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NATIONAL
January 10, 2012 | By Stephen Ceasar, Los Angeles Times
A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling that blocked the implementation of an Oklahoma law barring judges from considering international or Islamic law in their decisions. The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a ruling released Tuesday, affirmed an order by a district court judge in 2010 that prevented the voter-approved state constitutional amendment from taking effect. The ruling also allows a Muslim community leader in Oklahoma City to continue his legal challenge of the law's constitutionality.
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WORLD
January 17, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
An Indonesian Supreme Court hopeful may have torpedoed his chances at the job after suggesting that women might enjoy being raped, infuriating a wide array of critics. Daming Sanusi made the inflammatory remarks Monday while being interviewed by a parliamentary panel for a seat on the Supreme Court.  When asked whether rapists should be put to death, Daming joked that because both the rapist and the victim “enjoy it,” the court should think twice about imposing the death penalty.
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OPINION
November 10, 2010 | By Michael A. Helfand
Oklahomans have a plan to save the country. It doesn't address the reverberations of the financial crisis or outline a way to pay for social services on a limited budget. Instead, they've fashioned a "preemptive strike" against Islamic law in the United States. Last week, 70% of Oklahoma's electorate approved this amendment to the state's Constitution: "The [Oklahoma] Courts ? when exercising their judicial authority ? shall not consider international law or Sharia Law. " Oklahoma isn't alone.
WORLD
December 15, 2012 | By Jeffrey Fleishman and Reem Abdellatif
CAIRO -- Egyptians began voting Saturday for a constitution that sharpens divisions between Islamists and secularists and intensifies the dangerous struggle over the country's political identity nearly two years after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. Voters stood in polling lines in slums and wealthy enclaves in an uninspired atmosphere on a day meant to enshrine hallowed ideals into law. Soldiers and police stood guard. Strong opinions muted any hint of consensus and most believed the country's polarization would only deepen after the votes were counted.
OPINION
October 31, 2010 | By John L. Esposito and Sheila B. Lalwani
An Oct. 28 Times editorial hit the nail on the head by noting that the United Nations' newly released report, "The World's Women," makes a disturbing point: Violence against women remains a stubborn problem around the world. The reminder is timely. Voters in Oklahoma and Louisiana will decide Tuesday on ballot initiatives that would prevent Sharia law from entering the court systems; protecting women's rights is cited as a reason, because Islamic law is believed to sanction such violence.
NATIONAL
October 28, 2010 | By Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times
As the country grapples with its worst economic downturn in decades and persistent unemployment, voters in Oklahoma next week will take up another issue ? whether they should pass a constitutional amendment outlawing Sharia, or Islamic law. Supporters of the initiative acknowledge that they do not know of a single case of Sharia being used in Oklahoma, which has only 15,000 Muslims. "Oklahoma does not have that problem yet," said Republican state Rep. Rex Duncan, the author of the ballot measure, who says supporters in more than a dozen states are ready to place similar initiatives before voters in 2012.
OPINION
March 9, 2012 | By Jonathan Turley
The recent exchange between an atheist and a judge in a small courtroom in rural Pennsylvania could have come out of a Dickens novel. Magisterial District Judge Mark Martin was hearing a case in which an irate Muslim stood accused of attacking an atheist, Ernest Perce, because he was wearing a "Zombie Mohammed" costume on Halloween. Although the judge had "no doubt that the incident occurred," he dismissed the charge of criminal harassment against the Muslim and proceeded to browbeat Perce.
WORLD
August 19, 2009 | TIMES WIRE REPORTS
A Dutch university fired Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan for hosting a show on Iran's state television, which the school said could be seen as endorsing the regime. Ramadan -- known as a reformist who condemns terrorism, seeks to modernize Sharia law and urges Muslims living in Europe to integrate -- has recently been criticized in the Dutch press for allegedly voicing more conservative views for Muslim audiences than he does in the West. Both the city of Rotterdam and Erasmus University dismissed Ramadan from his positions as "integration advisor" and professor.
WORLD
July 29, 2011 | By Jeffrey Fleishman and Amro Hassan, Los Angeles Times
A huge rally Friday meant to symbolize Egyptian unity highlighted instead the deepening splits between secularist and Islamist parties over the direction of a nation convulsed in recent weeks by protests and fears that the revolution for democracy has sputtered. The demonstration in Cairo's Tahrir Square reaffirmed the power of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist organizations that amassed tens of thousands of supporters. It was a stark display that signaled battles certain to unfold in coming months over the influence of Islamic law on Egypt's new constitution.
OPINION
October 18, 2010 | Gregory Rodriguez
Sharron Angle, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Nevada, suggested recently to a group of tea partyers that the U.S. was being taken over by Muslims. Seriously. She pointed to Dearborn, Mich., and wondered aloud how it could have happened that Sharia law was allowed to take over there. Never mind that, as Dearborn's mayor, Jack O'Reilly, later pointed out, no one was tapping into Islamic law to run the city. (Angle's defense? She said she read "somewhere" that Sharia law was in effect in Dearborn.
WORLD
November 29, 2012 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
CAIRO -- Egypt's Islamist-dominated constitutional assembly passed a rushed draft of a constitution early Friday to ease public anger against President Mohamed Morsi's expanded powers and preempt an expected court decision to disband it this weekend. The proposed constitution states that the nation will be governed by the “principles” of Islamic law, the same wording that was in the constitution under deposed leader Hosni Mubarak. But critics argue that certain language was open to interpretation and could allow conservative Islamists to impose a more rigid version of sharia law. The draft was sent to the presidential palace.
WORLD
November 29, 2012 | By Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times
CAIRO - Egypt's Islamist-dominated constitutional assembly passed a rushed draft of a constitution early Friday to ease public anger against President Mohamed Morsi's expanded powers and preempt an expected court decision to disband the chamber this weekend. The proposed constitution states that the nation will be governed by the "principles" of Islamic law, the same wording in the charter under deposed leader Hosni Mubarak. But liberal critics argue that the language in certain articles of the constitution is open to interpretation and could allow conservative Islamists to impose a rigid version of sharia law. The draft was quickly sent to the presidential palace in a beat-the-clock bid against an anticipated ruling by the nation's highest court to dissolve the assembly Sunday.
WORLD
April 5, 2012 | By Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times
CAIRO - The men gathering outside the yellow mosque agreed: Adulterers should be stoned to death, the hands of thieves cut off. "But not now," said Kareem Atta, waiting in a cool breeze for the sheik's car to roll up next to the Koran sellers. " Sharia law must be gradually put into place so it doesn't shock the system. You can't cut people's hands off if you first don't give them financial justice. " The young students, engineers and laborers are followers of Hazem Salah abu Ismail, a lawyer and holy man whose poetic blend of populism and ultraconservative Salafi Islam has turned him into a leading presidential candidate.
OPINION
March 9, 2012 | By Jonathan Turley
The recent exchange between an atheist and a judge in a small courtroom in rural Pennsylvania could have come out of a Dickens novel. Magisterial District Judge Mark Martin was hearing a case in which an irate Muslim stood accused of attacking an atheist, Ernest Perce, because he was wearing a "Zombie Mohammed" costume on Halloween. Although the judge had "no doubt that the incident occurred," he dismissed the charge of criminal harassment against the Muslim and proceeded to browbeat Perce.
NATIONAL
January 10, 2012 | By Stephen Ceasar, Los Angeles Times
A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling that blocked the implementation of an Oklahoma law barring judges from considering international or Islamic law in their decisions. The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a ruling released Tuesday, affirmed an order by a district court judge in 2010 that prevented the voter-approved state constitutional amendment from taking effect. The ruling also allows a Muslim community leader in Oklahoma City to continue his legal challenge of the law's constitutionality.
WORLD
November 2, 2011 | By Devorah Lauter, Los Angeles Times
The headquarters of a satirical French newspaper were damaged by fire early Wednesday as a controversial special edition poking fun at Islamic law in Libya and Tunisia was set to hit newsstands. A fire apparently sparked by one or two Molotov cocktails melted computers, destroyed archives, and burned the first two floors of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper's offices in Paris about 1 a.m., officials said. No injuries were reported, and authorities said they had no suspects as of Wednesday afternoon.
WORLD
December 15, 2012 | By Jeffrey Fleishman and Reem Abdellatif
CAIRO -- Egyptians began voting Saturday for a constitution that sharpens divisions between Islamists and secularists and intensifies the dangerous struggle over the country's political identity nearly two years after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. Voters stood in polling lines in slums and wealthy enclaves in an uninspired atmosphere on a day meant to enshrine hallowed ideals into law. Soldiers and police stood guard. Strong opinions muted any hint of consensus and most believed the country's polarization would only deepen after the votes were counted.
WORLD
November 29, 2012 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
CAIRO -- Egypt's Islamist-dominated constitutional assembly passed a rushed draft of a constitution early Friday to ease public anger against President Mohamed Morsi's expanded powers and preempt an expected court decision to disband it this weekend. The proposed constitution states that the nation will be governed by the “principles” of Islamic law, the same wording that was in the constitution under deposed leader Hosni Mubarak. But critics argue that certain language was open to interpretation and could allow conservative Islamists to impose a more rigid version of sharia law. The draft was sent to the presidential palace.
WORLD
July 29, 2011 | By Jeffrey Fleishman and Amro Hassan, Los Angeles Times
A huge rally Friday meant to symbolize Egyptian unity highlighted instead the deepening splits between secularist and Islamist parties over the direction of a nation convulsed in recent weeks by protests and fears that the revolution for democracy has sputtered. The demonstration in Cairo's Tahrir Square reaffirmed the power of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist organizations that amassed tens of thousands of supporters. It was a stark display that signaled battles certain to unfold in coming months over the influence of Islamic law on Egypt's new constitution.
WORLD
March 6, 2011 | By Neela Banerjee, Los Angeles Times
Saudi Arabia warned its few but increasingly emboldened political activists Saturday that it would enforce the law banning public demonstrations, providing fresh evidence of the government's growing nervousness over political unrest among its neighbors and calls for change at home. Saudi Arabia has remained relatively calm as political upheaval has swept the Middle East and North Africa over the last two months. But discontent is lapping at its borders, most notably in Bahrain and Yemen, stoking concerns that widespread calls for change could occur in the kingdom, a key U.S. ally in the region.
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