Scholar Daniel Pipes, who warned about the dangers of Islam before 9/11, notes that he can count 17 instances where judges in the US have cited Islamic law.
Oklahomans Say No to Sharia, Daniel Pipes Blog, November 16, 2010
As Americans learn more about Islam, the aspect they find most objectionable is not its theology (such as whether Allah is God or not) nor its symbolism (such as an Islamic cultural center in lower Manhattan) but its law code, called the Sharia. Rightly, they say no to a code that privileges Muslims over non-Muslims, men over women, and contains many elements inimical to modern life.
Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, gave the danger of Sharia unprecedented public attention in July when he blasted its â€?principles and punishments totally abhorrent to the Western worldâ€? and called for a federal law that â€?says no court anywhere in the United States under any circumstance is allowed to consider Sharia as a replacement for American law.â€?
Despite some stirrings in this direction, no such federal law exists. But legislatures in two states, Tennessee and Louisiana, recently passed laws effectively blocking applications of Sharia that violate existing laws and public policy. And, in a referendum on Nov. 2, the voters in Oklahoma likewise voted 70 to 30 percent to amend their state constitution. [. . .]
Superfluous? No research informs us how often American judges rely on the Sharia to reach judgments but a provisional inquiry turns up 17 instances in 11 states. Perhaps most notorious is the New Jersey ruling that concerned a married Muslim couple from Morocco. The wife related that the husband repeatedly forced her to have sex on the grounds that, quoting him, â€?this is according to our religion. You are my wife, I c[an] do anything to you.â€? In brief, the Muslim husband claimed Sharia sanction for raping his wife.
The trial judge agreed with him: â€?The court believes that he was operating under his belief that it is, as the husband, his desire to have sex when and whether he wanted to, was something that was consistent with his practices and it was something that was not prohibited.â€? Based on that, the judge ruled in June 2009 that no sexual assault had been proven.
An appellate court reversed this ruling in July 2010, on the grounds that the husbandâ€™s â€?conduct in engaging in nonconsensual sexual intercourse was unquestionably knowing, regardless of his view that his religion permitted him to act as he did.â€? In Newt Gingrichâ€™s more astringent analysis, the trial judge was â€?unwilling to impose American law on somebody whoâ€™s clearly abusing somebody.â€?
I remain convinced that many Oklahomans wanted to send a message that the UNwelcome mat is out for hostile Muslim immigrants, since Washington is too PC to keep out potential enemies.