CNN features Oklahoma Sharia ban fight led by AMCLI fellow
Muneer Awad, current American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute fellow, is making news for leading a local Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) group against an Oklahoma voter-approved measure barring state judges from considering Islamic and international law in their decisions. CNN recently featured the issue.
A federal appeals court has blocked the measure. "The proposed amendment discriminates among religions," said the judges. "The Oklahoma amendment specifically names the target of its discrimination. The only religious law mentioned in the amendment is Sharia law."
A federal judge last summer had issued a temporary restraining order in favor of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which had sued to nullify the law completely. CAIR argued that the amendment violates the establishment and free-exercise clauses of the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom. Awad said the amendment passed in November 2010 under a campaign of fear and misinformation about Islam.
"This is an important reminder that the Constitution is the last line of defense against a rising tide of anti-Muslim bigotry in our society, and we are pleased that the appeals court recognized that fact," Awad told CNN after January 10th's announcement.