Former CIA director James Woolsey says banning Shariah law in Oklahoma is constitutional because that legal system is the only one in the world used to justify violence against women.
A whopping 70 percent of Oklahomans voted Nov. 2 to amend the state constitution to outlaw the use of Islamic law in court rulings there. On Monday, a U.S. district judge issued a restraining order to block implementation of the law until she can hear arguments from Muslim groups who object that it violates their constitutional rights.
Woolsey supports the law that passed by Oklahoma voters. “In some countries -- more in Europe than here, but also a little bit here -- men are saying if they are in adherence to Shariah, that Shariah gives them the authority to beat their wives and daughters, for various disciplinary purposes or for whatever reason,” Woolsey told CNSNews.com.
“There have been some awful cases in Germany and Italy -- one in which a man’s right to severely beat his daughter was upheld by the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation,” Woolsey also told CNS. “[There were] two ugly ones in Germany where men’s rights to beat their daughters and wives were upheld by the judicial system.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is challenging the Oklahoma law. A CAIR news release stated the Oklahoma amendment "will prevent Oklahoma courts from implementing international agreements, honoring international arbitrations, honoring major international human rights treaties, honoring marriages and divorces from other countries, and will cost jobs by sending the message that contracts between Oklahoma companies and international partners will not be enforceable."
CAIR says the law also could be used to prevent Muslim women from wearing a head scarf in a driver's license photo, and could be used to interfere with burial traditions in the Islamic faith.
Woolsey, who served as CIA director under former President Bill Clinton, is unsympathetic to the view that Oklahoma's law singles out the Muslim religion.
“If they (CAIR) can find an example of another religious doctrine that permits -- indeed authorizes -- the beating of women and little girls then one might want to listen to them,” Woolsey said. “I have not heard that the Confucians or the Anabaptists, or whoever, claim that a subset of their religious doctrines authorize such beatings.”
The judge's order blocking the law's implementation will remain in effect at least until a Nov. 22 hearing.
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