A rare moment of rational debate broke out in the Texas Senate last week in the most unlikely of places — a committee hearing on a proposal to ban Texas courts from imposing “foreign law” (code for Sharia law) on citizens. Hearings on this contentious subject in previous years have been marked by open bigotry and wild accusations against Muslim Americans. But the Senate Business & Commerce Committee’s consideration of SB 1639 by Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, took a different tone.
There were, to be sure, several testifiers who warned of the threat of a “hostile system of laws that has crept into our community” and peddled thinly veiled paranoia. But after these folks had their say, the committee heard from a parade of informed, thoughtful testifiers who systematically took apart the case for the bill. Pastors, interfaith groups, civil liberty organizations and attorneys specializing in family law each in their turn challenged the need for — and motivation behind — the proposed bill.
The key exchange came at the end of incisive testimony by Karl Hayes of the Texas Family Law Foundation:
Hayes: “None of the proponents who have come forth to testify on this bill can name you a single case in the state of Texas where an individual’s fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution were abridged by a Texas court enforcing a foreign law. There is no case in the jurisprudence of Texas where that has happened, so there is no problem here.”
Sen. Carona: “In your view there is not a single case yet that has created such a wrong. I would simply reply, ‘And should there be?’ …I would not disagree with you that this bill is preventive in nature.”
That, it seems to me, is as close to an admission that the emperor has no clothes as you are likely to see in politics. Even the bill’s author grants that there is no issue or problem this bill addresses. Any “threat” must be conjured.
To his credit, Sen. Carona — who both authored the bill and chairs the committee where it was heard — gave opponents of his bill a full opportunity to make their case. Moreover, he treated them with seriousness and respect, a courtesy not always on display in other Senate committees. Now let’s hope he takes their words to heart.
13 thoughts on “Sharia Law in Texas: 'There Is No Problem Here'”
Will Senator Carona also be introducing a bill to make the impact of asteroids illegal? Or aren’t they as grave a threat as Islam, Democrats and the poor?
A prohibition on “foreign laws” would be extremely problematic.
That would mean that if some other country has a law against theft or fraud, we can’t enforce such a law here. Do these people REALLY want that?
Forget about Sharia law. Texas needs Puritan law!
Yes,those oh-so devout Puritans ran a really tight ship from about 1630 to 1690. Working on Sunday was a crime and the law prescribed a number of punishments, up to and including death. Using the Lord’s name in vain? The same. Adultery? The same. And worshiping false gods? Oh forget about it, hang ’em high.
To be fair though I don’t know that anybody was actually hanged for swearing at a statue of Buddha while having a illicit tryst during the lunch break from their Sunday job. Hanging was primarily used to punish witches. Oh and Quakers too. Boy did they hate Quakers.
It isn’t necessarily the idiots in our government that worry me, it’s the idiots that put them there that scare me!
Amen to that!!
Amen, indeed. But if we are so afraid of being subjected to “foreign laws” or whatever, why do we run domestic affairs according to laws from the Vatican State, and foreign affairs as directed by the State of Israel?
Ariel – the “Vatican State Laws” you are referring to DO NOT compare to Sharia…and are teachings of the Catholic Church for Catholics…unlike our Muslim brothers and sisters we are not flogged, stoned, beaten, killed, etc., etc., if we do not obey what our faith/church teaches us. Israel has never ruled our foreign affairs and they never will. By the way, may God bless Israel the Catholic faith, and the Vatican State. I
(1) In my opinion, the Catholic church does indeed run as much of US internal affairs as they can get away with.
(2) In my opinion, entirely too much US foreign policy in the Middle East is unduly influenced by the wishes of Israel.
(3) I did not compare Sharia law to the others – you did. I happen not to have any use for it.
(4) I do not understand the expression “…may God bless…”, since (as an Atheist) I have no use for the supernatural.
MORE RED TAPE!
Why is an arbitration court needed to be called “Texas Islamic Court”?
Just follow the laws of arbitration, which are well established, and have detailed written civil/business agreements based on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant laws.
Allowing this in the United States is pure ignorance on the part of the state of Texas and purposeful disregard of our law by this politician. Wonder why our country is not respected abroad as it once was. We are just too stupid to be respected!
This is permitting Islam to get a foot in the door resulting in majorities of Muslims to act on our legislation, eventually. Just like Britain AND Europe
Use American law. It is more humane.
what is wrong with preventative? the law can be specific enough to not encrouch upon these other areas my friends