(CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA, 6/8/15) — The Iowa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Iowa) today welcomed the failure of an anti-Muslim bill (HF135) in that state’s legislature.
CAIR-Iowa says the bill was one of many so-called “foreign law” bills introduced in state legislatures nationwide in a campaign to demonize Islam and to marginalize American Muslims. The Iowa legislature ended its session without passing HF135.
“We thank all those who joined the Iowa Muslim community in helping to defeat this latest effort to rob religious minorities of their constitutional rights,” said CAIR-Iowa Executive Director Miriam Amer.
CAIR-Iowa helped educate state lawmakers about the unconstitutional nature of the legislation and worked with a number of interfaith partners on that effort.
Amer said this is the third victory for religious freedom in as many years and that the coalition opposing the legislation will now prepare to challenge its inevitable reintroduction in the next legislative session.
She noted that supporters of these unconstitutional laws fail to acknowledge that American courts are already required to adhere to U.S. law. Anti-foreign law legislation infringes on the constitutionally-protected right to choose Islamic marriage contracts, implement Islamic wills or to be buried according to one’s religious beliefs.
These laws could also negatively impact the validation of international adoptions and foreign marriages and may bar any state court from considering Catholic Canon law and Jewish Halacha law, which are also considered by many courts to be a type of foreign law.
Last week, CAIR’s Texas office applauded the failure of anti-Islam bills in that state’s legislature.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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