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#CAIR: Anti-Shariah Measure Introduced in New Mexico

Matthew Arco, Roswell Daily Record, 3/10/11 -- A Roswell Senate lawmaker is seeking a constitutional amendment aimed at banning the use of Islamic law in New Mexico courts.


Sen. Rod Adair’s, R-Roswell, Senate joint resolution would prohibit state judges from considering or applying Sharia or international laws of other nations or cultures in their decisions. The resolution, which would go before New Mexicans for a vote if it were to clear the Roundhouse, was slated for discussion during the Senate Rules Committee, Wednesday.


However, the committee adjourned prior to hearing the resolution.


Repeated messages left by the Roswell Daily Record with Adair and his office for comment weren’t returned.


The resolution reads “the courts shall not consider or apply Sharia law” and “the courts shall not consider or apply a rule of comity to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures, international law, laws promulgated by foreign governments or national laws of foreign countries.”


Adair’s proposal drew sharp criticism from a Washington D.C.-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, which called the resolution an attempt at “bashing Islam and Muslims,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.


“These extremist politicians seem to think it’s worth dividing our nation along religious lines in order to score some cheap political points with their extremist base,” he said. “It’s unconstitutional on its face and, if enacted, it would be overturned as sure as the sun rises.”


A chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations was successful in blocking a similar constitutional amendment in Oklahoma, which also sought to ban Islamic law in the state’s courts.


In November 2010, a federal judge temporarily blocked Oklahoma from putting it into effect after the measure passed with about 70 percent of voters supporting it, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which sued to block the amendment.


Hooper says similar proposals to Adair’s resolution have been introduced in about a dozen states, calling it “an unfortunate trend.”


“I think we’re going to see more of it in the run up to the 2010 elections,” he said. “Quite frankly, I don’t think that the sponsors of these bills really care that much that they actually get enacted — they’re more interested in throwing mud against the wall (and) smearing Islam.”