Mississippi Weighs Ban against Sharia Law
Lawmakers in Mississippi are proposing legislation that would ban Sharia law from the state.
"I think we need to make a stand and a statement that we are not going to allow it to be used in our court system," state Rep. John Moore, R-Brandon, said.
More than two dozen states have considered similar bans on the laws followed in Muslim nations.
A group of Muslims in northern Texas has created what may be the first official Sharia law system in the United States.
The Sharia tribunal in Irving, Texas, said they're not planning to follow the type of Sharia practiced in Muslim countries, where severe punishments are handed out for even small crimes, women have very few rights, and blasphemy against Mohammed can result in a death sentence.
But in Mississippi, Rep. Moore recently introduced a meaure that blocks any foreign laws from being enforced or applied in the state and country.
He made clear that Sharia law is a big concern and wants to make sure it never gets argued in a Mississippi courtroom.
He said a Muslim defendent could try to use Sharia law as a defense against a U.S. criminal case.
"I think that is all a threat all over the country, and if there is a potential, we need to go ahead and put it in the code," he said.
Muhammad Abdur-Rahman, with the International Museum of Muslim Coultures, defended Sharia law, saying he hopes to see it enforced in the state.
"It is a moral code that we must follow - strick moral code," he said.
"We are talking about in a court of law everybody must obey the laws of the land and that is what is inside that Sharia law," he added. "That you must obey the laws of the land."
State Sen. Tony Smith, R-Picayune disagreed, considering that state is looking to make the Bible its official state book.
"I'm going to say this is a Christian state, very conservative state, and I don't see any place for Sharia law here in Mississippi," he said.