Archive for Oklahomans

Arguments to take place in Oklahoma over ban on Islamic law in courts

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on November 22, 2010 by loonwatch

(CNN) — A federal judge will hear arguments Monday on a temporary restraining order against an Oklahoma referendum that would ban the use of Islamic religious law in state courts.

Oklahoma voters approved the amendment during the November elections by a 7-3 ratio. But the Council on American-Islamic Relations challenged the measure as a violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange issued a temporary restraining order November 8 that will keep state election officials from certifying that vote.

“What this amendment is going to do is officially disfavor and condemn the Muslim community as being a threat to Oklahoma,” Muneer Awad, executive director of CAIR’s Oklahoma chapter and the lead plaintiff in the suit, said earlier this month. In addition, he said, the amendment would invalidate private documents, such as wills, that are written in compliance with Muslim law.

The amendment would require Oklahoma courts to “rely on federal and state law when deciding cases” and “forbids courts from considering or using” either international law or Islamic religious law, known as Sharia, which the amendment defined as being based on the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed.

In bringing suit, CAIR argued that the amendment violates both the establishment and free-exercise clauses of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom. Awad has said the amendment passed “under a campaign of fearmongering” about Islam.

The entire U.S. Muslim population is about 2.4 million — less than 1 percent of the country, according to a 2009 survey by the nonprofit Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

But supporters said a New Jersey case, in which a judge refused to grant a restraining order against a Muslim man whose wife accused him of raping her repeatedly, made it necessary for Oklahoma to take action to keep Islamic law from being imposed there.

The New Jersey decision, in which the family court judge found the husband was abiding by his Muslim beliefs regarding spousal duties, was overruled by an appellate court.

But in automated phone messages in support of the amendment, former CIA Director and Oklahoma native James Woolsey warned that there was a “major campaign in Europe to impose Sharia law” and that Islamic law “is beginning to be cited in a few U.S courts.”


A Majority of Oklahomans View Islam Unfavorably

Posted in Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2010 by loonwatch

This might shed light on why the Sharia’ measure passed.

(Tulsa World)
By RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer

A majority of Oklahomans believe Islam is a violent religion that is far removed from Christianity, the most recent Oklahoma Poll found.

The survey, taken before voters overwhelmingly approved a state question banning Islamic Shariah law from state courts, revealed that fewer than one-quarter of Oklahomans have a favorable opinion of the Muslim religion.

Fifty-eight percent said Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence, and 61 percent said Muslims don’t worship the same God as Christians.

More than half agreed that Muslims should have the same rights as others to build houses of worship in local communities. However, 36 percent said local communities should have the right to prevent construction of houses of worship if they do not want them.

“I’m leery of any group that wants to kill Americans,” said poll respondent Janie Lloyd of Fort Gibson.

“Do I believe all Muslims want to kill Americans? Of course not,” said Lloyd. “But you’ve got to be vigilant on certain things. When someone says they want to kill you, you have to listen. Timothy McVeigh was an American citizen, and look what he did.”

McVeigh bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people.

More than anything, though, Lloyd seemed frustrated.

“I want them to be American,” she said. “I want them to act like American citizens. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”

Upon hearing the poll results, Luanne Butler of Tulsa said, “In a way it’s not surprising, but in a way it is disheartening to make sweeping generalizations about people called Muslim.”

Butler said there is “a lack of openness and also a pervasive element whispering (in) our ear that (Muslims) don’t have good intentions, that they want to take over, invade.”

She said the vote on State Question 755, banning the use of Shariah law in state courts, represented Oklahomans, saying, “So there. We don’t want interference from outside.”

Lloyd acknowledged that Shariah law has never entered into an Oklahoma court case and appears to have affected only one decision – a decision quickly overturned – in the entire country.

But, she said, she thinks the state question was a good idea.

“Look what’s going on in Europe,” she said. “They’re trying to dig themselves out of those people taking over.”

Muslims now make up sizable minorities in several European countries, including Germany and France. In the United Kingdom, Shariah courts can be used to settle civil disputes – technically, through arbitration – if all parties agree.

Islam is derived from the same monotheistic tradition as Judaism and Christianity. In the Quran, Islam’s holy book, Jesus Christ is described as a great messenger of God.

The majority of Oklahoma Christians, however, apparently reject the notion that the two religions have common roots. In the Oklahoma Poll sample, 83 percent of those who said they attend religious services more than once a week said Muslims worship a different God than Christians.

Three-quarters of those identifying themselves as evangelical Christians said Muslims worship a different God.

Feelings about the Muslim religion were also reflected in political affiliations and affinities. Seventy-two percent of those supporting Gov.-elect Mary Fallin said Islam promotes violence, compared with 46 percent of those who supported Jari Askins, the loser in the Nov. 2 election.

Oklahomans’ opinion of President Barack Obama also found expression in the poll questions about Islam. Fully one-third said they believe Obama is Muslim. Half said he is not.

“I don’t think he’s a Muslim,” said Marilyn Allen of Broken Arrow. She suspects Obama is “mixed up” because of his unusual childhood and “wants to please everyone,” including Muslim nations.

“I really don’t like the way he kowtows to them,” she said.

“But I’m more worried about the communist part than the Muslim part.”

Almost half the Republicans surveyed said they think Obama is a Muslim – and more than one-fifth of Democrats agreed.

Butler laughed at the notion.

“He’s not a Muslim,” she said. “He’s not anything. He’s a golfer.”

In general, would you say your opinion of the Muslim religion is:

Very favorable …………………………7%
Somewhat favorable………………16%
Neutral/no opinion…………………21%
Somewhat unfavorable …………22%
Very unfavorable……………………34%

(Numbers have been rounded)

Do you think Muslims worship the same God as Christians?

Worship same God……… 25%
Don’t worship same God…..61%
Don’t know/refused………14%

Which comes closer to your view:

The Muslim religion is more likely than others to encourage violence ……..58%
The Muslim religion does not encourage violence more than others …………29%
Don’t know/refused ……..13%

Do you think President Obama is a Muslim?

No………………………………… 50%
Don’t know/refused…….. 16%

(Numbers have been rounded)

About the poll conducted the scientific telephone survey of 753 likely Oklahoma voters Oct. 18-23. The poll includes 384 Democrats, 345 Republicans and 24 independents selected randomly from those who have established a frequent voting pattern.

The margin of error is plus or minus 3.57 percentage points.

The poll is sponsored by the Tulsa World.

Original Print Headline: Sooners have low opinion of Islam