In a YouTube clip posted on March 20 by the conservative blog Shark Tank, former Florida House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, currently exploring a run for the U.S. Senate, can be heard warning about the dangers of Islamic law entering the American court system.
As evidence, Hasner cites a Tampa judge’s recent ruling in a lawsuit against the Islamic Education Center of Tampa — this despite evidence that the judge’s decision is a “very common” one, and that the religious rules of all faiths are regularly discussed in American courts.
“A judge within the state of Florida, in litigating, in judging the litigation between private citizens in a Florida state court, announced that the decision is going to be based on Islamic law,” Hasner says in the clip, which you can watch in full below. “That is not supporting the United States Constitution or the Constitution of the state of Florida. We need to speak out! We need to make sure that these threats do not continue to grow and do not continue to infiltrate our state and our country. And I would share with you that American prosperity, our national security and our foundation on Judeo-Christian values are interwoven and inseparable.”
The Florida Independent’s Marcos Restrepo wrote last week:
The St. Petersburg Times reported this week that the suit in question “was filed by several men who say they were improperly ousted as trustees in 2002. The dispute may decide who controls $2.2 million the center received from the state after some of its land was used in a road project.”
Douglas Laycock, professor of law at the University of Virginia Law School, tells The Florida Independent that “these agreements arbitrated under other bodies of law are very common, and there is a large body of civil law about enforcing them and reviewing the arbitrators’ decision.”
“We have commercial arbitration agreements all the time,” Laycock says, “and the Jewish arbitration courts deal with both religious disputes and commercial disputes between Jewish merchants who have agreed to use the Jewish arbitration system instead of civil courts.”
Emphasizing how common such rulings are, Laycock says this case is no different than one in which Americans agree to arbitrate in London, or under German law. He says there is a case being arbitrated in Texas right now under Saudi law.
“This is no different,” Laycock says, “except that parts of the right wing are agitating and pandering about Muslims at the moment.”
The Hasner clip: