s President Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., observed:

The Center is delighted to be putting a spotlight on the Muslim Brotherhood’s stealthy, pre-violent jihad in America. It behooves each of us to become knowledgeable about the presence in our judicial system – and, for that matter, in other civil society and governing institutions – of forces seeking the destruction of our Republic.

The Civilization Jihad Reader Series is intended not only to provide factual evidence of the extent to which this attempt to destroy us from within is advancing, but what patriots can do to prevent it. We recommend as a step towards countering the subversion of our legal system the adoption by every state in the Union of “American Laws for American Courts.”

Additional monographs in the Civilization Jihad Reader Series will be published in coming months. For more information on the Center for Security Policy, the offerings of its Press and the necessity of countering the Muslim Brotherhood and its efforts to impose shariah in America, visit www.SecureFreedom.org.

Buy Shariah in American Courts at Amazon

View PDF here

Florida Governor Scott Signs Landmark Legislation into Law!

Florida State Senator Sponsor of SB386

Florida State Senator
Sponsor of SB386

NER, By Jerry Gordan:

Both Rabbi Jonathan Hausman and I received this email this afternoon from Ms. Jessica Crawford, Legislative Aide to Sen. Alan Hays, the Senate Sponsor of SB386: “on acceptance of foreign law in certain cases”. See our May 1, 2014 Iconoclast post,“Florida Passes Two Landmark Bills in the 2014 Legislative Session.”

From: CRAWFORD.JESSICA
To: Rabbi Jonathan Hausman and Jerry Gordon
Sent: Mon, May 12, 2014 4:21 pm
Subject: Senate Bill 386

The Senator asked me to pass along the good news that the Governor signed the bill into law today! J
Thank you both for all of your help and guidance throughout this Session.  I’m sure the Senator will be in touch soon.
Have a great rest of the day!
Jessica Crawford
Legislative Aide
That is most welcome news for all involved in supporting  this important effort  protecting  the fundamental Constitutional rights of all Floridians, especially women and children.
Jerry Gordon
Senior Editor
New English Review

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.