Florida and Oklahoma just passed legislation restricting the use of foreign law in state courtrooms, and many other states are considering similar laws. These laws are designed to halt the use of Islamic law, Sharia, by American judges – a measure that many see as necessary, since Sharia has already been involved in cases in twenty-three states. Yet many such initiatives, including an earlier one approved in Oklahoma by seventy percent of the voters, have already been stopped by activist judges who see them as encroachments upon First Amendment protection of religion; however, anti-Sharia laws do not actually infringe upon religious freedom at all, and become more urgently needed by the day.
The prevailing mainstream media view is that anti-Sharia law, and the more general laws banning the use of foreign law in American courts that are now being passed, are simply a manifestation of "Islamophobia" and bigotry. In criticizing Oklahoma's earlier attempt to pass an anti-Sharia amendment to the state constitution, which was struck down, Daniel Mach, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, said: "This amendment did nothing more than target one faith for official condemnation. Even the state admits that there has never been any problem with Oklahoma courts wrongly applying religious law. The so-called 'Save Our State Amendment' was a solution in search of a problem, and a blatantly discriminatory solution at that." Ryan Kiesel of the ACLU's Oklahoma branch declared: "No one in Oklahoma deserves to be treated like a second-class citizen. This proposed amendment was an affront to the Constitution and everything it stands for." The Muslim writer Reza Aslan hysterically and inaccurately charged that "two-thirds of Americans don't think Muslims should have the same rights or civil liberties as non-Muslims."