State Rep. Metz joins ‘anti-Shariah’ fight
State Rep. Larry Metz, R-Eustis, has filed an “Application of Foreign Law” bill that accompanies similar legislation put forward by state Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla. Right-wing organizations have dubbed Hays’ bill an “anti-Shariah” act.
The Florida Independent reported last week that Red County blogger Richard Swier wrote that the controversial anti-Muslim group ACT! for America had praised Hays’ bill:
The American and Florida Laws for Florida Courts (anti-Shariah Legislation) has been filed in the Florida Legislature. We have sponsors in both the House and the Senate.
The St. Petersburg Times reported Thursday:
Neither Sen. Alan Hays nor Rep. Larry Metz, though, could name a Florida case where international law or Islamic law has caused a problem in a state court. They said they weren’t targeting Sharia, a body of law primarily based on the Koran and the Hadith, the sayings of Islam’s founder, Mohammed.
But the legislation, which resembles efforts in a dozen other states where Islamic law is under scrutiny, was copied almost word-for-word from the “model legislation” posted on the website of a group called the American Public Policy Alliance.
The Florida bill “specifies public policy of this state in applying choice of foreign law, legal code, or system and declares that certain decisions rendered under such laws, codes, or systems are void,” but makes no specific mention of Sharia law.
The Christian Coalition of South Florida has come out in support of the bill, saying it exists to “stop the spread of Sharia in Florida.”
Nezar Hamze, executive director of the South Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told The Florida Independent that Hays’ bill could impact believers in all faiths and that its filing shows Hays is “disconnected” from his constituents and Florida’s “real problems.”
Hays, Metz and ACT! for America have not responded to Florida independent requests to discuss this bill.