CAIR speaks out against ‘foreign law’ bill up in House committee tomorrow

By | 02.21.12 | 1:14 pm

State Rep. Larry Metz, R-Eustis (Pic by Meredith Geddings, via myfloridahouse.gov)

The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is denouncing a bill that would regulate the “application of foreign law in certain cases,” set to be heard in a House committee meeting tomorrow. The group says the bill is anti-religion, and specifically anti-Islam.

The measure, which was touted by right-wing activists as an attempt to “stop the spread of Sharia in Florida,” is a piece of model legislation written by anti-Islam extremist David Yerushalmi.

The bill is ultimately aimed at making sure Sharia or other foreign laws are not applied to family law cases in Florida. The bill follows a court case in Hillsborough County in which Sharia was considered. The case spurred quite a bit of right-wing activism, but was eventually dismissed last December.

CAIR’s Florida chapter has sent an alert to supporters warning that the bill attempts to “demonize Islam and marginalize Muslims.”

The group said in a statement today that:

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center:  ”[Yerushalmi] waxes bloodthirsty when describing his preferred response to the supposed global threat of Shariah law, speaking casually of killing and destroying. Ideally, he would outlaw Islam and deport Muslims and other ‘non-Western, non-Christian’ people to protect the United States’ ‘national character.’ An ultra-orthodox Jew, he is deeply hostile toward liberal Jews. He derides U.S.-style democracy because it allows more than just an elite, privileged few to vote.”

In the past, Yerushalmi has written the following against Muslims:

  • “It shall be a felony punishable by 20 years in prison to knowingly act in furtherance of, or to support the, adherence to Islam.”
  • “The Congress of the United States of America shall declare the US at war with the Muslim Nation or Umma.”
  • “No Muslim shall be granted an entry visa into the United States of America.”

A similar bill was introduced last session by the same lawmakers behind this year’s version: state Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, and Rep. Larry Metz, R-Eustis.

Both CAIR and the Anti-Defamation League have said the bill is unnecessary and would restrict religious freedom.

The Anti-Defamation League said in a statement last month that there “simply is no documentation of unconstitutional application of foreign law in our judicial system.”

“Florida courts are already prohibited from applying or considering religious law in any way that would constitute government entanglement with religion due to the separation of church and state embodied in the Florida and federal constitutions,” the group said.

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