Yesterday, the ACLU of Eastern Missouri and the Council of American Islamic Relations St. Louis joined together for the 2nd Annual Muslim Day at the Missouri State Capitol. This was the second year of Muslims gathering to open up dialogue with state legislators, in an effort the ACLU called “long overdue.”
“With the introduction of legislation attempting to ban Sharia and other international legal systems, Muslim-Americans feel there is a misunderstanding about the nature and the goals of Islam in the United States. We want our state legislators to know that we are their neighbors and partners. The religion of Islam poses no threat to U.S. law, and we do not want it to be otherwise,” said Jim Hacking, Chair of the ACLU of Eastern Missouri’s Muslim Rights Task Force.
This year’s event seeks to deepen that dialogue and, more specifically, to draw attention to two bills in the Missouri House (HB 1512 and SB 676). From the ACLU: If passed, the effects of House Bill 1512 and SB 676 would be detrimental to religious freedom and are an unnecessary intrusion upon the lives of Muslim-Americans in particular. Furthermore, contractual use of religious law from Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, or any other religious groups could not be enforced. The validity of marriages, wills, and other contracts based on religious law could be jeopardized. It could also invalidate foreign adoptions and international business contracts.
We encourage members of the St. Louis community to become aware of these bills, both of which the ACLU cites as discriminatory and prohibitive of required judicial consideration of foreign law. Please consider contacting your legislators as a way of deepening the important dialogue about religious freedom in our state.
Here is a link to CAIR’s introduction of the event. (CAIR is the Council on American Islamic Relations.)