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Sharia Vs. the Constitution – Which Will Prevail?

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PBS aired this spot called "Sharia Controvery" to discuss the law initiative, "American Laws for American Courts." The initiative, which has passed into law in Tennessee, Louisiana and Arizona guarantees that if there is a disagreement between American law (and the ensuing constitutional rights) and foreign law, the courts will be obligated to rule according to American law.

The act is designed to protect Americans against the infiltration and incursion of foreign laws and foreign legal doctrines, especially sharia. The initiative was deemed necessary because of an alarming precedent being set in a number of cases where U.S. courts gave precedence to Islamic (Sharia) law, especially in cases involving women (to their detriment).

Foreign laws, especially Sharia, are frequently at odds with U.S. constitutional principles of equal protection and due process, and freedom of religion, speech and assembly. They typically enter the American court system through the principle of comity (mutual respect of each country’s legal system). Granting comity to a foreign judgment is a matter of state law. Most state and federal courts will grant comity unless the recognition of the foreign judgment violates an important public policy of the state.

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org