A North Carolina bill prohibiting judges from considering foreign laws, including Islamic Shariah, became part of the state’s official statutes Monday, without Gov. Pat McCrory’s signature. The bill was one of 34 passed by the General Assembly over the summer.
McCrory signed the other 33 bills, calling the anti-Shariah measure “unnecessary” but declining to veto it.. North Carolina is the seventh state with such a law. Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Tennessee all have similar laws in place according to Religion News.
Christian and family groups supported the bill as a way to protect the Constitution without intrusion of rules and regulations from other cultures.
Muslims opposed the bill saying it was motivated by intolerance and it could infringe on other religious groups. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) sent out a national “action alert,” urging Muslims to call and email McCrory, to ask him to veto the bill.
A May 2011 report from the American Civil Liberties Union said there is no evidence that suggests Shariah law is a problem in U.S. courts. Still legislators generally support banning Islamic law from the court system, according to the Daily Tar Heel in North Carolina.
“[The legislation is] primarily designed to stir up anti-Islamic prejudice by creating fears that Islamic Sharia law is somehow going to take over the American legal system,” Carl Ernst, a religious studies professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said in an email to the Daily Tar Heel.
While bans in other states apply to commercial law, contract law and other types of laws, the North Carolina ban is specifically limited to family law.