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View Diary: Oklahoma Seeks to Ban Sharia Law (219 comments)

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  •  But is it wrong to ban? (2+ / 0-)
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    Wolf10, erush1345

    I ask because the UK has allowed Sharia Law since 2008.  I'm great with freedom of religion, but 2 distinct sets of laws?

    In my opinion, there shouldn't be money wasted in research or trying to understand the nuances of Sharia Law.

    1 set of laws apply to everyone (except celebrities and members of congress).  Case closed.

    •  I will defer (0+ / 0-)

      to one of our many lawyers on this question.  I did not understand that the situation would exist where individuals could choose a set of laws they wanted to follow.

      "When your heart skips a beat stay on your feet, don't throw that moment away!"--Rob Fetters, 'Fear is Never Boring'

      by BigOkie on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 07:15:05 PM PDT

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      •  I'd like to know too (0+ / 0-)

        whether it is a "choice" of laws, or whether there will be cases where Sharia Law supercedes US law.  I'd like to think not.

        •  Enforcement powers make the difference. (1+ / 0-)
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          Modern states have a monopoly of force that other rule-making bodies within the state do not legally possess. Shunning and ostracism are about the worse that non-state actors can do to an otherwise law-abiding rule-breaker.    

          The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop!

          by Wolf10 on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 07:37:35 PM PDT

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          •  Thanks but..... (1+ / 0-)
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            I'm not a lawyer.  Does your statement mean that the only way "enforce" our laws (assuming that we adopt Sharia Law, or have no answer within our constitution) would be to make them feel stupid for breaking them?

            •  The opposite, if I understand correctly. (0+ / 0-)

              If by "our laws" you mean laws duly passed by federal, state and local bodies, then it is those bodies that legally possess the threat of force: imprisonment, fines, execution. Churches, clubs and the like have none of these. They can just kick you out of the group. Actually, if they literally kick you, they are guilty of assault.

              The only way a Sharia provision can become law is if it legislated and then does not violate the constitution.

              The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop!

              by Wolf10 on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 07:57:46 PM PDT

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      •  There are a number of situations in which (3+ / 0-)
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        BigOkie, Christy1947, erush1345

        the courts of one state can apply the laws of another jurisdiction.  First, if there is a conflict between the rules (otherwise who cares).  Then, the courts, roughly speaking, determine which law has the closest connection to the dispute.  For example, a car accident between two Texans in Oklahoma would probably fall under Texas law.  A lawsuit about corporate governance in Oklahoma involving a Delaware corporation would apply the laws of Delaware.  Parties can also put a choice of law clause into a contract in the event of litigation.  That's more often than not an articulation of what law would probably apply anyway, but it makes the litigation easier.  At the same time, most states have doctrinal authority that says they can refuse to apply the laws of a foreign jurisdiction if it violates public policy, which I guess is where the Sharia ban comes in.  

        Under this analysis, though, there would never be a situation where an Oklahoma court has to choose between Oklahoma law or "Sharia law."  It could be faced with a choice between its own law and that of Saudi Arabia, or something similar.  It's not crazy to think, actually, that one of OK's oilfield services companies could get into a contract dispute where the contract is meant to be performed somewhere in the middle east and there would then be a fairly good possibility that one or more of the parties might actually want foreign law to apply but prefer to litigate in a more convenient forum.

        I read the Amendment to mean that Oklahoma courts couldn't consider foreign case law as precedent, the way some SCOTUS courts have done in recent death penalty cases or Lawrence v. Texas.  But, yeah, there's actually a whole separate body of law about "conflict of laws."  

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 08:12:50 PM PDT

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    •  the UK does not have the (0+ / 0-)

      same constitution that we do.  They have an official church and they fund religious schools. Different country.

      •  Understood. (1+ / 0-)
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        But Oklahoma didn't just pull this out of their ass (I think).  Isn't adopting Sharia Law being considered in a parts of Michigan?

        I'm not sure.  I was all over this a few years ago, but really haven't kept up.

        •  perhaps like a private arbitration model (1+ / 0-)
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          but it would never apply to anyone who doesn't voluntarily participate, I would think. But he lawyers would know better than me.

          The govt cannot sponsor or infringe on religion, and the "sponser" part seems pretty clear to me.

    •  It is not uncommon in NYC for contracts done (1+ / 0-)
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      within the Orthodox Jewish community to provide they are to be bound by Jewish Law, and for many purposes in NYC, it is when that is how the contract was formed. But you probably need to make a distinction between domestic relations law, marriage contracts that we here do not use but many in other places do, contract them there and then have to enforce them here when the marriage comes here and then something domestic goes boom. It is also possible to have commerical contracts governed by Sharia, because of the particular requirements of that tradition against making loans at interest, which leads to very different looking contracts depending on the nature of the transaction being undertaken.

      •  We also have a whole body of U.S. law . . . (0+ / 0-)

        on the subject of enforcing foreign judgments in U.S. courts. I've been involved with enforcing a judgment of an international arbitration panel before, where a Turkish company won an arbitration award against a U.S. company, and the U.S company refused to pay the judgment. U.S. law says that the Turkish company can come into U.S. court and get an order to seize U.S. based assets of the U.S. company, in order to pay the judgment. They can, they did, and other parties come into U.S. courts all the time to enforce the judgments of foreign courts of all kinds. . . including Sharia courts.

        I wouldn't normally be the first guy to jump to the defense of some Oklahoma redneck legislator, but it doesn't take much imagination to dream up a situation where the strict application of U.S. law would result in the enforcement of a judgment issued by a Sharia court that is repugnant to our ideals. Should we always enforce foreign judgments, then?

        With Democrats like these, who needs majorities? -MinistryofTruth

        by Waterlaw99 on Sun Mar 21, 2010 at 10:02:41 AM PDT

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        •  Yup, we should. (0+ / 0-)

          Just imagine a couple married in a Shari'a compliant country under a marriage contract proper there with property provisions in it, and one or both come here, and then one tries in an Oklahoma court to undo the provisions of the marriage contract valid when and where made as to property distributions and substitute 'community property'. Or someone who books as a loan a Shari'a transaction which substitutes for the interest an equity position, but tries to sue here when the equity position is attempted to be enforced. Repugnant to our 'ideals' is much different than repugnant to our basic laws.  

          •  But easy cases are easy cases . . . (0+ / 0-)

            and it's easy to imagine thousands of situations where enforcing the judgment of a foreign court (even a sharia court) makes good sense, and does nothing to violate our ideals.

            But Oklahoma's new law was not enacted as a result of easy cases, so let's try a harder case . . .

            Lets say a muslim woman is raped. Despite being a rape victim, she is either an unmarried fornicator, or a married adulterer under Sharia law. She, the victim of a rape, is subject to execution by stoning, and in some Sharia jurisdictions, any assets she owns in her own name are forfeit.

            Sad day for her, and a difficult day for a judge in the U.S., faced with a foreign judgment of forfeiture, because the rape victim had assets in the U.S. Should a U.S. court enforce a foreign judgment and turn over the rape victim's U.S. assets because a Sharia court convicted her of adultery when she was raped?

            With Democrats like these, who needs majorities? -MinistryofTruth

            by Waterlaw99 on Sun Mar 21, 2010 at 10:57:58 AM PDT

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            •  Criminal penalties and rules involving violence (0+ / 0-)

              of that kind are always subject to the law of the jurisdiction the act was done in. You don't have to be in Oklahoma to make honor killings a felony. We get a few a year in the US, and the doer, usually a father or a brother goes stright to jail, shari'a or not.

              Criminal penalties are not usually extraterritorial in application, and this one in your example arises from what we are assuming is a crime, since she got the death penalty. How does the IRS do trying to collect default judgements or other courts do trying to collect judicial penalties in jurisdictions not their own. Not so good, I do believe.

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