AIFD PRESS RELEASE: AIFD American Islamic Forum for Democracy
SQ755 protects the sanctity of the U.S. Constitution's Establishment Clause and the rule of One Law
PHOENIX (November 5, 2010) - Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a devout Muslim and the president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) issued the following statement regarding the passage of Oklahoma's State Question 755.
"As Muslims dedicated to modernity, reform and our one law system in the west and in the United States, AIFD applauds the people of Oklahoma for passing State Question 755 and making "the legal precepts of other nations or cultures" off-limits to Oklahoma courts and specifically denying the use of Sharia Law.
The issue is simple. As Americans we believe in the Constitution, the Establishment Clause, and our one law system. SQ755 reaffirms the First amendment to the Constitution and prevents the Establishment or empowerment of a foreign legal system like the specific shariah legal systems implemented in many Muslim majority nations and in western shariah courts seen in places like Britain.
By filing a lawsuit, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has wasted no time in proving once again that they are unable to stand behind public declarations that the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights and our one law system supersede and are preferable to a sharia law system. They are using the American cover of religious freedom to try and knock down a simple law that prohibits the domination of one religion over others.
SQ755 is not about religious freedom or minority rights. It is about the inviolable sanctity of the U.S. constitution and our country's foundational belief in a legal system based in one law that is based in reason and individual rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The law has no impact on the personal practice of Islam or the personal interpretation of "shariah" (God's law to a Muslim), but rather SQ755 focuses on shariah as a total legal system that the people of Oklahoma wanted to make clear shall not be used or respected systemically in deciding law in Oklahoma. CAIR's assertion that it is akin to France's ban of the hijab or personal head covering for women is absurd. There is no evidence that this law prevents any of the personal manifestation of the practice of Islam or the use of personal religious principles in arguing law based in reason in state or federal court. Shariah as a legal system can just not be used as prima facie evidence in court.
SQ755 also thus prevents the establishment of separate shariah or Islamic courts in Oklahoma. As we have seen in Britain, Islamists have transformed the British arbitration system to the point that they are operating upwards of 85 shariah courts now. These courts are mostly operated out of mosques in Britain. While they claim that the courts are voluntary, as Canadians voiced loudly in their rejection of shariah courts, these groups exploit tribal pressures and coercion within Muslim communities in order to circumvent the one law and one legal system of Britain and western nations. It is naïve and ignorant to believe that such courts are purely "voluntary". Just ask many of the women who get pressured through them and pressured to stay "out of western un-Islamic courts."
CAIR's lawsuit proves that they are part of an Islamist establishment in America that do not and will not believe in the separation of mosque and state and that they promote the ideology of political Islam. This ideology is based in a belief in the supremacy of Islamic legal systems and is often a conveyer belt toward radicalization. CAIR shows once again that they are part of the problem not the solution.
To those who say "Why Oklahoma?", we say "Why not Oklahoma?" The Oklahoma precedent and example is important. It has already showed CAIR's hand and where they place shariah law in relation to the Constitution. CAIR flippantly states that the law is not necessary. By implying that Islam and shariah are inseparable they demonstrate a willful denial of the internationally pervasive draconian shariah law systems around the world in places like Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia to name a few, and how academically clear the legal system of shariah law is. Note should be made of how CAIR's response to SQ755 does not address any of the harms instituted against Muslims and non-Muslims around the world in the name of shariah law.
AIFD and most reformist Muslims believe a ban on shariah courts is necessary to protect the rights of the individual and in particular the rights of women."
About the American Islamic Forum for Democracy
The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. AIFD's mission advocates for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state. For more information on AIFD, please visit our website at http://www.aifdemocracy.org/