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Judge blocks Okla. Shariah measure

OKLAHOMA CITY, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction to keep a voter-approved restriction against Shariah law out of the Oklahoma Constitution for now.

A U.S. district judge ruled in favor of an Oklahoma City Muslim who says the constitutional amendment would violate his religious freedom, The Oklahoman reported Monday.

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The amendment, approved Nov. 2 by voters, forbids state courts from using or considering international law or Islamic Shariah law in making rulings.

Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange issued the injunction sought by Muneer Awad, 27, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma who challenged the amendment on the grounds it allegedly demonizes his faith.

Miles-LaGrange wrote Awad "has made a strong showing that State Question 755's amendment's primary effect inhibits religion and that the amendment fosters an excessive government entanglement with religion."

"This order addresses issues that go to the very foundation of our country, our (U.S.) Constitution, and particularly, the Bill of Rights," she said. "Throughout the course of our country's history, the will of the 'majority' has on occasion conflicted with the constitutional rights of individuals, an occurrence which our founders foresaw and provided for through the Bill of Rights."

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Tulsa TV station KOTV reported the judge's order, which extended a restraining order issued Nov. 22, prevents the state from certifying the referendum results until she rules on the merits of the plaintiff's claims.

Miles-LaGrange provided no timetable for her final ruling or how the case will proceed, KOTV said.

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