Kansas State Congress voted by 120 to 0 and the State Senate by 33 to 3 to pass a law that prevents courts and government agencies from using Islamic or other ‘non-US laws’ in decision making. The bill is waiting for Republican Governor Sam Brownback to sign. He has made no indication so far whether the bill will become law.
The bill is termed as the ‘anti Sharia’ law. 20 other states in America are considering similar laws.
Although many of these proposed bill do not name Islam or Sharia directly this is the intended target of these laws.
While the bill might be a vote winner, there are several problems with such bills. Firstly, it is illogical to talk about 2 laws. There is only one law, and that is the law that is applied by the police and upheld by the courts. We don’t have a law that allows stoning of adulterous women and one law that forbids women being stoned for cheating on their husbands. It would be contradictory to do so.
There is sometimes a contradiction between state and federal law, but that is an issue of jurisprudence.
Secondly, there is a constitutional problem with the proposed Kansas law. The constitution gives people the freedom of speech and the freedom to pursue their religious beliefs. If Jewish people insist that their children must marry other Jews to continue the line of their religion then it is not a matter for the courts to rule upon. Muslims have similar rights in America.
Moreover, Islam has been in the USA since Malcolm X in the 1960s. It is hardly a non-US religion, just as Judaism is also not considered non-American.
The bill is a statement of bigotry and a stain on the state of Kansas.