Oklahoma to appeal Shariah law ruling

Dec. 1, 2010 at 1:51 PM

TULSA, Okla., Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Oklahoma election authorities say they'll appeal a judge's injunction against a controversial voter-approved measure banning the use of Islamic law.

The State Election Board voted Tuesday to appeal a temporary injunction issued Monday by U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange preventing the board from certifying the results of the Nov. 2 election on State Question 755, which would prohibit Oklahoma courts from using or considering Shariah law, the Tulsa (Okla.) World reported.

Shariah law is Islamic law based on the Koran and teachings of Muhammad.

Muneer Awad, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, had requested the injunction, alleging that amending the state Constitution to ban Shariah law singled out his faith for unfavorable treatment and violated the First Amendment.

He is expected to request a permanent injunction, the World reported.

State Question 755 passed with more than 70 percent of the vote.

"State Question 755 was approved by the people in a lawful election on Nov. 2," the Election Board said in a statement. "The State Election Board's duty in this matter is purely ministerial: to canvass the results of the election and certify the results to the governor."

Awad said he is comfortable letting the court decide the validity of his claims.

"State Question 755 poses a clear violation of my religious freedoms," he said. "Throughout American history, the courts have found in favor of the Constitution."

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