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Proof of Concept: Oklahoma Bans Sharia Law

6:48 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

In a stunning proof-of-concept preview of the next chapter after ‘gay marriage’ for getting conservatives to turn out at the polls despite the lack of a relevant issue that directly affects their own lives and without a closely fought campaign for office atop the ticket, Oklahoma voters have approved a measure to prohibit their state judges from considering Sharia law (or other foreign law) in their rulings from the bench.

Oklahoma voters have approved a measure that would forbid judges from considering international law or Islamic law when deciding cases.

Republican Rex Duncan, the sponsor of the measure, called it a “pre-emptive strike” designed to close the door on activist judges “legislating from the bench or using international law or Sharia law.”

Members of the Muslim community called the question an attack on Islam and some of them said they are prepared to file a lawsuit challenging the measure.

The huge, threatening Muslim community in Oklahoma: 15,000 people out of a state population of 3.7 million.

Expect to see lots more of these measures in 2012, when fundie voters may need a reason other than two dudes getting married to motivate them to go to the polls.

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GOP test-markets its next ‘gay marriage’ issue in OK

2:02 pm in 2010 election, Drug Policy, Elections, Judiciary, Just Say Now, Legislature, LGBT, Politics, State Government by Teddy Partridge

It’s no secret that the GOP used ‘gay marriage’ prohibition referenda to great success in turning out their most fundamentalist, right-wing voters in states that mattered to the Bush/Cheney re-election campaign in 2004. But American voters, especially inward-looking, family-oriented fundies, must be constantly re-entertained to be electorally motivated. To that end, the GOP is test-marketing its second-decade turnout-motivator issue in Oklahoma: Sharia law.

Yes, Oklahomans will vote next week whether to prohibit their judges from considering international or Sharia law in their deliberations.

One of 11 ballot initiatives in the state this November, State Question 755, better known as the “Save Our State” constitutional amendment, would prevent courts from using international or Sharia law. The question made it to the ballot by passing the state Senate 41-2 and the House 82-10. In addition to potentially rallying the conservative base to the polls, the initiative, which bans something that is nearly impossible statutorily, is worth watching because the GOP may employ it in swing states two years down the line.

If this works — and why wouldn’t it, given the huge threat Sharia law currently poses to Oklahomans? — it may very well be the ballot issue that supplants ‘gay marriage’ in states the GOP needs to win the presidency in 2012. Look for compliant state legislatures, and some new GOP governors elected next week, to get this pressing issue on statewide ballots in 2012.

‘Gay marriage’ got the fundie preachers’ flocks up and out of the pews to vote in 2004. Eight years later, these preachers will naturally align themselves with such a pro-Christian issue: would you like your next brush with the police to be decided under Sharia law? ‘Sharia law’ is a double-barreled issue, too. It not only has the charming xenophobic resonance of George W Bush’s famous “with us or against us.” It also shuts down debate pretty quickly: “You’re not a terrorist-sympathizer, are you?”

Of course, that Sharia law poses absolutely no threat to American jurisprudence makes no difference whatsoever. Marriage equality hasn’t ended ‘traditional marriage’ anywhere, has it? The logic of the issue isn’t important. In fact, it’s counterintuitive, since anyone who argues against a Sharia law referendum is, by definition, on the side of terrorists.

See?

Suddenly, all that recent braying from disgraced former House Speaker Newt Gingrich about a federal ban on Sharia law begins to make sense. The GOP must get folks scared about Sharia law if they to be asked to vote on it next cycle. If the unresponsive federal government won’t recognize the very real threat of creeping Sharia-ism in our courts, at least states can ban it.

For motivating base voters, 2012 might shape up to be Sharia v pot.