Critics Denounce ‘foreign Laws’ Bill
August 17, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
DETROIT, Aug. 17 (UPI) — Opponents criticized as discriminatory a measure that would forbid Michigan courts to consider “foreign laws,” including Shariah, or Muslim law.
“This plan goes against our country’s core values of accepting people from all races and walks of life,” state Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, a Muslim, said as he joined other opponents in Detroit Tuesday.
“It’s racism at its core.”
Rep. Dave Agema, R-Grandville, a sponsor of the bill, has told The Detroit News it’s necessary so “no foreign law shall supersede federal laws or Constitution or state laws or constitution.”
Shariah applies to religious practice, conduct and family relationships.
The Michigan law doesn’t name Shariah but similar measures are being considered by legislatures in 25 other states. And watchdog groups point to 50 cases nationally that religious rules could affect, most involving divorce or child custody, the News said.
Agema dismissed as “hogwash” claims of bigotry.
On Tuesday, the Michigan chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations said it would sue if the measure becomes law. And the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee urged members to ask legislators to oppose the measure.
Gov. Rick Snyder’s office has to analyze the bill, spokeswoman Geralyn Lasher said.
“We don’t know if this is an issue taking place or whether there is a need” for a law, she said.