Sharia Law ban in House Thursday

Posted May 16, 2013

— A bill banning the recognition of Islamic Sharia law in North Carolina is scheduled for a final state House vote Thursday after it won tentative approval late Wednesday night.

The measure is modeled on legislation authored by an outspoken and controversial critic of Islam. 

Sponsor Rep. Chris Whitmire, R-Transylvania, said House Bill 695 would protect North Carolinians' constitutional rights in cases involving "foreign law." 

That's the wording typically used in anti-Sharia bills after an Oklahoma judge struck down as unconstitutional a similar measure that singled out Sharia by name.

The proposal would apply only in family law and custody cases.

"The most egregious cases have been those concerning custody and divorce. We don’t want it here," Whitmire said, noting that six other states have passed similar legislation, including Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Tennessee.

"Has this been a problem in North Carolina anywhere?" asked Rep. Paul Luebke, D-Durham.

"Not yet," Whitmire answered, adding, "we have at least 27 cases in multiple states where it has."

"You’re acknowledging we don’t have a problem here," Luebke responded. "I cannot see for the life of me why we need a bill like this."

Rep. John Torbett, R-Gaston , pointed out that Democrats have been concerned in recent years about sea level rise – a problem that hasn't yet happened, either. 

Rep. Mickey Michaux, D-Durham, said the bill was unnecessary because the state and federal constitutions are already the law of the land.

"You've got the protections. They're already there," Michaux said. "Here we are at 11:20 at night, trying to pass a feel-good bill that doesn’t really do anything."

Rep. Deborah Ross, D-Wake, asked Whitmire what the North Carolina Bar Association had said about the bill in committee earlier Wednesday.

Whitmire downplayed the group's objections to the measure.

"Their spokesperson who – not to make little of the message that they brought – was brought purely by a messenger, and from the standpoint of being able to answer any questions, they were not," he responded.

Anti-Islamic connections 

When Ross asked Whitmire who had prepared a handout he distributed rebutting legal concerns about the bill, he answered, "Mr. Stephen Gele with the Security Policy Council."

Actually, Gele leads the American Public Policy Alliance, a nonprofit that promotes model anti-Sharia legislation written by David Yerushalmi.

According to a 2011 New York Times profile, Yerushalmi is a Brooklyn attorney with a history of inflammatory statements about Islam, race and immigration but "no formal training" in Islamic law.

Yerushalmi is general counsel for the Center for Security Policy, a right-wing think-tank that's published dozens of articles, books and films about the danger Islam poses to Western civilization.

The proposal passed its second reading 74-36, largely along party lines. It's scheduled for a final vote Thursday, which will allow it to beat the crossover deadline.


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  • rushbot May 16, 2013

    unbelievable..does anyone really think nc is going to be taken over by religiously overly zealot muslems.. ..come on, gop..this is even less necessary than your racist voter id requirements.. .. ..what a complete waste of time!!!

  • Tax Man May 16, 2013

    Should cover ALL laws in NC - no foreign laws should be recognized unless the event actually took place in a foreign country and then the foreigner choose to come to NC to file a claim against a NC resident who was in the foreign country at the time of the event.

  • common tater May 16, 2013

    Like Barney said...nip it, nip it, nip it.

  • Paladin2 May 16, 2013

    The liberals continue to bury their heads in the sand to stay politically correct regarding the growing threat of radical Islam.

  • hppyhourhero May 16, 2013

    Another great job creation bill....

  • jaybird2974 May 16, 2013

    Where are all the GOP supporters? Oh I see this make no sense so they all plead the 5th...

  • rasengineers May 16, 2013

    Who's going to protect North Carolinians from Republican legislation? Seems to me the Republican agenda is just as extreme as Sharia Law.

  • corgimom06 May 16, 2013

    The GOP is spending our money to ban something that is alreay illegal. How is this fiscally responsible and how does this help the economy or promote job growth? All this does is pander to the extreme right wing of the republican party. You know, the one completely out of touch with mainstream America.

  • readme May 16, 2013

    The GOP's invasive laws on abortion and gay marriage make them realize it's conceivable that one day a similar faction could take control and implement parts of sharia law. The truth is, neither should be allowed. Vote Libertarian.

  • Come On_Seriously May 16, 2013

    So the right-wing social engineering such as the ban on gay marriage and the continuing attempts to ban all cases of abortion based on a few biblical passages, is simply the republicans attempting to enforce their own christian version of sharia law.

    Therefore, they would appear to be invalidating their own arguments.