The court concluded that by "singling out Islam for unfavorable treatment" in state courts, the law likely violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
The court further explained:
“Appellants do not identify any actual problem the challenged amendment seeks to solve. Indeed, they admitted . . . that they did not know of even a single instance where an Oklahoma court had applied Sharia law or used the legal precepts of other nations or cultures, let alone that such applications or uses had resulted in concrete problems in Oklahoma.”
One of the problems with the many anti-sharia laws that are being put forward on the state level in the US is that many of their proponents seem unable to put forward a coherent case in support of them. For example, while it may be true that Oklahoma is not one of the documented states in which sharia has been applied in an American court (there are 23 states where this has in fact occurred, by the way), the proponents of the bill could have pointed to other examples from around the country, and warned about the seriousness of considering the possibility that such a thing could happen, and acting to prevent it. But they apparently did not do this.
They should have also made the point that the anti-sharia laws are aimed at Islam's political doctrines, and so do not infringe upon the First Amendment religious rights of American Muslims in any way. But they have not done this effectively, either, and so the clueless dhimmis have ended up triumphant this time.
It is extremely telling that one of the most passionate denunciations of the court's decision that I have seen comes not from anti-jihad warriors such as Robert Spencer or Pamela Geller, but from a Muslim: Tawfik Hamid.
Hamid is an Egyptian Muslim who was formerly a member of the terrorist group Jamaah Islamiyah, and studied for a time under the tutelage of the current al-Qaeda head honcho Ayman al-Zawahiri. After renouncing the group, Hamid has become perhaps the world's foremost proponent of a tiny Islamic reform movement that seeks to fundamentally rewrite the tenets of Islam - not by denying that any problematic texts or doctrines exist, but by confronting these problems head-on and seeking to construct new understandings of Islam that challenge the mainstream interpretations that have prevailed for fourteen centuries. Unsurprisingly, in the process of engaging in this courageous exercise, he is regularly subjected to death threats by others who label themselves "moderate Muslims".
In a recent article, Hamid brilliantly skewers the critics of the anti-sharia bill. Below are some lengthy extracts from his piece, which make plain the importance of these issues, and highlight how vital it is that true moderate Muslim reformers such as Hamid are supported and encouraged throughout the Islamic world:
The above comments about Sharia law do not properly depict how controversial the risks to society would be if considered. Fundamental principles of Sharia law that are not only approved but also unchallenged in Islamic Jurisprudence include the killing Muslims who convert from Islam to another faith, the stoning of adulterers, and the killing of gays.
Furthermore, it justifies polygamy, pedophilia, and beating women to discipline them. If the judges of the Oklahoma court knew that the basic principles of Sharia law promote such inhumane and derogatory acts and still lifted the ban on it, it would subsequently end in catastrophe.
Not only would it be disastrous to our society but it would also show a level of ignorance within the U.S. judicial system.
If one day Awad wanted to kill another Muslim who converted to Christianity (or any other faith), would the Oklahoma court uphold his ‘constitutional right’ to practice Sharia Law and kill that Muslim — as Sharia law dictates — or will they uphold the constitutional right of the other Muslim to practice his freedom of religion?
In other words, should the court in Oklahoma protect such constitutional rights that arouse criminal activity (an example being the killing of apostates) but not protect such constitutional rights that allow citizens to freely select their faith and convert out of Islam without being threatened? The court MUST explain this discrimination in respecting one constitutional right over another.
Courts must be able to find sources for Sharia Law that illustrate how it DOES NOT promote the above mentioned criminal activities. Such sources must be cited appropriately and it must be noted whether any major Islamic institution approves it. Removing the ban on Sharia Law — without showing even one single approved Sharia text that rejects the crimes mentioned above — can be seen as a form of endorsement for legalizing such criminal acts....
The judges who lifted the ban on Sharia law must explain to us how allowing a law that justifies the above mentioned crimes can fit with our “unalienable rights” of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Accepting Sharia Law that shamelessly allows killing apostates, adulterers and gays AND that promotes beating women, pedophilia and slavery is ultimately destructive to our unalienable rights.