Agence France-Presse

Court strikes down Oklahoma ban on Sharia law

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin speaks to the crowd on day four of the Republican National Convention (RNC) at the Xcel Energy Center on September 4, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Credit: Win McNamee

WASHINGTON — A federals appeals court on Tuesday struck down a proposed Oklahoma constitutional amendment that would have banned Islamic law, or Sharia, saying it discrininated against religions and Islam in particular, according to the Associated Press.

After 70 percent of Oklahoma voters approved the constitutional amendment in November 2010, the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma sued for a restraining order, and the amendment never went into effect. The law’s language would have banned state courts from considering international law and specifically mentioned "Sharia law." Muneer Awad, the plaintiff, can now challenge the law in higher courts.

More from GlobalPost: What is Sharia law?

The AP reported:

Backers argued that the amendment intended to ban all religious laws, that Islamic law was merely named as an example and that it wasn't meant as a specific attack on Muslims. The court disagreed.

A law blog on the Wall Street Journal’s website derided the original intent of the amendment:

Sometimes we get behind an idea, and we think to ourselves, why? Why are they even bothering when that idea, were it to become law, would be struck down as unconstitutional faster that we can utter “temporary restraining order.”

"This is an important reminder," the plaintiff Muneer Awad said in a statement, according to the Denver Post, "that the Constitution is the last line of defense against a rising tide of anti-Muslim bigotry in our society."

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