The Norman Transcript

Headlines

September 25, 2010

SQ 755 ban raises questions, concerns

OKLAHOMA CITY —  Strained religious tensions and calls to pre-emptively protect the state’s court system characterize one of the more unusual state questions that will be on the ballot this November.

Religious groups and some lawmakers claim xenophobia is at the root of State Question 755, which would amend the state Constitution to forbid courts from considering international or Islamic Sharia law in making decisions.

Sharia law is based on the teaching of the Quran and practiced in different way in several Muslim countries.

Supporters of the measure, however, argue it is needed to prevent Sharia law from potentially gaining power in the state’s juridical system.

Rep. Rex Duncan, R-Sand Springs, said he authored the legislation that spurred the ballot measure because he argues Sharia law provisions that are practiced in some countries — such as the unequal treatment of women — run in contrast with American principles. Although he is not aware of any Oklahoma courts making decisions based on Sharia law, he said actions by other countries and isolated events in the United States show this is a growing threat and action needs to be taken before it reaches Oklahoma.

“This effort is all about protecting our court system from being hijacked by an ideology that does not have America’s long-term future in mind,” he said. “Our courts ought to follow American federal and state law, and there is no logical reason why a court would look to the law of France or Saudi Arabia.”

Several groups, including the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, have been vocal in opposing the measure on the grounds that it is unnecessary and only fans the flames of religious intolerance. Saad Mohammed, director of Islamic information for the group, said he finds the measure “very questionable” for singling out the Islamic law instead of any other religion.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Norman firefighter performs Heimlich maneuver on Moore man after he chokes on food

    What started out as a normal night out for a Moore couple ended with them being thankful a firefighter was in the right place at the right time....

    July 22, 2014

  • Common Core repeal has state teachers worried about instruction

    OKLAHOMA CITY — With the Legislature’s repeal of tough, new English and math standards known as Common Core, education leaders said they’re concerned Oklahoma students will fall further behind their counterparts in more than 40 states ...

    July 22, 2014

  • 18-year-old killed; 72-year-old man, young boy injured

    Those involved in the wreck Friday near 136th Avenue and South Sooner Road were identified Monday by Oklahoma City police. Logan Rosado-Santoni, 18, was pronounced dead on the scene after the 4:30 p.m. multi-vehicle wreck. Two others were ...

    July 22, 2014

  • New AP program to begin in Norman

    NORMAN — Norman Public Schools Board of Education learned about Advanced Placement Capstone at a regular board meeting Monday....

    July 22, 2014

  • Rebels release train with bodies from jet

    HRABOVE, Ukraine — Bowing to international pressure, pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane, four days after it plunged into rebel-held eastern ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Gaza death toll passes 560

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A high-level attempt by the U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state to end deadly Israel-Hamas fighting was off to a rough start Monday: Gaza’s Hamas rulers signaled they won’t agree to an unconditional ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Perry sending Guard troops to border

    AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Rick Perry is deploying up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border over the next month to combat what he said Monday were criminals exploiting a surge of children pouring into the U.S. illegally. ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Better weather to aid in fire fight

    SPOKANE, Wash. — Calmer winds and cooler temperatures were allowing firefighters to go on the offensive Monday against a destructive wildfire that has charred hundreds of square miles of terrain in Washington State and is the largest in ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Gay, transgender workers gain U.S. bias protection

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Monday ordered employment protection for gay and transgender employees who work for the federal government or for companies holding federal contracts, telling advocates he embraced the “irrefutable ...

    July 22, 2014