Bill filed to address non-existent problem of Sharia law creeping into U.S. | Arkansas Blog

Friday, December 9, 2016

Bill filed to address non-existent problem of Sharia law creeping into U.S.

Posted By on Fri, Dec 9, 2016 at 5:35 PM

click to enlarge REP. BRANDT SMITH: Getting out ahead of the problem. - ARKANSAS SECRETARY OF STATE
  • REP. BRANDT SMITH: Getting out ahead of the problem.
As expected, Rep. Brandt Smith (R-Jonesboro) has again introduced legislation to address the nonexistent problem of "foreign laws" creeping into American courts. This bill died in committee in the 2015 session, after which Smith memorably sought retribution" for Democratic Sen. Joyce Elliott (who had had the audacity to call for a roll call vote).

Smith's HB 1041 is about the supposed threat of Sharia law, though it doesn't mention it specifically. Such legislation has become a popular conservative cause in statehouses around the nation, despite the lack of any evidence that Islamic law is infiltrating American jurisprudence. The Nation has some background on the issue.

Smith told me this morning that the bill is intended to ensure the rule of law, much like another bill he introduced that would cut off funding for college campuses that are too tolerant of undocumented immigrants. He said that several fellow representatives had approached him and urged him to revive the 2015 proposal

It was his understanding, Smith said, that  Arkansas will eventually receive around 200 immigrants from the Middle East, and that his legislation would actually help protect them. "If we're going to be receiving Syrian immigrants and Iraqi immigrants from these refugee camps ... we want to be sure we give these people who are escaping tyranny an opportunity to be free from foreign law," he said. "No law usurps the Constitution."

When asked if he was aware of Sharia being instituted anywhere within the state, or causing any problems, he said, "No, and thankfully we haven't had to deal with that yet.
It's always better in my opinion to get out ahead of a problem." He cited the story of a custody dispute in which a woman lost contact with her child after her husband left the U.S. "While this was in the courts ... the husband, who was from the Middle East, he based his decision-making on Sharia law and fled the country."

When David Ramsey interviewed Smith for the Arkansas Times earlier this year, he stated his intention to run this bill again. Smith said at the time:
When you deal with tribal people or people from other countries that have their own legal system, oftentimes when they immigrate to the United States, they are fleeing oppression or they're seeking better opportunities. .. But in some of these cases, most of these immigrants tend to cluster in areas where there are other people of the same ethnicity and cultural background, so they have a hard time assimilating into our country. ... In some cases they also bring their problems with them, and they'll bring a legal system with them.

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (18)

Showing 1-18 of 18

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-18 of 18

Add a comment

More by Benjamin Hardy

Readers also liked…

  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016
  • Civil War over in Fort Smith; lawyer strikes his Rebel mascot battle tent

    KSFM reports that Joey McCutchen, the lawyer who's been trying to restart the Civil War in Fort Smith over the School Board's decision to drop the Rebel mascot and related trappingsfor Southside High School, is dropping his School Board takeover campaign.
    • May 27, 2016
  • Satanic Temple: Make Rapert pay for Ten Commandments monument

    A petition drive has begun to encourage a demand that Sen. Jason Rapert pay for the legal fees in defending his Ten Commandments monument proposed for the state Capitol grounds. It's more work by the Satanic Temple, which has fought church-state entanglement around the country.
    • Aug 28, 2016

Most Shared

  • Discussion: State killing of the mentally ill

    The Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and others will have a forum on mental illness and the death penalty at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Bowen School of Law's Friday Courtroom.

Most Viewed

  • Dear Little Rock,

    This is not a love letter, Little Rock, though we do love you. This is an intervention.
  • Highway sanity spreads to Texas

    What's this? A headline in a TEXAS newspaper that says adding lanes to freeways doesn't ease traffic congestion?

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation