In Oklahoma they passed a measure that would make it illegal to apply Sharia in the state courts. A stupid notion, you say. The Constitution of the United States prevents the establishment of any religion in the courts or anyplace else, so this is a bullshit deal.
Certainly a waste of time unless you are a GOOPer and you want to get a passel of dumb shits to the polls. That’s why Newty Gringo started promoting the idea several months ago, and it sure worked well in Oklahoma. Dumb shits by the bushel swamped the polls on November 2 to vote against the Muslim hoards and protect us from Sharia. Incidentally they elected vast GOOP majorities in every office. Any sensible person who opposed the measure was pretty much run out of office, if not out of town. Oklahoma is now a cesspool of ignorance and greed run almost exclusively by right wing nuts. A great experiment that will be worth watching.
In the meantime, a group of those darn Muslims have challenged the new Oklahoma anti-Sharia law claiming it is unconstitutional. It is, on a number of counts. (Makes you wonder which Constitution all the right wing Constitutional authorities are reading.)
First of all there is the freedom of religion thing. How can you single out one religious tradition for exclusion without having officially sanctioned those religions that are still ok in OK? This is establishment of religion.
More importantly (because I am not sure the Supremes care much about religion unless it’s the Catholic religion, but they do care about basic corporate rights), the measure violates the Commerce Clause by interfering with choice of law in interstate commerce. Oklahoma Courts cannot choose Sharia as the basis for understanding an agreement that may have in fact been based on the law, say, of Saudi Arabia. In practice, all major commercial contracts include a choice of law clause. It would not be unusual for a contract for oil drilling equipment to include a Saudi choice of law clause… the Saudis choose Sharia.
Furthermore, it is a prima facia violation of Article I, Section 10, which provides that no state shall pass any law “impairing the obligation of contracts.” Oklahoma’s proposal would limit the ability of any person entering into a contract in Oklahoma to apply basic principles of Islamic law in a business agreement, even though that is common practice in Moslem communities. Historically, the Supremes protected the right of corporations to abuse their employees by finding a right to contract in the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause. In either case, adequate grounds for protecting the right to contract from Oklahoma’s voters can be found.
As more and more Moslems migrate to the USA, we may see communities that apply Sharia. Some states have been accommodating. Newty Gingo’s home state, Pennsylvania, allows arbitration by Sharia tribunals in cases where all parties agree. (Said agreement being a contract.) Some financial institutions have developed loans for Moslems who do not believe in usury. (Unlike Medieval Christians, they do not believe lenders should charge interest or that borrowers should pay interest. The Christians applied the usury rule only to lenders, leaving them free to borrow from Jews …which explains why Jews were protected in some jurisdictions from time to time. Devout Moslems borrow the cost of the item being purchased grossed up to cover the cost of money and pay it back over time. Everybody has a loophole.)
One curious court decision in New Jersey allowed a Moslem husband to abuse his wife because it was permitted under Sharia. That decision (consider the source) was overturned by an appeals court, but not until it has been used widely in right wing circles to underscore fear of invading Moslem fanatics. (I predict that someday the right to abuse our spouse will become a Christofascist cause.)
Ultimately, I am certain the Supremes will overturn the Oklahoma law. That will not keep it from continuing to have value as a wedge issue used by unscrupulous GOOPers to gin up fear in the ignorant masses for many elections to come.