A South Carolina state House panel will consider a bill next month that aims to ban any foreign laws, including Sharia law.
Similar attempts to ban foreign laws have been introduced in at least 20 states. Opponents have said that such laws address a non-existent issue and could actually discriminate against Muslims.
State Rep. Wendy Nanney (R-Greenville) told The State that she decided to sponsor the bill because of concerns raised by judges over certain-child custody cases.
“I asked them if they had issues with custody cases decided outside of the country,” Nanney explained. “They all said ‘Yes,’”
“It would simplify things to say, ‘We’re in a South Carolina court, and let’s use South Carolina law.’ It’s meant to help our judges not to be pushed and pressured and prodded to enforce other countries’ laws,” she added.
While Sharia law is not specifically mentioned in the bill, critics say that there is no question it targets Muslims.
“There’s no mistaking the intent of these bills,” council attorney Gadier Abbas said. “There are some misconceptions about Islam in the United States. That, coupled with a very vocal and well-organized minority of organizations and figures that have had for their mission, for years now, to ensure Muslims are not treated as equals in the United States, is creating this new effort to bring inequality into the laws. It’s alarming.”
Courts blocked a similar law in Oklahoma last month because they said it would invalidate certain legal contracts between Muslims, who often incorporate references to Islamic prophetic traditions in their agreements.