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February 22, 2012

Lawmakers mull Sharia law bill

A House panel is still mulling a bill to block Sharia law and other foreign laws from being taken into accounts in the state’s courts.

A House panel is still mulling a bill to block Sharia law and other foreign laws from being taken into accounts in the state’s courts.

The measure was introduced by state Rep. Wendy Nanney, R-Greenville after speaking with several family court judges around the state who said foreign law was complicating some of their divorce and child-custody cases.

Members of a House subcommittee Wednesday said they wanted to research what other states are doing before voting on whether to advance the bill.

Twenty other states are considering similar measures to ban judges from applying the laws of others nations, particularly in custody and marriage cases. Three states — Tennessee, Louisiana and Arizona — already have added the laws to their books. Oklahoma put it in its state Constitution in 2010, a move now being challenged in federal court.

Some Muslim groups say the measures are discriminatory and an effort to scare people about Muslim beliefs.

Sharia law refers to a wide-ranging group of Islamic customs and religious beliefs. In some Middle Eastern countries, the guidelines are enforced by law.

-- Gina Smith

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