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Tilting at Windmills

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June 12, 2010

ENSURING SHARIA LAW DOESN'T COME TO OKLAHOMA.... Sometimes, right-wing lawmakers can get a little paranoid. On its face, that would only be mildly annoying, except the paranoia can manifest itself in actual policy proposals.

Oklahoma State Senator Rex Duncan (R) is pushing for a ballot measure that would prohibit courts from considering international or sharia law when deciding cases. He says the measure is a "preemptive strike" against "liberal judges" who want to "undermine those founding principles" of America.

The "Save Our State" amendment would require Oklahoma courts to use state and federal laws only when ruling, and Duncan explained on MSNBC today that he wants to ensure "that our courts are not used to undermine those founding principles, and turn Oklahoma into something that our founding fathers and our great grandparents wouldn't recognize."

Just so we're clear, this right-wing state senator believes judges may issue rulings based on the tenets on an Islamic theocracy, so he wants a ballot measure to prevent this from occurring.

Asked if there's any danger that a judge might actually do this, the right-wing state lawmaker conceded that it's never happened, but Duncan added, "[I]t's not just a danger. It's a reality.... This is a war for the survival of America."

There was no indication he was kidding.

There were plenty of amusing responses to this, but as is often the case, digby delivered the knock-down punch: "Somebody's got to stop all those liberal judges from imposing ultra-conservative Sharia Law and stoning gays and women who stray from God's path. Oh wait...what are we talking about again?"

Steve Benen 9:50 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (17)

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Sharia law is already in Oklahoma. It's thrived there since it stopped being Indian Territory. The governing body is the Southern Baptist Church.

Posted by: ericfree on June 12, 2010 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

Sounds like a fine idea, as long as you include all the ancient middle eastern religious law codes in the prohibition, including all three versions of the ten commandments.

Posted by: Tim H on June 12, 2010 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

How does this square with the wingnut effort in Orange County CA primary this past week, where they tried to unseat a few judges who insisted they follow the law in their rulings, rather than Christian tenets? I'm confused...

Posted by: artsmith on June 12, 2010 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Just in case:

We need to pass a law forbidding space aliens from breeding with humans.

It hasn't happened, but we need to prepare NOW for the future!

Posted by: DAY on June 12, 2010 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

buy american, astrazenca british bp british their causing death and desruction in america

Posted by: ghoward on June 12, 2010 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Liberal judges and sharia law - now there's an intersecting point of confusion only an ignoramus can hold onto! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on June 12, 2010 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

Gimme that ol' time religion.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on June 12, 2010 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Having discovered that torture is essential to the peace and freedom of the people of Oklahoma, and having heard on faux news that judges actually use laws as a basis for their decisions, I'm sure it seemed urgent that legislation be written mandating torture of suspects and random non citizens.

Posted by: thebewilderness on June 12, 2010 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Wait till he finds out that Sharia Law forecloses gay marriage. Bet that makes him change his mind.

By the way, all those tornadoes in Oklahoma? God's punishment for ... well, something.

Posted by: Northern Pike on June 12, 2010 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

You know, it just occurred to me that maybe there's a way we could get rid of some of our excess nukes without the expense of dismantling them.

Posted by: rbe1 on June 12, 2010 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

What is the specific language? If the ballot measure just forbids the use of interational and sharia law, that's one thing. If the measure requires courts only use state and federal law, doesn't that mean that the Bible is now off limits?

Posted by: Anonymous At Work on June 12, 2010 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

I followed the Digby link and read the longer excerpt from the interview. Here's a thought exercise: try substituting the words "Jew" and "Torah" for Muslim and Sharia throughout, read it to someone and ask them to guess where and when the interview took place. If they don't guess that it was an interview with Hitler in the late 30's I'd be very surprised.

It's easy to laugh at this man for his total misunderstanding both of liberalism and of Sharia, but the process of ethnic/religious baiting and scapegoating that's at work here is not funny.

Posted by: T-Rex on June 12, 2010 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

No international law? Damn. Copyright infringement from overseas? A patent case involving Italy or Japan? Intellectual property theft by China? I wonder how that'll turn out.

Posted by: iambilly on June 12, 2010 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

The great-grandparents of some living Oklahomans would not recognize what the state has turned into -- namely, a state. As of 1907. Things change.

Posted by: Grumpy on June 12, 2010 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

I'm from Oklahoma and I don't recognize it anymore. Of course I haven't been back in many years, and as long as it keeps going down the road it has for the last decade or so, I don't ever want to go back. And that is a real shame.

Posted by: kvasir42 on June 12, 2010 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

Likely the more serious concern is the appended "... and international laws" with all those added extra rights.

Texas has made a point of trying, sentencing, and executing foreign citizens without giving them access to their home nations' embassies or consulates for help or legal aid, as dictated by international law (treaty). Perhaps Oklahoma is meant to follow suit.

Posted by: Raven on June 13, 2010 at 6:37 AM | PERMALINK

i am from oklahoma but now live in texas. i spent a month in DC this past spring for a conference and got to see how big of a cultural difference there is between people from the NE and the south. it's not like it is a big secret. both sides admit the difference when they lash out at the other, but each constantly tries to make the other see things their way. why does everyone have to be so hateful towards their fellow american? were we not all rooting together for the US to beat england at the world cup on saturday? why not just allow more state rights and state independence? arizona can have strict immigration laws. california can welcome all immigrants. northeast states can allow gay marriage. oklahoma can make preventative laws as they see fit.

Posted by: cb on June 15, 2010 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK
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