The answer to that question depends in part on whom you ask and on which religion is being considered. On Tuesday, for instance, voters in Oklahoma passed State Question 755, aka the "Shariah law amendment," which changed the state constitution so that Oklahoma courts are now forbidden from "considering or using" both international law and Shariah law when making their decisions.
Here's some of the text of the measure:
On Wednesday, however, the Council on American-Islamic Relations announced that it plans to file a lawsuit against Oklahoma for passing the amendment, which it considers unconstitutional. In a press release, CAIR said it would hold a news conference on Thursday to bring attention to its legal action.International law is also known as the law of nations. It deals with the conduct of international organizations and independent nations, such as countries, states and tribes. It deals with their relationship with each other. It also deals with some of their relationships with persons.
The law of nations is formed by the general assent of civilized nations. Sources of international law also include international agreements, as well as treaties.
Sharia Law is Islamic law. It is based on two principal sources, the Koran and the teaching of Mohammed.
Constitutional scholars say that the way the law singles out a particular religion violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, but also point out that Shariah law has never been used in Oklahoma court decisions anyway.
"Many of us who understand the law are scratching our heads this morning, laughing so we don't cry," Rick Tepker of the University of Oklahoma Law School told CNN. "I would like to see Oklahoma politicians explain if this means that the courts can no longer consider the Ten Commandments. Isn't that a precept of another culture and another nation? The result of this is that judges aren't going to know when and how they can look at sources of American law that were international law in origin."
CAIR argues that the law could negatively impact Muslims living in Oklahoma in a variety of ways, from potentially changing how food is labeled to requiring them to remove head scarves for driver's license photos. In addition, CAIR said that the measure has nothing to do with punishments such as stonings, which are often associated with Islamic law.
Oklahoma's law was championed by Newt Gingrich, among others, and received just over 70 percent of the vote Tuesday.
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