Sunday, March 6, 2011

Alabama vs Shariah extrapolated to Halacha

Opinio Juris posted this story:

So, you’re a state senator in the deep South.  You love freedom, which is why you’re a Republican.  You know that Shariah (aka Shari’ah) is the enemy of freedom.  You also know that, although Shariah currently plays no role in the law of your state, it will eventually supplant the Constitution (sometime in the next four decades, you estimate) unless you stop it.  So you decide to sponsor a bill that would prohibit  judges from relying on Shariah (and that icky freedom-hating international law) when making legal decisions.  There’s only one problem — how should you define Shariah?  After all, Muslim jurists have been struggling over a definition for centuries.  Then it hits you: the answer is obvious.  There is only one source that you can truly trust.
Wikipedia, of course:
Allen is the sole sponsor of SB 62, a bill that would ban Alabama courts from using Shariah law or international law in making legal decisions.
The bill defines Shariah as “a form of religious law derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: The divine revelations set forth in the Qur’an and the example set by the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.”
That definition is the same, almost word for word, as wording in the Wikipedia entry on Shariah law as it appeared Thursday. Allen said the wording was drafted by Legislative staff. A source on the staff at the Legislature confirmed that the definition was in fact pulled from Wikipedia.
Allen could not readily define Shariah in an interview Thursday. “I don’t have my file in front of me,” he said. “I wish I could answer you better.”
The good citizens of Alabama will sleep better tonight knowing that Gerald Allen’s watching out for them.

Just for those of you wondering. Wikipedia entry on Halacha, reads:

Halakha (Hebrewהלכה‎) — also transliteratedHalocho (Ashkenazic Hebrew pronunciation), orHalacha— is the collective body of Jewish law, including biblical law (the 613 mitzvot) and latertalmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions.
So if senator Allen was to try and ban the court's use of Halacha, we might just find that chicken soup is no longer allowed in the good old state of Alabama (custom). 


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