Oklahoma is poised to become the first state in the nation to ban state judges from relying on Islamic law known as Sharia when deciding cases.
The ban is a cornerstone of a "Save our State" amendment to the Oklahoma constitution that was recently approved by the Legislature.
The amendment -- which also would forbid judges from using international laws as a basis for decisions -- will now be put before Oklahoma's voters in November. Approval is expected.
Oklahoma has few Muslims – only 30,000 out of a population of 3.7 million. The prospect of sharia being applied there seems remote. But a chief architect of the measure, Republican State Rep. Rex Duncan, calls the proposed ban a necessary "preemptive strike" against Islamic law coming to the state.
Legal experts contacted by ABC News said they did not know of one instance of a judge in the U.S. invoking sharia in rendering a decision.
"Cases of first impression are rare," said Jim Cohen, a professor at the Fordham University School of Law in New York City, adding, "I have never heard of a case" involving sharia.
Cohen added that he questions whether the proposed amendment would pass constitutional muster.
"Our federal system and our state system is in part governed by the concept of separation of powers. It's far from clear that the Oklahoma legislature can restrict what a separate branch of government can consider in terms of doing its job – in this case, deciding cases," he said.
"I think this is a political statement against Muslims and, inferentially, in support of United States values," Cohen said.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.