CAIR is alarmed at the number of states passing laws prohibiting use of foreign law when the foreign law contradicts the U.S. Constitution.
BY CLARE LOPEZ — The Clarion Project — 8/19/2013
As momentum builds across the U.S. to reinforce safeguards for the primacy of American laws in the U.S. legal system through legislation at the state level, the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters are beginning to panic.
To date, Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Tennessee have all enacted legislation that would ensure primacy for U.S. Constitutional law in cases where enforcing foreign laws or judgments, including Islamic law (sharia), “would deprive a party of a constitutional right or liberty,” as explained by David Yerushalmi, Co-Founder and Senior Counsel of the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC).
In mid-summer 2013, the North Carolina legislature, both House and Senate, passed HB 522, the Foreign Laws/Protect Constitutional Rights Bill, with broad bipartisan support. Not surprisingly, the HAMAS and Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which was named by the Justice Department an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation HAMAS terror funding trial, has mounted an email blitz campaign, urging North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to veto the bill instead of signing it.
Written in neutral language, this bill is modeled after American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) language offered by the American Public Policy Alliance (APPA). The North Carolina bill, now before Governor McCrory for signature into law, specifies that the intent of the measure is to “protect its citizens from the application of foreign law that would result in the violation of a fundamental constitutional right of a natural person.”
Thus, contrary to some of the criticism aimed at this bill, there is nothing in its language that would prohibit consideration of foreign law in North Carolina courts: it is only if and when application of such foreign law (sharia or any other) would deprive persons before a North Carolina court the rights to which they are entitled under the U.S. Constitution (and its derivative laws).
In such a case, American law would take precedence over foreign law. In cases that involve no conflict between U.S. law and foreign law, comity (mutual recognition of a respective country’s legislation) may be applied.
With the June 2011 publication by the Center for Security Policy (CSP) of a report entitled “Shariah Law and American State Courts: An Assessment of American Appellate Court Cases,” the American Public Policy Alliance took notice that Islamic law increasingly has entered into state court decisions in ways that conflict with the U.S. Constitution and state public policy.
Alarmingly, not only do some judges not understand what sharia is, but make decisions that defer to it even when those decisions conflict with U.S. Constitutional protections. Islamic law is antithetical to American laws, principles and traditions in many ways, but most specifically in its rejection -- and even criminalization -- of basic freedoms, including freedom of belief, press, speech, due process, equal protection under the law, privacy and the right to bear arms.
The Islamic world’s position on human rights was made explicitly clear in 1990, when representatives of Muslim nations met in Cairo under the auspices of the Organization of the Islamic Conference -- now the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) -- and voiced their opposition to the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
In place of the UN Declaration, the OIC issued the Cairo Declaration, which asserted that the only human rights Muslims recognize are those permitted under “Islamic Shari’ah.” (See especially Articles 24 and 25 in this regard.)
Sharia, of course, considers amputation of limbs, crucifixion, flogging, stoning and execution for apostasy, blasphemy and homosexuality consistent with its definition of “human rights.”
Using a gradualist strategy, the OIC is now working first to insinuate sharia norms (in general) into non-Muslim societies to be followed by juridical provisions.
In the U.S., the sharia agenda is aggressively promoted by the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA). AJMA is a mainstream Muslim organization whose ranks of imams include some with Muslim Brotherhood ties; according to its online website, it exists to serve the “growing need of an Islamic jurisprudence specific to Muslims in the West.”
Its “Fatwa Corner” and “Fatwa Hotline” offer answers from a staff of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) scholars to questions about Muslim doctrine, faith and everyday practice. As demonstrated by numerous examples to be found at the AMJA website, however, in key areas of domestic law, especially involving the rights of women as well as many of the individual rights guaranteed by the U.S. Bill of Rights, Islamic law in principle, spirit and a great many specific legal provisions, is simply incompatible with the U.S. Constitution.
Among AMJA’s archives of over 10,000 online fatwas are some that advise Muslims not to work in law enforcement in the Dar al-Harb (non-Muslim world), to avoid recourse to the secular justice system if at all possible (because it is not “Allah’s law”) and to fulfill a Muslim’s duty to make sharia supreme.
According to Fatwa #77223, obtaining U.S. citizenship could even be a “form of apostasy.” The killing of apostates is confirmed as the prescribed sharia punishment and Female Genital Mutilation is described an “honorable thing for females.” The right of a husband to commit marital rape under Islamic Law (based on Qur’anic verse 2:223) likewise is affirmed in Fatwa #2982, in which the AMJA Online Jurisprudence Section told a questioner that forcing his wife to have sex with him “would not be called rape…”
It is examples like these -- as well as the representative selection of case law presented in the 2011 CSP Shariah Law study -- that highlight the urgent need to ensure that legal codes, including sharia law provisions, that are so incompatible with the U.S. legal system and the American Constitutional protections, do not find their way into American court cases.
The American Laws for American Courts initiative is on a roll, with six states already having passed legislation modeled on ALAC language, and many more with similar bills before their legislators for consideration.
CAIR and other Muslim Brotherhood-linked organizations, like AMJA, realize they’re facing a juggernaut of public approval for measures that will keep any foreign law, but especially Islamic law, out of American court cases if implementation of its provisions would violate existing U.S. law.
CAIR’s “Action Alerts” raising the alarm about “equal rights,” in fact nail the issue—although perhaps not in the way CAIR and the Brotherhood intended: Article VI of the U.S. Constitution makes the Constitution the Supreme Law of the Land in America.
Equal protection and equal rights under that Constitution are precisely what ALAC legislation aims to ensure and what sharia can never deliver.
Clare Lopez is a senior fellow at the ClarionProject.org and a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on the Middle East, national defense and counterterrorism. Lopez served for 20 years as an operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).