Interfaith Leaders Applaud Court’s Decision to Strike Down Discriminatory Oklahoma Amendment

On Press Release

For Immediate Release:
August 16, 2013

Contact: Samantha Friedman, West End Strategy Team

Samantha@westendstrategy.com or cell: (202) 215-9260

Interfaith Leaders Applaud Court’s Decision to Strike Down Discriminatory Oklahoma Amendment

WASHINGTON – In response to a decision by federal Chief District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange of the Western District of Oklahoma to strike down an Oklahoma constitutional amendment that would have prohibited state courts from considering Shariah and international law, Christina Warner, Campaign Director of Shoulder-to-Shoulder: Standing with American Muslims; Upholding American Values, today applauded the court’s decision.

On behalf of Shoulder-to-Shoulder, a national campaign comprised of 29 religious, faith-based and interfaith organizations, including Christians, Jews and Muslims, committed to fighting anti-Muslim discrimination, Warner issued the following statement:

“United States federal and state laws are designed to protect all Americans equally. Laws that single out a religion or its believers threaten the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause for Americans of all faiths. This week’s ruling in Oklahoma striking down an amendment that, had it become law, would have officially sanctioned discrimination against American Muslims, sets an important precedent for the growing number of states considering similar legislation barring judges from consulting “foreign” law, a slight change to the explicitly anti-Shariah legislation. The “foreign law” language continues the discriminatory intent of the anti-Shariah legislation.

The federal court ruling gives us hope that those who would mischaracterize Islamic law and practices will be deterred from seeking to preserve such prejudices in the laws of our land. The ruling protects the country from the harm caused by this inaccurate, fear-based rhetoric.

Our laws should serve to protect all Americans, not contribute to a divisiveness America has been struggling to overcome.”

Shoulder-to-Shoulder is a national coalition of denominations and faith groups that stood in solidarity on September 7, 2010, to speak out against the rise in anti-Muslim sentiment leading up to the anniversary of the September 11 attacks and the planned burning of the Qur’an in Florida. Shoulder-to-Shoulder supports faith communities in challenging anti-Muslim sentiment by promoting peace and mutual understanding.

Shoulder-to-Shoulder: Standing with American Muslims; Upholding American Values (www.shouldertoshouldercampaign.org) is a national campaign of religious, interfaith and faith-based organizations dedicated to ending anti-Muslim sentiment. Founded in November 2010 by more than 20 national religious groups, Shoulder-to-Shoulder works locally, nationally and internationally to offer strategies for and support to efforts to address anti-Muslim sentiment.

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