KGOU Pledge Online Today!Follow Us at FacebookLive Streaming
Ruling Blocking Oklahoma Sharia Ban Upheld (Jan 10, 2012)

DENVER - A federal appeals court in Denver has upheld a ruling blocking the implementation of an Oklahoma law banning the use of Sharia and international law in its court system.

The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in the case on Tuesday. It concluded that the man who challenged the voter-approved law, Muneer Awad, could potentially prevail in his lawsuit against State Question 755.

Awad is the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma. He argues that the law amounts to a condemnation of Muslims living in the state.

Speaking to KGOU's "World Views" in November, Awad argued that the Save Our State Amendment violated his First Amendment rights.

"We thought it was important for someone to take a stand, make sure that people were able to analyze this more thoroughly," Awad said. "We were hoping we'd be able to educate voters before the vote. When it passed overwhelmingly, we really had no other options other than a lawsuit."

In a 37-page opinion issued Tuesday, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that Awad made "a strong showing" that he would prevail at trial.

"We have a democracy, however, minorities are protected against the will of the majority to take away those guaranteed rights," Awad said. "In this case, we simply can't put the rights of the Muslim community or any community up for a vote."

Backers of the amendment argued that because the measure hasn't taken effect, Awad was only speculating that he'd be injured by it.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt says his office will continue to defend the state in the matter of State Question 755. In a statement released this afternoon, Pruitt said the case will return to the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Oklahoma to determine its constitutionality after the temporary stay upheld by the federal appeals court.

Oklahoma Solicitor General Patrick Wyrick says that states have the right to establish their own court systems and have a say in which sets of laws are followed.


Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.


« back


High Speed Low Speed streaming issues High Speed Low Speed streaming issues