Shari’a and religious freedom

Last week Federal District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange made permanent a temporary injunction she had issued on November 9 to block implementation of a constitutional amendment passed overwhelmingly by voters of that state. The amendment, known as State Question 755 on the November 2 ballot, sought to ban any future consideration of Islamic law, or shari’a, when deciding any legal issue by any court in the state.

The plaintiff who prompted the judge’s decision argued that his freedom to practice his religion, guaranteed under the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution, would be violated, should the state amendment be made permanent. If he, as a practicing Muslim, would be banned from the use of shari’a, his constitutional protection of religious freedom would be violated.

OK, so be it. If Judge Miles-LaGrange wants to allow shari’a law to prevail in Oklahoma under the guise of religious freedom, let’s take a look at exactly what shari’a law entails. I doubt the judge even understands what shari’a is, let alone many of the provisions it contains.

Many of the provisions of shari’a are in conflict with existing laws, either federal, state, or local. If this issue is going to be determined on the basis of religious freedom, as this judge has already declared, who determines which provisions of shari’a will be banned, or will any? Religious practices have already proven to trump other existing laws when they are framed in terms of religious practice. For example, Native American Indians are permitted to smoke peyote as part of their religious practice, something otherwise prohibited by law.

I will post here over the next several weeks snippets of shari’a law. If it is going to be allowed a foothold anywhere in our nation as a religious freedom issue, we better be informed what we are willing to allow.

Keep checking back, as I will be updating this article from time to time.

On Marrying Pre-pubescent girls:

‘Umdat al-Salik, section m8.2 states, “A guardian may not marry his prepubescent daughter to someone else for less than the amount typically received as marriage payment by similar brides.” Translation: If you choose to give your young daughter’s hand in marriage before she has entered puberty, make sure you are paid for her appropriately.

When discussing the charge of fornication, shari’a dictates that one cannot be so charged if one lacks the ability or capacity to remain chaste. And who is included in this category of persons: “A person is not considered to have the capacity to remain chaste if he or she … is prepubescent at the time of marital intercourse.” ‘Umdat al-Salik, section o12.2

On marriage:

‘Umdat al-Salik, section m6.7: It is not lawful or valid for a Muslim man to be married to any woman who is not either a Muslim, Christian, or Jew; nor is it lawful or valid for a Muslim woman to be married to anyone besides a Muslim.

On husband-wife relations:

‘Umdat al-Salik, section m10.12: It is not lawful for a wife to leave the house except by the permission of her husband, though she may do so without permission when there is a pressing necessity. Nor may a wife permit anyone to enter her husband’s home unless he agrees, even their marriageable kin. Nor may she be alone with a nonfamily-member male under any circumstances.

On Religious Freedom:

‘Umdat al-Salik, section o8.1: When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed.

Section o8.4: There is no indemnity for killing an apostate.

Section o1.0: The blood of a Muslim man who testifies that there is not god but Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah is not lawful to shed unless he is one who abandons his religion and the Muslim community.”

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