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Muslim groups challenge ‘anti-Shariah’ legislation comment (0)

June 7, 2012


KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Muslim civil rights groups are calling a new Kansas law that bans Shariah in state courtrooms an expression of Islamophobia that is vulnerable to a legal challenge.

The law, signed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback on May 28, does not specifically mention Shariah, or Islamic law, but forbids state courts from basing decisions on foreign laws that contradict rights granted by the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions.

But the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other Muslim groups called the law little more than anti-Muslim propaganda.

“It’s obvious, based on the Islamophobic rhetoric of the sponsors of the bill, that the target was Islam and the Kansas Muslim community,” CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said. 

Brownback spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag said in a statement that the bill “makes it clear that Kansas courts will rely exclusively on the laws of our state and nation when deciding cases and will not consider the laws of foreign jurisdictions.”

Three states — Arizona, Tennessee and Louisiana — have similar laws on the books. 

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