The founder of a group that has voiced concern about the growing influence of radical Islam within the U.S. asked Oklahoma's governor on Friday to sign a bill that would prohibit foreign laws from being enforced in state courtrooms.
“It is not to say that all Muslims are a threat,” said Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy. “It is the case, however, that those who embrace and submit to Sharia and insist on, according to its doctrine, making the rest of us submit to it, are a danger.”
Gaffney served as a deputy assistant defense secretary during the 1980s in the Reagan administration. He said he met with the governor during a stop at the state Capitol that also included talking with the recently formed counterterrorism caucus of the Legislature.
The House of Representatives on Thursday passed House Bill 1060, which was sent to Gov. Mary Fallin for her consideration.
Fallin met with Gaffney on Friday and the governor appreciated his comments, said her communications director, Alex Weintz.
“We actually have not received the bill yet in our office and have not begun our review of the legislation,” he said.
Group wants veto
The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has called on Muslims and others to ask Fallin to veto the bill. The group said HB 1060 is intended to attack the religious principles of Islam.
Gaffney said the Council on American-Islamic Relations is associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which is known for engaging in political violence and was responsible for creating Hamas, which the U.S. has designated a terrorist organization. He said the council was founded as a political fundraiser and to do political warfare for Hamas in 1993. Gaffney also said the council has roots in the Islamic Association of Palestine. Gaffney said his information came from a memorandum dealing with the council, which was an unindicted co-conspirator in a 2004 Hamas funding case filed in federal court in Dallas.
“Anyone who considers the Council on Islamic Relations what it professes to be — just a civil rights organization speaking for the Muslims of the United States and not as a Muslim Brotherhood front engaged in influence operations and, frankly, subversion in our country — is grossly mistaken, and is, I'm afraid, unwittingly perhaps, but nonetheless aiding and abetting those engaged in what the Muslim Brotherhood itself calls civilization jihad against the United States,” Gaffney said.
Contacted later, Adam Soltani, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said his organization has no ties with the Muslim Brotherhood.
“We have absolutely no connection whatsoever to the Muslim Brotherhood,” he said. “It's fear-mongering and Islamophobia at its best.”
About the measure
Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, the author of HB 1060, said the measure would prohibit the application of foreign laws when it would violate either the Oklahoma Constitution or U.S. Constitution. Senate amendments were added, stating that Oklahoma residents may not subject themselves to foreign laws, but corporations, partnerships or limited liability companies, business associations and other legal entities are exempt and may choose to subject themselves to foreign law.
Kern said the bill was filed after a similar ballot measure — State Question 755 — was appealed in federal court following its approval by 71 percent of voters in November 2010. Kern said the courts ruled against SQ 755 because it singled out Sharia law.
She said HB 1060 is similar to language used in legislation in Tennessee, Kansas, Arizona and Louisiana.
HB 1060 passed by huge margins. It passed 40-3 in the Senate and 85-7 in the House of Representatives. Kern said she would seek a veto override if Fallin vetoed the measure.