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Oklahoma Election Board to appeal Sharia law case

State Election Board members seek to overturn ban on certifying last month's election results of State Question 755.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: December 1, 2010
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The state Election Board is appealing an Oklahoma City federal judge's ruling against a voter-approved restriction on Islamic law and other international tenets in state courtrooms.

The board voted 2-0 on Tuesday, with one member absent, to ask the state attorney general to appeal the court's granting of a preliminary injunction to prevent it from certifying the results of the Nov. 2 election.

Oklahomans on Nov. 2 approved State Question 755 with 70.08 percent of the vote. Muneer Awad, an American-born Muslim, sued two days later. U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange on Nov. 8 blocked the Election Board from certifying the SQ 755 results.

Monday, Miles-LaGrange granted a preliminary injunction to prevent the state from certifying the results.

Former state Rep. Rex Duncan, R-Sand Springs, who authored the measure that became SQ 755, told The Associated Press that the “liberal, activist judge” who ruled against his plan in federal court is the kind of judge he was hoping to stop.

SQ 755 would forbid state courts from considering or using international law or Sharia law.

About the law

The amendment describes Sharia law as Islamic law based on the Quran and the teaching of Mohammed.

The board had scheduled Tuesday's meeting in the event the judge granted a preliminary injunction. It has 30 days from the ruling to file an appeal.

Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma, said he was planning to seek a permanent injunction, but he now likely will wait until after the court rules on the expected appeal.