CAIRO - A bill banning the recognition of Islamic Shari`ah in state courts is set for a final vote in North Carolina on Thursday, May 16, a move seen as only aiming to make political gains at the expense of Muslims.
"The most egregious cases have been those concerning custody and divorce, Rep. Chris Whitmire, who champions the bill, told WRAL website.
We don't want it here.
The bill, which comes a week after Missouri state advanced a similar draft, bans the use of foreign laws, including Shari`ah, in state courts.
It won approval of the legislative committee on Wednesday after changes to be only applied to issues of family law and child custody.
The bill does not specifically mention Islamic Shari`ah to avoid a potential court challenge for singling out a certain religion.
State Representative Tim Moore said he does not know of any instances of foreign law being used in North Carolina courts.
He, however, opines that a statute is needed to prevent it from happening.
If approved, North Carolina will be eighth US state to ban the use of Shari`ah in state courts.
Shari`ah has come under scrutiny recently in the US, with right-wing campaigners and politicians questioning its role and operating system.
Lawmakers in at least 30 states have introduced proposals forbidding local judges from considering Shari`ah when rendering verdicts on issues of divorces and marital disputes.
Oklahoma voters approved a ballot initiative in 2010 that specifically mentioned Shari`ah law, but both a federal judge and a federal appeals court blocked it.
In Islam, Shari`ah govern issues in Muslims' lives from daily prayers to fasting and from to inheritance and marital cases to financial disputes.
The Islamic rulings, however, do not apply on non-Muslims, even if in a dispute with Muslims.
In US courts, judges can refer to Shari`ah law in Muslim litigation involving cases about divorce and custody proceedings or in commercial litigation.
Critics accused Republican sponsors of seeking to make political gains from fielding anti-Shari`ah bills.
"I suppose since instituting an official state religion failed, passing anti-Shari`ah law legislation is the next best thing," state Democratic Party spokesman Micah Beasley told The Huffington Post.
"It's unfortunate that North Carolina Republican leaders continue to waste taxpayers' resources with fringe policy proposals such as this.
North Carolinians deserve a legislature focused on jobs, not potentially unconstitutional power grabs."
Republicans have been dismissive to Muslim voters over the anti-Islam campaigns played by its candidates to win votes.
During his campaign to win his party nomination for the 2012 election,, Newt Gingrich, former House speaker, has described Islamic Shari`ah as a mortal threat to the United States.
Republican aspirant Rick Santorum had also described Islamic Shari`ah as "an existential threat" to America.
Former candidate Herman Cain had also said that he would not appoint a Muslim in his administration.
Cain, who withdrew from the race for the White House, later modified his position by calling for an unconstitutional "loyalty" oath for Muslim appointees.
Recently, a Republican Missouri lawmaker described Islam as a disease like polio while another Alaska Rep. branded Muslims as occupiers' of American neighborhoods.Although there are no official figures, the United States is believed to be home to between 6-8 million Muslims.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net