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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.
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.
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.
April 6, 2010 | By Robyn Dixon
The palace, under a rusted corrugated roof, looks mostly like a shed. Only one delicate pair of feet in its single room is shod, and they are in black rubber flip-flops. This is the genteel court of Queen Hajiya Haidzatu Ahmed. The queen's henna-dyed fingers are childlike and slender, her smile girlish and her voice soft. Whenever she speaks, the men who are her courtiers listen, enraptured. Whenever she giggles, they laugh loudly. Whenever she explains some point, they nod solemnly.
January 15, 2010 | By Karima Anjani and John M. Glionna
Three members of a civilian patrol that enforces Islam's strict Sharia law in Indonesia's Aceh province have been accused of gang-raping a 20-year-old university student, authorities there said. The attack allegedly occurred this month at a small-town police station after the patrol members, known here as the Sharia police, took the woman into custody. Two men, ages 27 and 29, were arrested and one is still being sought, authorities said. Activists say the accusation seriously undermines the credibility of the controversial Sharia police patrols.
November 8, 2009 | John M. Glionna
The young couple are totally busted. They sit at a beach-side park, near signs forbidding teens from sitting too close. He has his arm around her shoulder. She isn't wearing her jilbab , the traditional Islamic head scarf. Just like that, the morality cops are in their face. "You two aren't married, right?" asks Syafruddin, the rail-thin leader of the six-man patrol, standing stiffly, one hand behind his back. "So you shouldn't sit next to one another." He separates the two and confiscates their IDs. Later, he says, the team will open an investigation of the couple, especially seeing as the young man lied, at first insisting the girl was his sister.
February 20, 2009 | Mark Magnier
A decision by Pakistani authorities to allow imposition of Islamic law in a region a short distance from Islamabad is increasing India's fears that religious militancy is growing in its neighbor and traditional rival. India's main Hindu nationalist group, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, said Wednesday that national security was at risk because of well-entrenched militants operating in Pakistan's Swat Valley, within a five-hour drive of Amritsar, an Indian city of 1.5 million people.
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