Friday, May 27, 2011

American Jewish groups are fighting a proposed ban of Sharia law in the state of Oklahoma

A coalition of organizations that include the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) are backing a legal appeal against a measure that would prevent Islamic law from being used in the state's courts. The AJC filed a brief with the US Court of Appeals arguing that the ban is an attack on religious freedom. The AJC said that the provision - called the "Save our State law" by its supporters and adopted after a referendum which delivered a 70% "yes" vote - is unconstitutional, violating a clause in the First Amendment which bars a state preference for one religion over another. "In a nation that treasures religious freedom and whose constitution forbids government to have favored or disfavored faiths, the Oklahoma provision cannot stand," wrote AJC Associate General counsel Marc Stern. The Anti-Defamation League and the Union of Reform Judaism supported the brief, as did the Center for Islamic Pluralism. Stephen Schwartz, who converted to Islam as an adult and is the executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, said that both Jews and moderate Muslims are interested in protecting religious freedom. He said that American Jewish groups often work with Islamic organizations. "The AJC has organized three trips for moderate Muslims to visit Israel," Schwartz said. Once again we see Jews siding with Muslims against Christians.

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