(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/25/12) --- A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today said a Kansas bill signed into law by Governor Sam Brownback, which critics say is designed to target "Sharia" (Islamic religious principles), "invites" a legal challenge.
SEE: Brownback Signs Bill Blocking Use of Islamic Law (AP)
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the Kansas anti-Muslim bill is one of dozens of similar pieces of discriminatory and unconstitutional legislation that have been introduced nationwide. These legislative initiatives are promoted by those who seek to marginalize American Muslims and demonize Islam.
SEE: Bans on Court Use of Sharia/International Law
"This clearly unconstitutional legislation, like all the others targeting Muslims' religious rights nationwide, invites a legal challenge," said CAIR Legal Counsel Nadhira Al-Khalili. "The unmistakable and un-American bigotry espoused by the sponsors of these bills should be repudiated by Americans of all faiths."
Earlier this month, CAIR issued an action alert asking Kansans to urge Gov. Brownback to veto the discriminatory bill.
CAIR: Kansas Governor Asked Not to Sign Anti-Sharia Bill http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eP-LV-...
Civil libertarians say the legislation could infringe on constitutionally-protected religious rights, impacting the writing of marriage contracts, the implementation of wills or even being buried according to one's religious beliefs. It could also adversely affect the validation of international adoptions and foreign marriages.
Catholic leaders have outlined how a similar bill in Michigan could affect the rights of that faith's adherents.
SEE: Does Michigan need protection from Sharia law?
Supporters of the Kansas bill have attempted to mask its true intent by endorsing the measure as a women's rights issue, but their repeated use of Islamophobic rhetoric demonstrates their true intent.
SEE: Senate OKs Bill to Ban Foreign Laws
Kansas Legislature Passes Discriminatory Anti-Muslim Bill by Calling It a 'Women's Rights' Issue
CAIR recently released a community toolkit designed to assist those seeking to preserve America's ideal of religious pluralism in the face of the unconstitutional anti-Sharia campaign.
SEE: CAIR Releases Community Toolkit to Challenge 'Anti-Sharia' Bills
CAIR Community Toolkit: Securing Religious Liberty
CAIR's toolkit includes background on David Yerushalmi, the anti-Islam extremist who authored the template for the anti-Sharia bills.
Yerushalmi is head of the anti-Islam hate group Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), which once offered a policy proposal that would make "adherence to Islam" punishable by 20 years in prison, called for the immediate deportation of all non-citizen Muslims and urged Congress to declare war on the "Muslim Nation," which SANE defined as "all Muslims." The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) named Yerushalmi a member of the "anti-Muslim inner circle."
SEE: A SANE Act to Deal with the Islamic Threat to America's National Existence (SADITANE)
SPLC: The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle
Links to Background Information on David Yerushalmi:
David Yerushalmi: A Driving Force Behind Anti-Sharia Efforts in the U.S.
Meet the White Supremacist Leading the GOP's Anti-Sharia Crusade
The Man Behind the Anti-Shariah Movement (NY Times)
Anti-Islam Activist Yerushalmi Measures Imams' Beards
Profile of Anti-Sharia Extremist David Yerushalmi
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR Staff Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Legal Counsel Nadhira Al-Khalili, 540-514-2093, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor, 202-384-8857, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-St. Louis Executive Director Faizan Syed, 314-330-2946, 636-207-8882, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org