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Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Banning Islamic law is unconstitutional, says US court

OKLAHOMA CITY // A proposed constitutional amendment that would ban Oklahoma courts from considering international or Islamic law discriminates against religions, and a Muslim community leader has the right to challenge its constitutionality, a federal appeals court said.
The court in Denver upheld the US district judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange's order blocking implementation of the amendment shortly after it was approved by 70 per cent of Oklahoma voters in November 2010.
Muneer Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma, sued to block the law from taking effect, arguing that the Save Our State Amendment violated his First Amendment rights.
"This is an important reminder that the Constitution is the last line of defence against a rising tide of anti-Muslim bigotry in our society, and we are pleased that the appeals court recognised that fact," Mr Awad said. "We are also hopeful that this decision serves as a reminder to politicians wishing to score political points through fear-mongering and bigotry."
Anthony Sykes, who led the Senate effort to get the measure on the ballot, said on Tuesday he would continue to fight to lift the injunction.
"The federal appeals court in Denver attempted to silence the voice of 70 per cent of Oklahoma voters," Mr Sykes said.

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