Anti-Sharia law measure headed to Senate floorby Dara Kam | March 5th, 2012
A measure that aims at banning the use in Florida of Sharia, a code of law based on the Koran and the teachings of Mohammed, is on its way to the Senate floor after a procedural maneuver removing it from its last committee of reference.
Critics, including the Anti-Defamation League, say the measure, already approved by the Florida House, would also keep Jewish couples from using Jewish Bet Din tribunals to get a divorce, something their faith requires for remarriage.
A Senate Criminal Justice Committee last week signed off on the measure (SB 1360) with less than three minutes of debate. The Senate committee vote coincided with the fourth Muslim Annual Capitol Day on Tuesday.
Ahmed Bedier, the rally’s organizer, blasted lawmakers for reviving the measure, first offered last year.
“We’re not the people who are un-American,” Bedier said last week. “They are, for violating the Constitution and introducing legislation that limits religious freedom.”
The Anti-Defamation League asked lawmakers to reject the proposal, saying it is unnecessary because both the state and U.S. constitutions already prohibit the use of foreign or religious law in the courts. And the ADL contends it is based on legislation proposed by anti-Islamic leaders outside Florida.
The Senate could vote on the measure as early as Wednesday.
- The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.