A bill designed to block “the application of foreign law” in state courts – including Sharia law – advanced in the Montana House of Representatives earlier this week. The vote for Senate Bill 97, which passed 56-44, was mostly along party lines.
Republicans argued that the bill simply upheld the Constitutions of both Montana and the United States. Democrats meanwhile, argued that the bill – say it with us – targets Muslims!
Via the Billings Gazette:
Senate Bill 97, carried by Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, doesn’t specifically mention Sharia law, but it was the only kind of foreign law mentioned during testimony in both the Senate and House judiciary committees.
Sharia law is the religious governance followed by people practicing Islam. Sharia utilizes religious texts to determine divine will. Its implementation varies across the world, with Saudi Arabia adhering to strict punishments like stoning, while in other countries it is most regularly used in personal law such as marriage and divorce.
The Democrats’ argument speaks volumes about which party is supporting which side of the debate. Republicans have fought historically to uphold the Constitution, while Democrats — especially of late — have fought just as hard to erode it.
Nevertheless, upholding Constitutional law cannot legitimately be defend as discrimination against any religion. Judaism, for example, is founded on its own system of laws, the Talmud. But that code of laws has no more standing in legal matters in the U.S. than does Sharia. The chief difference is that no one has ever argued on behalf of giving the Talmud preeminence over or at least parity with the laws of this nation.
“As far as being determined xenophobic, that’s an insult,” Rep. Brad Tschida, a Republican explained. “I’m not intolerant. This is not anti-Muslim.”
“We have allowed legal immigrants, illegal immigrants and now refugees to take advantage of our law and culture to take up their own agendas,” one resident said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Jan. 24. “They have no intention to abide by our laws, nor are they interested in assimilating to our culture.”
Cross-posted at the Mental Recession