15 November 2010


is in the news for having passed SQ755, which "forbids courts from considering or using international law [and] Sharia law." While we're not really sure why this was necessary (if Muslims really did want to take over the United States, what in the world would they be doing in Oklahoma?), it has proven to be quite embarrassing as Oklahoma now finds itself in the midst of national news. Sharia law is not actually a codified legal system, according to many Muslim scholars. Rather, it is a set of rules and guidelines, based loosely on the Qur'an and the teachings of Mohammed, to which Muslims should adhere. Although many voters express a legitimate (??) fear that "Sharia law" will be a threat in the undefined future, others fear that Native American tribes' autonomy will be threatened because they will no longer be allowed to solve disputes according to tribal laws. Currently, Indian nations operate as autonomous nations; however, 755 will not allow these laws to stand in court. In addition, as the Daily Kos has pointed out, the true anti-Muslim sentiments of the authors has thwarted their purpose. Many of the authors of the bill intended to keep religion (read: Islam) out of the courts, but this serves the purpose of making sure that the 10 Commandments will not be accepted either.Thankfully, a lawsuit is in progress challenging the outcome of the vote. 

Another unfortunate outcome of the most recent election is that 751, the English is the Official Language of Oklahoma Act (?!?!), passed. It requires that "all official state action be in English. Native American languages may also be used." What this translates to is basically the following: Si hablas español, chúpame. (If you speak Spanish, suck it.) I'd like to point out that many business provide bilingual services for the simple fact that it's good business - nobody forces them to hire Spanish-speaking workers, advertise in multiple languages, or print their literature with English and Spanish text. Bilingualism is generally regarded as a good thing. What this act does is apply these "language requirements" to official actions, which you'll notice are not defined. In effect, English language learners and newcomers are barred from access to "official actions," which can also be interpreted to include state services. It also prevents lawsuits from being issued against the state for failure to use another language. Thankfully, again, lawsuits are in progress to challenge this racist and discriminatory amendment. Perhaps Oklahoman legislators should also be asked to prove they speak English - this is the state that recently elected as governor a woman who believes we need "more better education."

I dunno about you guys, but I believe a) that the majority of Muslims don't want to take over the United States, one courtroom at a time, and b) that people deserve respect and consideration from the state no matter their first language. 

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