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Interfaith Alliance calls on Florida State Legislators to Oppose Anti-Sharia Legislation


Washington, D.C. — Interfaith Alliance today announced its opposition to legislation currently before the Florida State Senate, already passed by the Florida State House, that would prevent ban the use of foreign law in courts including Sharia, Islamic law. The organization has been a leader in efforts combat anti-Muslim bigotry, prevent this kind of unnecessary legislation and to create respect and understanding between people of all faiths and beliefs.  Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement:
 

The bill currently under consideration by the Florida state legislature that would prevent the use of foreign law in courts is clearly a thinly veiled effort to ban Sharia, Islamic Law and it is pointless exercise aimed at solving a problem that does not actually exist. In this country the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land and in fact includes what is known as the ‘Supremacy Clause’ which makes clear that it is binding above all other forms of law, Sharia and Florida law included. There is no real danger of Sharia law being imposed on America at large. And those who choose to follow its teachings are protected by the First Amendment. Furthermore, by broadly attempting to ban the use of ‘foreign law,’ a category which all religious legal codes fall into, the Florida Legislature is infringing upon the rights of all people of faith.
 

There is much misinformation about Sharia law. The fact is that the place of Sharia law in the life of American Muslims is no different than that of Canon law for Catholics, or Halacha for Jews. The list could go on. Each one holds important meaning for its followers but it is not legally binding on those who follow a different set of beliefs and cannot trump our Constitution, if the two were ever to conflict.
 

Rather than engaging in an exercise aimed at disenfranchising the American Muslim community, Florida lawmakers should spend their time focusing on issues that have actual impact on the lives of their constituents.

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