'Anti-Sharia Law' Bill Passes House Panel; Muslims, ACLU Object

By: Kenric Ward | Posted: February 23, 2012 3:55 AM
Waving aside objections from the Florida Bar and the ACLU, the House Judiciary Committee approved an "anti-Sharia law" bill on Wednesday.

Larry Metz

Rep. Larry Metz

"We're trying to anticipate problems we see in other states and address them proactively," said Rep. Larry Metz, R-Eustis, sponsor of House Bill 1209.
"This will preclude unjust results in cases where the outcome could be different if we didn't have the bill."

Representatives from the Florida Bar's Family Law Section and the American Civil Liberties Union opposed the measure, saying Florida courts already have the ability to refuse to enforce foreign laws, including the Islamic legal code based on the Quran.

Critics also claimed that Metz's bill could complicate and raise the costs of adjudicating prenuptial and postnuptial agreements contracted in other jurisdictions.

Elaine Schwartz

Rep. Elaine Schwartz

Rep. Elaine Schwartz, D-Hollywood, called HB 1209 a "remedy in search of a problem."

Prior to Wednesday's meeting, the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations sent an alert to supporters warning that the bill would “demonize Islam and marginalize Muslims.”

CAIR alleged that HB 1209 is "ultimately aimed at making sure Sharia or other foreign laws are not applied to family law cases in Florida."

Hassan Shibly, CAIR's Florida director, told Sunshine State News that the bill "follows a court case in Hillsborough County in which Sharia was considered. The case spurred quite a bit of right-wing activism, but was eventually dismissed last December."

Still, with virtually every member of the Judiciary Committee signing on as co-sponsors, HB 1209 breezed through the panel. Schwartz cast the only dissenting vote.

Ray Pilon

Rep. Ray Pilon

"It's good law because it's preventive in nature," said Rep. Ray Pilon, R-Sarasota.

Rev. Mark Boykin, senior pastor at Church of All Nations in Boca Raton, also praised HB 1209.

“Nations all over the world are looking to our democratic model of government and law, and our courts do not need any other document [on which] to base their decisions,” Boykin said.

Contact Kenric Ward at kward@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 801-5341.

Comments (48)

Connie C.
3:09AM APR 1ST 2014
Well hot dang! ABOUT TIME! Now if the others will grow a brain!!!
Deb Krekic
6:46AM SEP 2ND 2012
Well done- a few courageous Senators and Representatives still standing for, "We the People" are starting to get the picture. Deb Krekic womenagainstIslamicLaw.wordpress.com
Now how about going to work on protecting us from NDAA, IOLTA, and Florida Wrongful Death Act CAPS? Forced Conversion by incremental legislation is specious-having a false look of truth or genuineness. IOLTA - Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts is legalized Extortion
4:47PM JUL 16TH 2012
It's BS that any State should have to draft and ratify such laws as the anti-sharia one now well along in the positive progress mode. There are too many laws on the books as it stands now; many are not enforced until it is convenient or the PA/DA is backed into a corner and needs to look good.

I wish the citizens of Florida full success in enacting this legislation as well as keeping a Governor and State AG in place that wil execute this new upcoming statute when the dust settles from its creation.
Larry Parsons
9:58AM APR 17TH 2012
"First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist, so I said nothing. Then they came for the Social Democrats, but I was not a Social Democrat, so I did nothing. Then came the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist. And then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did little. Then when they came for me, there was no one left to stand up for me"....
7:48PM FEB 27TH 2012
Glenn J. Elmore
1:42PM FEB 25TH 2012
It is a law very badly needed and should be required in this country in leu of an over abundance of liberal judges of all categiories of so called judgeships that exist in this once august NATION. I LOVE MY COUNTRY but I do indeed fear my government and what it has become. Our CONSTITUTION has been reduced to a meer piece of paper by this administration and I cannot understand why the Supreme Court cannot or will not do something about it.
Cal Frez
8:24AM FEB 25TH 2012
Wendy A Tai
9:31PM FEB 24TH 2012
2:18PM FEB 24TH 2012
Ralph Trondle
12:31PM FEB 24TH 2012
This a very necessary law. We must avoid what has happened in France England and Germany where sharia law is a fact in some neighborhoods. Radical Islam is a cancer that will spread and overcome us if we are not proactive in preventing it's spread.
H Shibly
9:41AM FEB 24TH 2012
I wish Nezar would stop falling into this trap! Jon Stewart made a monkey out of him on Comedy Central.
Patricia Graefe
6:38AM FEB 24TH 2012
This is the United States of America that lives under our Constitution. All citizens and non-citizens live under the law of the land-not the law of some foreign land. People come to America because of the respect of our laws and freedom. I only want the laws of our lands-not to be worried about foreign laws affecting me or my Constitutional rights.
10:59PM FEB 23RD 2012
This is yet another example of lawmakers trying to boil our bloods and rally us to vote for them.
1) There are already plenty of laws and measures to stop Sharia law
2) Using foreign laws is clearly not a problem in the U.S, since Jewish law is in effect in many areas and no-one has a problem with it, other than racists and bigots.

Just another political trick to make blood boil and gain cheap points.
Linda Brickman
2:39PM FEB 24TH 2012
Joseph, I truly think you need to revisit your Constitution again. One, there are NOT ENOUGH laws to prevent Sharia law from taking foot in America. There is one proposed law going through Congress now, but as long as YOUR President is in power, it will not go anywhere. I am in the process of revising a new Bill that will pass Congress. Two, my State of AZ just passed last session a Bill to keep Foreign Law out of our Court systems to prevent incidents like PA, New Jersey from happenng here. 3) Where is the Talmud used in a Court in America and not referred to the Constitution? Article VI of our U.S. Constitution specifically says that no Foreign law can supercede our Constitution if the Foreign is in conflict with the US/State Constitution as it is the Supreme Law of the Land. Sharia law will NOT and can NOT work in America as it believes it is the Supreme Law of the World.

Go back and read your history and Constitution Joseph and get your facts straight. I believe you missed a few lines.

ACT! For America Chairman in AZ,
Legislative Liaison for the AZ Tea Party Patriots Association
Shahzad Shah
6:48PM FEB 24TH 2012
Hi Linda,

“Sincere” faith is actually the careful observance of the human rights of every individual regardless of background. The problem is to call Islam a religion or limiting it to the “ritualistic” aspects of worship. Islam is not a “religion” or “milla” as the term is defined in the Arabic language, but it is a “deen” or a total, comprehensive way of life. This means that people can conduct their socio, political and economic affairs under the broad guidance and principles contained throughout the Quran. These three terms are not specifically mentioned in the Quran because Allah is emphasizing that life should not be compartmentalized or dichotomized between sacred and secular but it must be taken as a whole. All spheres of life are “dependent” and “interrelated”. Therefore, an Islamic State is a solution to societal problems because of its “comprehensiveness” in focus and should not be considered a limited “theocratic state”. If one looks at the development of the Muslim civilization, the more sincere Muslims were in practicing the pristine teachings of Islam, the more they increased in material prosperity. The more they deviated, the more backwards they became and this is exactly what we see today in many so called “Islamic” countries. This trend is opposite to the development of the west and Europe. Western scholars, such George Bernard Shaw, see the practicality and wisdom in the teachings of Islam and admit that it is a solution to the contemporary problems we face. Sincere faith should not be equated to the selfish motives, actions and “lip service” we see from many world leaders today including those of Muslim nations.

Jihad is derived from the Arabic root “Johud” meaning “to try” as much as we are able. Is this not the essence of life? All of us as individual people have such potential and many unique abilities. Allah has also given us opportunities in life. The only way each one of us can bridge the gap between our abilities and capture those opportunities is if we try. The harder we try to overcome our bad habits, the more successful we will become. Overcoming bad habits is not easy, but the rewards are tremendous. The Prophet Muhammad alluded to this fact when he mentioned that struggling with our negative inclinations in daily life is “the greater Jihad”. In Islam we are taught to repent by following three simple steps. Firstly, we should stop the wrong action that we have been doing. Secondly, we should feel sad about it. Thirdly, we should vow never to do it again (even though our human weakness might cause us to make the same mistake later). There is a fourth step if our mistake involves an unjust interaction with another person for example if a person’s right was taken away (such as the theft of property), it should be returned to make sincere repentance fully complete. This is a great basic formula for anybody trying to overcome any type of bad habit. So it is incorrect to say that Jihad means holy war because this wrong definition was never used by Allah in the Quran or by the Prophet Muhammad in his sayings or by Muslims in our 1400 year history.
7:22PM MAR 9TH 2012
Mashallah brother. I agree with you.. And hopefully all of the people in this world will recognize the beauty of Islam before it's too late.. There are too many good people that I want to see the truth and stop believing this new law makers.. Which I think is coming from Jews.. They don't care about American people and America .. They will destroy America for Israel.. I can't believe why so many people are shallow .. Assalamu alaykum to you my brother.. From Bosnian brother
Shahzad Shah
3:06PM APR 25TH 2012
We forget that we are all part of this great Human Brotherhood. Whatever people believe to be the origins of life, it is a fact that we come from a common origin, meaning that we are all part of one family. In families, there is often conflict. Family members that approach conflict in a responsible and respectful manner often gain the support of each other during difficult times later on. This is a source of peace that is absolutely priceless. The point is that discrimination based upon race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or status undermines our collective support. If a group of people strongly feel that they have the correct position in a dispute, they should communicate their position in a positive manner and not resort to violence and abuse so that all of the parties involved understand and benefit.

In Islam we are told that the first man and woman, Prophet Adam and Eve, were created by God in the Garden of Paradise and sent to earth to learn the consequences of mistakes and not as a punishment. However, the mistakes made by True Prophets of God were never great moral faults like lying, cheating, adultery and others that could blemish their moral characters but rather minor errors of human judgment with good intentions. This is true of all of the Prophets of God throughout history from Adam, to Abraham, to Moses, to Jesus and finally to Muhammad because they were all in direct communication with Him. Allah is the “All-Forgiving”, but due to His expectation of human perfection from His Prophets, He holds them to much higher standards than all other human beings. In Adam’s case, all he did was that he ate some unhealthy fruit that Satan deceived him into thinking would give him immortal life that would enable him to get closer to Allah. This event and then Adam and Eve’s descent to earth must have occurred after the Ice Age when God removed the dinosaurs to allow man’s safe existence in the world. According to sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, man was one of the final creations of God. He was also a physical giant, consistent with the dinosaurs that just passed. Some ancestors of prehistoric creatures that exist today are also only a fraction of their original size. We should always consider our origins as innocent, small and helpless infants so that we remember to stay humble with each other and not oppress and discriminate for selfish reasons. With this mindset we will be able to leverage our unique individual and societal strengths and gain the enormous benefits that come from cooperation.
12:24AM FEB 28TH 2012
Arguing about the meaning of jihad is useless here. The above post is a typical muslim rhetorical device...smothering the truth in a tidal wave of syrupy-sounding but ultimately meaningless words. Women under islam have fewer rights than men. This is a fact. This is not something that is compatible with the American Constitution. Mohamed said, "If a man leaves his muslim religion, kill him." This is not compatible with the constitution either. The Founding Fathers did not recommend murdering someone who changed imaginary friends. There is a man in Iran right now waiting for his execution for just this offense. Asia Bibi is rotting in a Pakistani jail right now. Her crime? Speaking freely about her religion. So Islam is clearly legally opposed to freedom of speech as well. Unmarried women and men are not allowed to be together in Saudi Arabia. This, too, is a law derived directly from the teachings of Mohamed! So another part of the first amendment...freedom of assemblt...is also extinguished by freedom-hating sharia islamic law. These are just a few examples. Anyone who claims that Sharia is compatible with the constitution in any way is either a contemptible liar or a deluded fool. Why does the US continue to deal with these islamic countries when they are so clearly suppressing the freedoms and prohibiting the civil rights we hold so dear? This law can't come too soon!
Josue Griego
6:45PM FEB 23RD 2012
Awesome.Shouldn't be needed at all if our leaders and judges had some common sense in the least. Constitution covers all that but then it is being trampled on incessantly.
Lloyd Schlabach
6:25PM FEB 23RD 2012
Our laws are all we need to enforce. Laws from other countries are not needed. Koran has been re written and change many time and most of it applies to the tribe or area in the world you live in. Many areas of the Koran do not abide by the sharia law or use it. Why should we use a law from some other country?
6:16PM FEB 23RD 2012
Rep Elaine Schwartz, another kapo Jew who cannot see the wood for the trees. What a stinking moron!!
6:02PM FEB 23RD 2012
This is why anti-sharia legislation is so essential.
Back in October, a parade goer wearing a “Zombie Muhammad” costume while marching in a local Pennsylvania Halloween parade. He was viciously attacked and choked by a Muslim (enforcing the sharia, no doubt).
According to reports, the Parading Atheists of Central Pennsylvania (PACP) were marching in a Halloween parade in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania,when a Muslim stormed out of the hometown crowd to assault one of the marching atheists who happened to be wearing a Zombie Muhammad costume. Oh, and by the way, one of the parade goers was dressed up as a zombie pope.
Today, an American judge in Pennsylvania ruled on the case and sided with the Muslim, and said that the victim would be put to death in Muslim societies for his "crime."
5:45PM FEB 23RD 2012
These bills are needed because some (ignorant) Judges violate their oath and issue judgements in violation of the US Constitution (Article VI paragraph two). By the way, does anyone realize Sharia law even address urination? See page 275 of Reliance of the Traveller (with two l's and that's the book of Islamic law).
Gerald Mucci
5:36PM FEB 23RD 2012
It IS good law. It is good BECAUSE it is proactive. I'm sure Rep. Elaine Schwartz realizes that if this law was reactive to a current set of already established precedents then it would become dicely and litigation woud be assured. One reason this woman could have for pandering to Islamic legal interests is she is naive about Islam.

And no, this is not an attack against religious freedom. It is a safeguard against a supremacist, intolerant political ideology masking itself in faux religion. Islam is a political ideology foreign to our culture, relgions, government, morals, and ethical and economic systems. Calling it merely "a religion" is delusional policy that will destroy what this nation is all about.

Perhaps Rep. Elaine Schwartz is one who does not hold our nation's founding principles in high regard. That would also explain her position quite well.
Race Hudson
5:27PM FEB 23RD 2012
Sharia Law is the law of a foreign adversarial government that is also masquerading as a religion. By pretending to be a religion, it hides under the rights and privileges granted to religions in this country, which is a means to covertly undermine and overthrow our society and every government of any country foolish enough to allow them to be there. (Lebanon is a prime example of this) Since the rule of Sharia law is the code for a foreign government and since they have declared war in many forms such as Fatahs, edicts and Jihad, we should not just outlaw Sharia Law, but Islam as well. Muslims are not interested in becoming a part of our society but by rampant birthrate due to polygamy, lies, deceit and bullying when they reach a 15-20% presence, they then show their true colors as a covert and malicious government and their objective to overthrow the existing government and society. Brutality, lies and coniving truce and agreement breakers are all they are. They are mandated in the Koran that no word given or agreement made is binding on or to any non Muslim and are therefore not worthy of trust or confidence and should therfore be banned from immigration.
10:35PM FEB 23RD 2012
Thank you, Race Hudson. You are right on target! If only America would wake up to this!
Bill Thompson
6:28PM FEB 23RD 2012
The Trojan Horse theory is well under way in the Western world. By sheer birth rates (6-1),in the not too distant future they will be able to vote their own into power and they will have conquered without firing a shot ! Our own naive Political Correctness will be our downfall,as nobody wants to address it for fear of "offending" ! :-(
5:23PM FEB 23RD 2012
CAIR alleged that HB 1209 is "ultimately aimed at making sure Sharia or other foreign laws are not applied to family law cases in Florida."

Well at least CAIR agrees with me on that point. Sharia, Canon, Talmud, French, German etc etc laws have no bearing on cases in U.S. courts. If you want to live under sharia, move to a country that uses sharia.
mike viehl
5:21PM FEB 23RD 2012
right on!if you want sharia law go back where u came from,you came to america,now abide by our laws or leave.you are free to pracftice ur religion but in public you are supposed to be americans.act like one
Maxie Anderson
5:18PM FEB 23RD 2012
This Bill does not demonize the Muslims. It just says if they want to use the Sharia law then they need to go back to there muslim countries. This is AMERICA, and our established law of our land should be the only one used!
Andrew Tighe
5:03PM FEB 23RD 2012
Outstanding plan to prevent the imposition of a foreign law in our nation. We've already seen demands to use Sharia law rather than our secular law, in Illinois, new jersey, new York and in Minnesota.

Our national Constitution forbids any law except that which is derived from the Constitution, State based or otherwise.

Christian Church law has been taken to apply only to members of a church and have no standing in court. No other law may be applied which has not been derived from the legislative actions of our people or as interpreted by our Court system. Islamics have attempted several actions to circumvent our national Constitution and therefore this pre-emptive action is based on history, not racism or any theory of action.
Shahzad Shah
4:45PM FEB 23RD 2012
These types of Bills tabled in multiple states are an attack on the religious freedom of innocent people. Laws and injunctions in the Shariah have nothing to do with terrorism as proven by a number of recent precedents in our courts. I urge legislators and all people to please be objective and judge this issue without bias as is the spirit all great legal systems including that of the United States of America.
1:19PM MAR 31ST 2012
Sorry, mr Shah, the US gov't is asleep at the wheel when it comes to dealing with muslims, but there are lots and LOTS of everyday people who are all too aware of the true nature of Islam; and you yourself, seem to be messed up and out to lunch on your understanding of your own religion---it's history, it's ideology, and the TRUE character of your so-called/false prophet...YOU need to do some research. And you need to read some books about the perspectives of former muslims regarding Islam. I've done my homework on Islam, fella, the history and the mentality---it's not ANYthing I want. And it's DEFINITELY not something I want to have ANY effect on life in the US.
Shahzad Shah
8:49AM APR 9TH 2012
Hi, Allah says in the beginning of chapter two of the Holy Quran, “That is the book whereof there is no doubt. In it is guidance for those who are Al-Muttaqun”. Al-Muttaqun is translated as God Fearing or to be God Conscious. It comes from the root “wacaw” meaning to preserve or to take good care of or to safeguard. So, to be Muttaqun actually means to have a “Conscience”. The more we increase our God Consciousness, the more we will make ourselves accountable for our individual actions and our intentions to make them sincere. Allah’s objective is to perfect in us the humanistic qualities of love, compassion, honesty, trustworthiness and many others. By being aware that God is always watching and that He knows our every intention and thought, we will be motivated to carefully observe every person’s human rights and even prefer others above personal needs and wants.

However, this type of conscience can only be developed if we have a strong certainty that God is actually out there. A question arises that if everything is material and finite, what exists at the outer edges of the universe? If the universe is material then it must also be finite. So what exists beyond its external boundaries? People say that beyond is infinity but this is not an attribute of any material object. By using our God given gift of intellect we can actually witness the Infinite Creator not with our eyes, but with our hearts and minds. He cares for all of us because He created us. His mercy, love and compassion, as stated by Prophet Muhammad in a saying, is more than 99 times greater than the love a mother has for her child. The sincere advice that we get from Trainers, Physicians and other Health Professionals can only benefit us if we follow it. If we don’t, then we can blame no one but ourselves for health problems later in life. In the same way, Allah is giving us sincere advice in the Quran and Other Scripture. If we choose to ignore it we must blame no one but ourselves for any problems that we face in our lives that are within our ability to control. It is easy to develop bad habits, but it requires the exercise of effort to overcome them and attain our goals and success in life.
Linda Brickman
2:51PM FEB 24TH 2012
Shahzad, have you ever heard of separation of church and state? First of all, Islam is NOT a religion - but a political ideology and that has already been proven in Italy, Sept 2011. Go research it! Sharia is all about jihad. Every single bank in America is now Sharia compliant and has Sharia Compliant Financing - go do your homework again. The charity that Islam donates to from our Sharia Financing is JIHAD!!! We are giving money to our adversaries to fight our own military!!! I have a problem with that. Either denounce your Sharia law, give up Islam, AND assimilate to American culture and customs, OR I will invite you to LEAVE OUR COUNTRY! I never invited you here to begin with. America is a melting pot of cultures which is awesome as they do follow American culture/custom and speak ONLY English; but, Mutli-Culturism does NOT work in America. Leave or Live by the American Republic we stand for. This is not a Democracy and never will be; go to another country that wants to live under Democratic (Socialistic) rules.
Shahzad Shah
6:51PM FEB 24TH 2012
Hi Linda, my response is above.
Elaine Laffey
10:31AM FEB 24TH 2012
There is nothing "innocent" about muslims establishing Islam in this country by any means possible.
Shahzad Shah
10:29AM FEB 24TH 2012
Shariah in the courts is not meant to replace our current legal system or to be imposed on others but rather it can be an alternate means of voluntary conflict resolution if both parties agree. As for criminal acts, these are illegal under any legal system.
1:30PM MAR 31ST 2012
Once again, you show your naivety about the true nature of your "religion".....I can say for a fact that this statement of yours is an example of a subtle attempt to get a Sharia toe in the door...as far as criminal activities, the reality is that these are illegal if you are not muslim. There are few to no rights for non-muslims.
g sinnett
11:28PM FEB 27TH 2012
Sharia allows and condones slavery. It allows and condones sexual abuse of children by allowing 5, 6, 7 year old girls to marry grown men and to have sex with them. Try and deny that it's not ALLOWED and PRACTICED under Sharia!!! I have read Fatwas that said "as long as she can bear the weight of a man" even very young children can be abused. As an ex-child protective services worker I fought to protect children from physical and sexual abuse by adults. I will fight with every breath of my body to stop the evil inherent in Sharia!! DON'T TREAD ON ME!!
Shahzad Shah
12:03PM MAR 6TH 2012
Sincere faith in Allah or God, does not teach hatred of anyone, nor did the Messengers of God such as Moses, Jesus and Muhammad who were in direct communication with Him. People’s imperfections should be kept totally separate from the authentic teachings of any Faith. In terms of the Quran, Allah never states that he hates anyone but simply says that “He loves” or “He loves not” meaning neutrality with respect to negative issues and not necessarily hate. But in one verse in the Quran Allah does explicitly state that “Most hateful it is with Allah that you say that which you do not do”. So all of these values and principles we find in any legal system and which are also innate are important for people to uphold because of the great benefits they bring to society and should not be reduced to “lip service” by anyone including Muslims.
American Citizen
10:39PM FEB 23RD 2012
take your shariah and shove it up your a@#.
9:36PM FEB 23RD 2012
Nice try. There will NOT be Sharia in this country. You WILL understand that you have freedom of religion as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others. We WILL NOT enslave our women and subject them to second class status. Take your shallow BS somewhere else. Read the Constitution dhimmi, especially the second amendment.
Linda Vidal
7:30PM FEB 23RD 2012
Shariah or Sharia is NOT American law, and I respectfully urge those who wish to live under it to relocate to a country where it is practiced.
Nezar Hamze
11:34AM FEB 23RD 2012
It looks like Hassan Shibly and me are fighting a losing cause. Ever since the Broward Republican Executive Committee slapped me down with a 158-11 vote we've been losing ground. I wish the Florida Legislature was as stupid as Michael Bloomberg!
Cal Frez
8:28AM FEB 25TH 2012
If you're pro-sharia, you're ALREADY a loser.
Pat Galbraith
7:15AM FEB 23RD 2012
No religious or foreign law should have any influence in an American civil court. I am a Catholic. We have Canon Law. If two Catholics wish to settle a difference under Canon Law, privately, it is a private contract. Unless it violates civil law, it is not the State's business.

If that contract comes into a civil court, it has no bearing. Only civil law should be considered in a civil court. As for foreign law - it belongs in foreign courts.
12:28PM FEB 26TH 2012
Thank God for Brigette Gabriel and ACT for America. Without her and her team, I fear we would be in much worse shape.

Going to "their" countries and expecting to live under our laws would not be acceptable to them. Why is it so hard for them to understand it in reverse? I guess it's because it doesn't fit into their plan to overcome our country. Go back to where you belong - you certainly don't belong in our beloved Country.

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