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Federal Judge Blocks Oklahoma Voters’ Ban on Sharia Law

November 9, 2010

Just days after 70 percent of Oklahoma voters approved an amendment to the state constitution that would bar state courts from using international law from deciding cases — namely Islamic Sharia law — the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed suit to block the measure.

Muneer Awad, the head of CAIR’s Oklahoma chapter says the new law “demonizes” his religion and violates his First Amendment rights by embedding an “official disapproval of his faith” in the state constitution. He also argues that the ban would make it impossible for his family to legally execute his will, much of which is based on Islam.

On Monday, Federal District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange issued a temporary restraining blocking the amendment.

The judge‘s injunction prohibits the state from certifying last week’s election results. Without this legal maneuver, the amendment to the Oklahoma state constitution would’ve gone into effect Tuesday.

The measure will now be temporarily delayed from taking effect until after the court holds another hearing on the matter, scheduled for Nov. 22.

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