Anti-Shariah measure dead in Okla. Senate

April 12, 2011 at 3:43 PM
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OKLAHOMA CITY, April 12 (UPI) -- A bill that would outlaw the use of international and Shariah law in state courts will not get a hearing in the Oklahoma Senate, its sponsor said.

The controversial bill that would prohibit foreign laws from being enforced in Oklahoma courtrooms easily passed the state House of Representatives but has languished in the Senate, and is considered dead for this year, The Oklahoman reported Tuesday.

Rep. Sally Kern, the bill's author, expressed disappointment that the bill would not be heard by a Senate committee.

Kern, R-Oklahoma City, left open the possibility of attempting to get the measure's language attached to another bill.

That would be bad for the state, said Muneer Awad, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and would threaten international business contracts and companies in Oklahoma.

"It will harm our state using bigotry and encouraging divisive politics while discouraging business," Awad said. "It presents imminent harm to our business community jeopardizing international business contracts that thousands of Oklahoma businesses are engaged in."

Kern modeled the bill on SQ 755, a ballot measure approved by 71 percent of Oklahoma voters in the Nov. 2 election.

A federal judge blocked the ballot measure from taking effect after Awad sued.

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