GOP Platform Addresses Sharia Encroachment
Reports (at "Live” wire , repeated at Salon) are quoting Kansas Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach to the effect that the GOP platform has adopted an amendment which addresses Sharia encroachment. Kobach stated,
We see it from the top where the United States Supreme Court has repeatedly quoted foreign law in interpreting our U.S. constitution and it’s actually coming in at the bottom as well, it’s being raised as an argument in courts around the country. We actually put a provision affecting Kansas statute this year and I think it’s important for us to say foreign sources of law should not be used as part of common law decisions or statutory interpretations by judges in the lower state courts as well.
…I’m not aware of any court that’s accepted the argument, but in cases involving either spousal abuse or assault or other crimes against persons, sometimes defenses are raised that are based in Sharia law
Despite the predictable sneering and distressing ignorance which frames these reports by two agitprop "journalists,” and Kobach’s own noble, if incomplete assessment of the profundity of the problem, this is very welcome news.
Kobach referred to Kansas’s recently passed law—a version of American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) legislation—which should remind us all that the earliest of these laws (now also passed in Tennessee, Arizona, and Louisiana) have been in effect for several years without being challenged, let alone overturned. David Yerushalmi recently provided a very clear, didactic example of the need for ALAC-style laws, which corrects Kobach’s assessment about courts not having accepted Sharia-based arguments.
Yersuhlami described in brief an appellate court decision from Maryland, cited in a Center for Security Policy Study, where
…the court enforced a Pakistani Sharia court’s judgment of custody in favor of the father even though the mother had argued that she was not provided due process because had she gone to Pakistan to contest the case, she could have been subject to capital punishment for having a new relationship with a man not sanctioned by sharia.
The salient facts of the case, and appellate court ruling, were summarized by Yerushalmi as follows:
The Maryland appellate court ruled that since the woman could not prove she’d be executed had she gone to Pakistan to litigate custody in the Pakistan Sharia Court, which is a national-state court in Pakistan, her failure to go to Pakistan and take the risk of execution precluded her from making the void as against public policy argument. ALAC would have provided the Maryland appellate court the legislative clarity to have reversed the lower court’s outrageous decision. (...)