CAIR-OK: Bill Restricting Religious Freedom Dies in Committee


Legislation seeking to enact provisions of State Question 755 has died in a Senate committee, a lawmaker said Monday.
Last fall, 695,650 voters, 70 percent of the total, cast votes for SQ 755, which amends the state Constitution to forbid judges from considering Islamic principles or international law when deciding a case.
In November, an Oklahoma federal judge granted a temporary restraining order blocking certification of SQ 755 by the State Election Board. The lawsuit is being appealed in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. ...
Based on knowledge that HB 1552 would be up for a vote in the Senate Rules Committee this week, the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights organization, called Monday's press conference to express opposition.
Muneer Awad, executive director of CAIR-OK, said Kern's bill violates the Bill of Rights and would threaten all international business contracts and companies in Oklahoma.
Rice said the bill could still be brought up as an amendment to a bill on the Senate floor, which would cause more constitutional issues because of the single subject rule.
"I imagine that there will be some antics in the House to try and revive it," he said. "Hopefully there will be enough of a coalition of legislators here to resist them."
Supporters of SQ 755 have said the change was needed to stem a trend of activist judges turning to international law to make decisions. Ex-state Sen. Rex Duncan, author of the proposition, cited the affects of Sharia law on places like Great Britain. Duncan called it a "cancer upon Great Britain's survivability."
Awad said Sharia is like a map for how to be a Muslim. American Muslims are abiding by U.S. laws and by Sharia, he said. Oklahoma Muslims have experienced some angst due to SQ 755, but mostly feel comfortable and welcome, he said.
Awad said CAIR-OK will continue to monitor the legislative process and be on the watch for attempts to revive the bill. (More)

 


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