Apologies, kittens and Kansas law

Hello, world!  So I’m not dead, but I am working 70+ hours a week.  It’s . . . an experience.

I really want to  keep writing this thing, but obviously time management has become something of a challenge.  I can’t guarantee I’ll manage to keep updating, but I’ll try.  In the meantime, here’s a kitten with a teddy bear:

Hopefully its adorableness has relieved any annoyance with me you might be harboring.

Anyhoo . . .

So in the last month since I’ve posted, Kansas has joined the community of states passing laws about Sharia.  Although, to Kansas’ credit, they have passed a law that doesn’t directly mention Sharia – instead, it specifies that courts and state officials cannot base rulings on foreign law if those rulings would not allow the parties the same rights guaranteed by the US and state constitution.  Which moves this ruling from discriminatory to just simply unnecessary because, as I’ve mentioned many times before, the legal definition of ‘foreign law’ requires that the court’s use of foreign law does not contradict local law.

To give a relatively neutral example: British law regarding the right to assemble and protest is more limiting than US law.  A US court cannot apply British law to limit a person’s right to protest, even if there was some reason to apply British law, like if one party was a US citizen who had grown up in Britain.  Foreign law is used in cases where 1.) it is relevant to the parties or the case and 2.) there is no relevant US or state law or the foreign law doesn’t contradict US or state law.

For myself, I admit what stands out the most about the law has nothing to do with Islamic law, but 1.) that the claim was that the law was a pro-women issue and that 2.) potentially I think (not being a legal expert) that this law could be used to stop anti-LGBT laws in Kansas, since these laws deny people equal legal right.  The reality is that in the US, we pass plenty of laws legalizing discrimination without ever having to branch out to foreign laws to rationalize that.  This is, at least in my opinion, particularly true of laws regarding women, firstly for the simple fact that there are laws that apply exclusively to women, and secondly because these laws often don’t start from an assumption of equal rights.  Again, we as Americans have demonstrated time and time again that we don’t need to reach out to foreign laws to rationalize these decisions, they arise organically from our own social system.

About askanislamicist

I'm an academic who specializes in early Islamic history and the history of religious interactions, who, in her free time, enjoys shouting into the internet.
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1 Response to Apologies, kittens and Kansas law

  1. Pingback: GOP poised to embrace anti-Sharia platform | askanislamicist

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