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Florida: ‘Anti-Sharia’ Law is Back

Alan Hays

Florida: ‘Anti-Sharia’ law is back

A renewed attempt to pass a controversial “foreign law” bill proposed by Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, and Rep. Larry Metz, R-Yahala, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, after more than an hour of sometimes emotional public testimony.

The bill, SB 58, bans courts or other legal authorities from using religious or foreign law as a part of a legal decision or contract relating to family law. Florida law would supercede foreign law regarding divorce, alimony, the division of marital assets, child support and child custody. The bill is ready to be heard on the House floor but it has more committee stops in the Senate. Last year, the bill passed the House but died in the Senate.

Supporters say the proposal isn’t targeting religious groups, but the bill has been criticized as anti-Sharia, a Koran-based code followed in some Islamic countries, by Islamic groups as well as Jewish organizations and the American Civil Liberties Union.

“It should raise some eyebrows for you, the fact that there’s a rabbi speaking out against the bill who’s from Israel and a Arab Muslim, that’s me, also speaking out against the bill,” said Ahmed Bedier, president of the United Voices for America. “We may disagree what is happening in the Middle East, but we agree on this bill – that it discriminates and targets our communities.”

Hays said the bill “prevents a potential problem” from occurring in Florida courts and that it’s “not insulting to any religious group.”

“If your law violates the constitutional rights of a Floridian, it has no business being in a Florida court,” Hays said.

Miami Herald, 6 March 2013

See also Atif Fareed, “Meaningless bill caters to Islamaphobes”,Orlando Sentinel, 21 February 2013

And David Barkey, “Leadership in Tallahassee must stand against intolerance”, Tampa Bay Tribune, 25 January 2013

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  • Talking_fish_head

    but do 7% of the population have the power to change an entire nations set of legal code?
    I hate to see their reactions if a muslim american ever became president

  • Géji

    I think no one seem to know the precise percentage of American Muslims, and it seem the percentage number keeps on always changing according to whoever, and maybe the American Lwatchers can enlight this a bit more, but if we take president Obama during his inaugural speech (2008) American Muslims makes of 7% of the population.

  • Talking_fish_head

    cut their funding and they’ll disappear into obscurity

  • Talking_fish_head

    They’re afraid of becoming like Saudi Arabia or Iran which executes criminals and such. (Though to be fair, i’ve not heard of any westerner being executed in Saudi)

  • Garibaldi,

    Actually I have a feeling they’re probably not going to give up, even when there’s no effective lobbying or constituency for it. Than they’ll just be a joke.

  • Just_Stopping_By

    Is their any solid proof that Sharia Law is being implamented in the US?

    Actually, pretty much the reverse. There was a “study” done by an anti-sharia group ( claiming that there were 50 identified cases of sharia in the appellate court level over 23 states they studied. Note that this is a group attempting to find such incidents, so they probably did not throw out cases they could have included, and, if the study were reasonable, 50 would be a maximum. But, the real number is lower.

    The “top” case was one where the appellate court in New Jersey explicitly rejected reliance on religious beliefs. Case #2 involved upholding a Pakistani court’s ruling on child custody, at best a strained tie to sharia. Case #3 rejected reliance on an Islamic prenuptial agreement.

    You can go through the list, and I don’t think you will see any American court relying on sharia (with, I think possible exception, of a New Jersey court’s decision that was overturned). U.S. courts do uphold foreign court divorce and custody rulings, and some of those are based on sharia, but upholding foreign court rulings is standard so that people who are divorced or have custody agreements for their children can travel and relocate without having to risk their personal status. That applies to court rulings of all kinds from foreign jurisdictions and has nothing to do with sharia.

    Short answer: No, there is no Sharia Law invasion. The most I have seen is one case arguably relying on sharia law that was overturned. There are a lot more problematic court rulings than a single one that got overturned anyway.

  • Being implemented is one thing. How does it have anything to do with them? How exactly is it harming so bad, that they feel the need to collect everyone? They should just come clean admit to being racist

  • Talking_fish_head

    Is their any solid proof that Sharia Law is being implamented in the US?

    Muslims are like 1% of the population and barely have any political power to make or break laws; yet there are courts that use Christian and Jewish law (some not all courts) and you don’t hear people bitching about those.

    Oh and BTW Sharia Law only applies to Muslims

  • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

    Critical, they aren’t going to give up until there is no longer any effective lobbying or constituency for this sort of thing. I do agree that it will be shot down, as it’s unconstitutional.

  • Garibaldi,

    When are they ever going to just give up? Thankfully, there’s very little chance this thing won’t be shot down by the courts again.

  • mindy1

    Not sure i’d be proud of being on the same side as that guy

  • mindy1

    Why are legislators waisting time with this crap? Focus on job creation for crying out loud D: Glad that Jewish groups are fighting this as well. 🙂

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