"Anti-Sharia Law" bill advances in Florida Senate

Posted by Mitch Perry on Mon, Apr 28, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Florida GOP state Senator Alan Hays
  • Florida GOP state Senator Alan Hays
The so-called "anti-Sharia law" bill strongly opposed by Muslim and Jewish organizations in Florida passed in the state Senate this morning on a 24-14 vote. Observers say the bill has changed substantially since Senator David Simmons(R-Winter Park) was charged with trying to get it through the Senate. The legislation would restrict judges from considering foreign law in matters of divorce, alimony, child support and custody. And it now says that the order of a foreign court would not be enforceable if it “offends the public policy of the state.”

But the arbitrary nature of "public policy" is what concerns Laila Abdelaziz with Emerge USA, an activist group that works on behalf of Muslim and Southeast Asian causes."Public policy is one of the terms that can determine it to be whatever the judge wants it to be," she says.

The controversial legislation has been opposed by Emerge USA for the past few years, as well as by the Anti-Defamation League and the Florida Chamber of Commerce, though Simmons said today that the Chamber is now okay with the revised language and supports the bill.

Senator Geraldine Thompson (D-Orlando) voted for the bill in committee last year, but opposed it today. She said that the law wasn't necessary for a number of reasons, such as the fact that Florida judges already have the power to apply Florida and U.S. law in courts and that the Establishment Clause in the U.S. Constitution guards against any religious intrusion.

Hollywood Democrat Eleanor Sobel said the message the Senate was sending out was against a specific group of people, "and there are no individual cases actually on the record of Sharia law being implemented in the courts or in any other state."

"I have never been able to understand why we need this bill," added Boca Raton Democrat Maria Sachs, who said the Legislature was "overstepping our bounds" in passing such a law. She added that Governor Rick Scott has gone "out of his way" to foster business with other countries, and "now we don't want to tell those same investors, when it comes to issues of family law, we're back in the 18th century."

This is the fourth year the bill has been carried in the Senate by Alan Hays (R-Umatilla). He insists the bill will do nothing to impede international trade, and nothing that sends an uninviting message to foreigners.

Abdelaziz with Emerge USA says though the language in the bill is substantially different, her group remains opposed to it.

A similar measure is being sponsored in the Florida House by Representative Alan Combee of Polk County.

Comments (27)

Showing 1-25 of 27

foreign law doesn't belong in this country

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Posted by Kathleen Edwards on 04/30/2014 at 5:02 PM

If we don't protect ourselves now, we won't be able to later, American laws and God's laws should be the only ones we recognize. Women and children need to be protected. If they want to come here, they need to live by our laws.

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Posted by Celia Lysek on 04/30/2014 at 7:57 PM

The moderate SCOTUS used foreign law as a guide in their rulings a few years back when it came to underage murders. This is the reason we need to make sure that NO foreign laws can be used in our courts.

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Posted by Rick Johnson on 04/30/2014 at 8:02 PM

Time to abandon negative votes. Don't give hopes to the opposition. And, don't give innocent naivety to a misled basis of basics. -Inherent American ideals and values.

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Posted by Tenderloin Steer on 04/30/2014 at 9:45 PM

Um...I believe both Connecticut and NJ have applied foreign law or used precedents set in other countries with their rulings. And look at Dearborn, that's a virtual hub of de facto sharia law now. That idiot twit who said it hasn't been used in the US is not up to day. The real reason this law needs to be passed is you don't want to wait until some manchurian muslim judge gets the opportunity to make some bone-headed ruling based on his dark ages death cult because that would set a precedent in this country. We need to make our leaders and elected officials be pro-active, not reactive as they usually are. Once that cat is out of the bag we'll all be getting scratched.

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Posted by Aoife on 04/30/2014 at 11:30 PM

"and there are no individual cases actually on the record of Sharia law being implemented in the courts or in any other state."

There are at least 50 such court cases sofar, where there was a conflict between sharia law and American law:

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Posted by Max Kuenkel on 05/01/2014 at 2:20 AM


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Posted by Andrew Russell on 05/01/2014 at 5:24 AM

It is good for Americans to oppose Sharia laws because it is against humanity. May be good for Saudi Arabia. Where so many prophets could not convince them to humanity.

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Posted by Kamran Tabbasam Saroia on 05/01/2014 at 8:15 AM

It is difficult to imagine that any American would favor applying foreign law, especially religious law, to our English common law standard. They must not be very good Americans to support such a thing.

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Posted by Sam on 05/01/2014 at 4:22 PM

"I have never been able to understand why we need this bill," added Boca Raton Democrat Maria Sachs.

It's called preventative measures so it never becomes an issue.

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Posted by Brandon on 05/01/2014 at 6:03 PM

First, SB 386 is not an "Anti-Sharia-Law" bill. Shariah law is not mentioned in the text.

Second, the bill, also passed by the House, establishes "Public Policy."

Third, Emerge is an organization with no history. When questioned by a senator, the man representing Emerge replied it was not a formal organization, rather a group of people. The representative refused to provide any names.

All of this leads me to speculate that Emerge may be a Muslim Brotherhood front organization.

Contrary to Senator Sobel's statement, there is a number of cases in other states where Shariah law was applied by state courts, including appellate courts. In at least one case in a judge dismissed murder charges against a Muslim man for shooting a man dressed as Muhammad in a parade. An other example is a judge stating a Muslim man had a right to rape and beat his wife because it was acceptable in his religion, Islam.

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Posted by Lee Boyland on 05/02/2014 at 12:33 PM

Lord have mercy. the dems are as insane as these muslims wanting something they left their homeland to get away from. this is one woman that will die before I submit to islam. the dems are always screaming war on women by reps. yea right. these same women that stand with the dems need to go ahead and cover every thing but their eyes. because if this goes in full force. no more beach's for you and do not leave the house. or you will be beat in the street in front of your repub friends. this would be funny if it wasn't so serious.

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Posted by Betty Pierce on 05/02/2014 at 8:28 PM

Correction to above post.

"a judge dismissed murder charges against a Muslim man for BEATING a man dressed as Muhammad in a parade."


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Posted by Lee Boyland on 05/03/2014 at 10:04 AM

In regards to the quote by Senator Sobel, an official whose group initially opposed the bill says that the more appropriate line would be to say that "Islamic law has never been implemented by US courts in a way that contradicts US and state constitutions." But it also must be said that the measure was sharply rewritten by the time it passed, and groups like the ADL and Emerge ended up supporting it.

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Posted by mitchperry on 05/03/2014 at 5:54 PM

"The so-called "anti-Sharia law" bill strongly opposed by Muslim and Jewish organizations in Florida....."

Ummmm.....I seriously doubt that Jews opposed an anti-sharia law.....they don't follow "allah" or believe anything similar to what muslims believe.

report 25 likes, 2 dislikes   
Posted by Chrissy Dotson on 05/03/2014 at 10:26 PM

If that is the case, then we need to not worry about what "foreign investors" think. They should know upfront, before they invest in this country, that our laws and constitution are founded on Judeo-Christian values. If they don't like it, live or invest somewhere else.

report 24 likes, 1 dislike   
Posted by Linda Ison Ruediger on 05/04/2014 at 10:21 AM

Those 14 Florida Democrats are SICK people. Maybe they should not be called people or human beings!

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Posted by MactheHon on 05/04/2014 at 12:21 PM

Hey Florida, don't feel isolated! Senator mary landreiu in Louisiana voted to take our guns and then to give our Internet to the UN! Senator harry reid is attempting to sell out Nevada to the Chinese but fortunately some brave and true Americans intervened and slowed his profits from being deposited in his bank accounts!It seems all our elected officials on the democratic side are selling our their constituents to the UN, Chinese. I've read that Detroit, Michigan, is now the new sharia town for mussie's!

From several recent news reports it appears that in few areas Americans re beginning to show we are fed up with the government taking more control over our daily lives. Maybe having lived under 8 years of obama's cross-bred mix of commie-mussie rule will re-ignite the old American patriotic values!

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Posted by Jim Jones-The Sun Guy on 05/04/2014 at 5:37 PM

Shame on you, Florida!

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Posted by BettyandCarl Seiley on 05/05/2014 at 11:18 PM

I think it all has to do with foreign support for elections. Think about the Watergate thing.....the president was within his right to bug Watergate cause there was cause for them getting funds for elections illegally!!! However impeached....wrongly I feel....that is when they changed foreign donation amount laws to a bigger amount. Look it up don't know the sight or dates but it's there.

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Posted by Anna Kiser Douglas on 05/15/2014 at 3:09 PM

NO "TREATY"over rides the constitution of The united states of America.... EVER!

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Posted by T Ozzy Czernik on 05/26/2014 at 1:29 PM

Are these people on crack

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Posted by Scott LeVan on 05/26/2014 at 2:19 PM

this is America. then go by American laws.

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Posted by Bob Andreas on 05/26/2014 at 3:49 PM


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Posted by Betty Pierce on 05/26/2014 at 9:09 PM

If Sharia becomes the law of the land, those cheese-dicks better look out because I'm going rogue!

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Posted by Jim Coker on 05/27/2014 at 2:20 PM
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