(CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA, 4/7/15) — The Iowa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Iowa) today welcomed the failure of an anti-Muslim bill (HF 135) in that state's legislature.
CAIR-Iowa says the bill was one of many so-called â€œforeign lawâ€ bills introduced in state legislatures nationwide in a campaign to demonize Islam and marginalize American Muslims.
“We recognize and appreciate the hard work, partnership and leadership of those dedicated lawmakers who kept this unconstitutional and discriminatory bill from passing,” said CAIR-Iowa Executive Director Miriam Amer. “Defenders of religious freedom fought a tough battle against attempts to deny Muslims and other minorities their constitutional rights.”
She said HF 135 is was the third such bill or proposed amendment that would have either outlawed the practice of Islam in Iowa, or affected non-Christian foreign marriages, divorces, wills, inheritance, and adoptions.
Amer noted that supporters of these 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 of Catholic Canon law and Jewish Halacha law, which are also considered by many courts to be a type of foreign law.
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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CONTACT: CAIR-Iowa Executive Director Miriam Amer, 319-573-6617, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com