The Kansas State Legislature has approved a bill preventing the state courts or government agencies from basing rulings on any foreign law or legal system that would not grant the parties the same rights guaranteed by state and U.S. constitutions.
While the law is broadly written, it is obviously aimed at sharia, Islamic law.
Needless to say Muslim Brotherhood front group CAIR is seething.
"It is an effort to demonize Islam," said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Washington-based council. "As Muslims are seen participating in a positive way in society, that really irritates some people."
Of course, someone could quite legitimately ask whether sharia law has any place in American jurisprudence, since it expressly denies equal rights to women, homosexuals and non-Muslims, legitimizes domestic violence and goes against the entire letter and spirit of our Constitution, and presumably that of Kansas.
In fact, there was a case in Sedgewick County that very much weighed on Kansas legislator's minds, where Hussein Hamdeh, a Wichita State University physics professor, filed for a sharia-style divorce in November 2010 from his wife, Hala.
According to their Lebanese Islamic marriage contract, all she was entitled to was a $5,000 payment, and Hamdeh's attorney told the courts that Islamic law limits spousal maintenance payments to her to three months. Her attorney told the court that following Islamic law would leave her "destitute."
The Kansas legislature was a little sharper than their neighbors in Oklahoma, who passed similar legislation in 2010 but had it blocked by a Democrat appointed judge and the appeals court because it specifically mentioned sharia, which could be considered discriminatory. The Kansas bill doesn't, and it's going to be a lot harder to attack, although I'd be surprised if CAIR, aided by the Obama Justice Department didn't try.
There are a number of other states considering this type of legislation, and Kansas will hopefully prove a model.There's some things that ought to be 'demionized' or at least beyond the pale in a free society.
If people like Mr. Hooper prefer living under sharia, the last time I checked you could still buy airplane tickets to countries that base their laws on it. And there's nothing stopping them following their principles, voting with their feet and leaving.