Listen to today’s broadcast:
On our broadcast today we had Kerry Hooks. She is the Washington state director for Act For America, an organization that works to block the growth of “radical Islam” in America. We call that “scriptural Islam.” I talked to here about the advancement of Shariah Law in America.
Before I get into the discussion we had on the radio let me tell you our concern here at Fortress of Faith. You would think that in our courts, only American laws would be used. We do have provisions in our laws to consider foreign laws if there is a contract made in a foreign country. For example if a business in th US would have a contract with a company in Germany, and the German company defaults on the contract, rather than go to Germany to prosecute they would go to an American court and ask them to accommodate the foreign law for the sake of this case.
Our concern is when foreign laws violate the constitutional and civil rights of a person in this country. This is what Shariah law will do if it is allowed to become jurisprudence in America. I’ll give you an example of this later in this article.
Here is a transcript of the discussion with Kerry Hooks:
Kerry, I want to bring you in here. Explain for us a little bit about what Act For America is doing to block Shariah law in coming into our court system.
Well, we had last year a bill in the house call HB-1392, and that was protecting citizens from the application of foreign law when doing so would violate constitutional rights. I know that is a very long title but that is the name of our version of American Law for American Courts. This year we had a bill introduced into the Senate with the same name, and that bill was SB-6118. We just had a hearing in the Senate, and it was (garbled). However, there was one senator that was very angry. He is a very close friend with the director of CAIR and has actually introduced some legislation and resolutions on behalf of CAIR so we were not surprised that he was not listening to us.
Who is this?
That was Senator Adam Kline.
What district is he from? And tell us a little bit about him.
He is in the 37th district and that is across the lake from Bellevue around the around Medina, so the central district, Mt. Baker/Columbia City, Rainer valley, Rainer beach, all the way down to Renton. That is the 37th district.
There is a large immigrant population in the Rainer Valley, so I very surprised that he would not even hear any about the fact that this bill actually protected, in Washington State, this bill would have protected Muslim folks who went to our courts and were expecting equal protection under the law wen the judges actually enforced Shariah Law.
What happened in the Senate? You said you had a reading. Who is the sponsor of the bill?
The sponsor of the bill was Senator Benton and cosponsors were Senators Dansel, Becker, Honeyford, yeah, those three were cosponsors, Dansel, Becker, and Honeyford.
Did this get a lot of time on the floor in the committee?
Not very much at all. They had five bills in front of us. One had to do with discriminating based on religion that I just learned about and it was concerning to me, but they took so much time talking about some of these other bills that we barely got, we each got about 90 seconds to make our case.
90 whole seconds.
Man o man!
I had to cut out a lot of my testimony. I wasn’t able to talk about the two Muslim people that would have been protected by this law. And so, you know, I had to really gut a lot of my statement.
Well Kerry, I’ll give you more than 90 seconds. How would a couple of Muslims be protected by this law?
Well, the first case where we get, let me get the case up, the first case had to do with custody, and a woman brought a case, a custody case to our court, and in Washington State the standard is what’s best for the child, and in this case the judge did not allow a continuance for this mother, this woman, to get a certified copy of the Philippine court that said the Shariah court did not have jurisdiction and so the judge just ruled on that case based on what the Shariah court said. Now (garbled) our state we shouldn’t be recognizing Shariah courts as having legal authority and we should be using our standard of what’s best for the child in those kind of cases.
Now the case did go to the appellate court, and the court of appeals did say when faces with a custody agreement from a foreign country we should always defer to our standard of what’s best for the child. Now that’s great that our appellate court did that, but, if we had this law in place this woman wouldn’t have had to spend her money to go the the court of appeals because it would have been taken care of right there in the trial court.
We have another case where a man got married, I believe it was in Pakistan, and he was presented a prenuptial agreement and in a language that he didn’t speak. And he was given this prenuptial agreement 15 minutes before the wedding was supposed to happen. Now as a paralegal I have studied cases like this where a person has signed a contract that they really don’t understand and they didn’t have time for legal representation to advise them of their rights. And so in this prenuptial agreement, the agreement was that upon divorce the man would pay this woman $20,000. Well, 13 months later she decides she wants to divorce him so she (garbled) the dowry fee paid. Well, the man went to court and basically said, Look the agreement was in a language I didn’t understand given to me 15 minutes before I was supposed to get married and I didn’t have time to look at it and (garbled) my uncle’s advised me, I don’t know what was in it, I didn’t have legal representation advising me so this is not a valid contract. Even under Washington state law, in other cases this wouldn’t have been a valid contract because he did not have informed consent. So, however, judge in this case ruled for the woman and ordered the man to pay her $20,000.
that also went to the court of appeals and was struck down. So, in both cases those were struck down by the court of appeals, but if we had this law that would have protected these people from using a foreign law that deprived them of their constitutional right of equal protection under the law.
Ok. Now, now, I understand where you are going and what you are talking about here. This law is going to protect people’s constitutional rights. There are examples where Shariah Law will certainly onflict with the constitutional rights that we give people. For example, go back to your first case, let’s make this clear, your first case that you talked about, Shariah Law would have given custody of the child to the man because that’s what Islamic law requires whether or not it is good enough for… if its good for the child or not good for the child. Shariah law demands that the man has custody of the child. The woman will always lose in those cases. And so the right of the child is not going to be honored.
And so, and the fact is that this is our country and we ought to expect our laws to be supreme here. And we would think every state would already have that, but they don’t. And so thats why there’s this initiative of American Laws for American Courts, and that’s what this bill is that’s trying to get passed through Senate, at least getting through the committee. We are at the early stages here.
And Kerry, I’m glad you’re on top of this keeping us informed.
What do we need to do to push this out of committee and get it going further down the road?
If people want to help get this to the Senate floor for a vote they can contact the Senate Committee for Law and Justice and chairperson. If people go to http://www.leg.wa.gov/Senate/Committees/LAW/Pages/MembersStaff.aspx they will be able to find the Senate Committee of Law and Justice. That chair Senator Mike Padden and you can email any of them with their first name dot last name dot leg dot law dot gov (their emails are at the end of this post).
End of transcript.
We need to get this passed in Washington State. We have already gotten it passed in Tennessee, Louisiana, Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, (It was vetoed by Missouri Governor) and North Carolina. It is in progress in Florida, Georgia Alabama, and Indiana. It has strong support in the following states:
Louisiana Senate Vote: 33-3
Louisiana House Vote: 94-0
Tennessee House Vote: 96-0
Tennessee Senate Vote: 32-0
Oklahoma House Vote: 76-3
Indiana Senate Vote: 50-0
Missouri House of Representatives Vote: 110-46
Florida House Vote: 92-24
Florida House Civil Justice Subcommittee: 13-0
Florida House Judiciary Committee: 14-1
Florida Senate Judiciary Committee: 6-0
Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee: 9-0
Georgia House Judiciary Committee: 7-2
this is a “no brainer” we should have American laws in our American courts. We can’t allow foreign laws to come in and violate the constitutional laws of this country. It doesn’t matter if it comes from a religion like Islam or if it doesn’t. American Laws for American Courts, that’s what is going to reign this country.
Frank J. Gaffney Jr. said, “It is needed especially to protect women and children, who have been identified by international human rights organizations as the primary victims of discriminatory foreign laws.”
Here are some additional links that are of interest on this subject:
Here is a link to the bill:
Link to the Bill that is being passed around the country
And here is the contact information for the committee members:
Padden, Mike (R) Chair INB 105 (360) 786-7606
O’Ban, Steve (R) Vice Chair INB 102 (360) 786-7654
Kline, Adam (D) * JAC 223 (360) 786-7688
Darneille, Jeannie (D) JAC 227 (360) 786-7652
Pearson, Kirk (R) INB 115D (360) 786-7676
Pedersen, Jamie (D) JAC 226 (360) 786-7628
Roach, Pam (R)
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