Federal judge rules against 'Sharia law' restrictions in Oklahoma Constitution

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Washington, Nov 30 (ANI): An Oklahoma City federal judge has struck down a constitutional amendment aimed at restricting judges from considering Islamic 'Sharia law' while making a judgement in the United States.

A ballot measure was passed with 70 percent of the vote during the Republican landslide on November 2, urging a ban the 'Sharia law'.

However within two days, Muneer Awad, the executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, had sued to block the amendment, arguing that the state was condemning his religious beliefs.

The lawsuit against ballot measure, State Question 755 or better known as "Save Our State," had sought for a temporary restraining order to block the results of the electionrom being certified by the state Election Board on November 9, which is scheduled to go into effect on January 1.

While Muslims claim the state is discriminating against their religion, supporters, most of whom are Christian conservatives, say the amendment is needed to stop radical Muslims from imposing Shariah law in the United States.

According to the New York Times, Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange of Federal District Court in Oklahoma City said the measure did not appear to pass constitutional muster.

She said it conveyed a message that the state favours one religion or particular belief over others, and that added federal courts have long held that such a message violates the First Amendment's clause prohibiting the establishment of a state religion.

"While defendants contend that the amendment is merely a choice-of-law provision that bans state courts from applying the law of other nations or cultures-regardless of what faith they may be based on, if any-the actual language of the amendment reasonably, and perhaps more reasonably, may be viewed as specifically singling out Shariah law, conveying a message of disapproval of plaintiff's faith," the judge wrote.

Judge LaGrange also barred the State Election Commission from certifying the results of the election until she makes a final ruling, but did not set any timetable for her decision.

After today's ruling, Awad said he was satisfied with the decision.

"We are definitely satisfied. She is recognizing the majority vote cannot be used to take away my constitutional rights," he added. (ANI)

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