Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pennsylvania Court uses Sharia Law in Decision on Will

Plant this story firmly in the 'Creeping Sharia' category. At first blush it might not look that bad but remember, those who want Islamic law in the United States push it incrementally. This is a prime example and the court's decision sets a dangerous precedent. Imagine if a man leaves a will that says 1/8 of his estate is to go to each of his sons and 1/16 of that estate is to go to each of his daughters. Assuming he was of sound mind when he wrote the will, one would think those wishes should be honored. Though they appear sexist, that's why they call it a 'will.'

Now, suppose a Muslim male simply states in his will that his estate is to be divided among his family according to Sharia Law, which calls for distribution of that estate in the same 1/8 and 1/16 manner. Does the U.S. Constitution allow for a judge to rule in such a way? The short answer is no.

Here is the relevant part of the will of Abbas Alkafaji via Volokh:
(4) About my pension, the beneficiaries are all my biological kids and my current wife, ... after reducing all costs associated with the house.... [The] rest of the pension, if any left, should be divided according to Islamic Laws and Sharia....

(9) In case I have additional monetary benefits from my job, such as life insurance, 401K, 403B or any other retirement funds that I am not aware of, Allah as my witness, They should be divided, after costs associated with the payment of those funds according to Islamic Laws and “Sharia.”
Aside from precedent that states American courts cannot rule on religious law, this case highlights exactly why Sharia Law is not a First Amendment issue; it is an Article VI issue, which states:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
This judge should have distributed the man's will according to American law and let his beneficiaries duke it out on the back end. Period.

h/t Weasel Zippers

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