Local bill on Muslim tribunal in Texas stirs sentiments

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A city council in Irving, Texas, has voted to back a bill that some say would single out Muslims in their use of an Islamic Tribunal. The bill stipulates that foreign law, in this case Sharia law,

Local bill on Muslim tribunal in Texas stirs sentiments

A city council in Irving, Texas, has voted to back a bill that some say would single out Muslims in their use of an Islamic Tribunal.

The bill stipulates that foreign law, in this case Sharia law, does not apply to U.S. courts, particularly not in family law cases.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) MAYOR BETH VAN DUYNE:

“To me it was kind of a no brainier that people would support a resolution that would support our us constitution and our state constitution. I looked at it as a straight forward constitutional issue… a straight forward house bill that is reaffirming basic fundamental rights of Texas and I supported it.”

Some believe the bill is directed towards a local Islamic tribunal that mediates civil disputes for members within the Muslim community.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) KHALED HAMIDEH SAYING:

“It makes no sense… it makes absolutely no sense. Muslims in Irving aren’t pushing some Sharia law on everybody. People going through a divorce want an alternative to where they don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on an attorney like me.”

But a city council meeting was recently divided over how the tribunal, which some perceive as symbolic in nature, would actually operate.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) DENNIS WEBB SAYING:

“This is what I’m concerned about is the targeting of this particular faith and this particular people… and that’s the rift that I see.”

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ZIA SHEIKH SAYING:

“We are not implementing foreign law… we are not encouraging foreign law, it’s just a useless piece of legislation.”

The bill is slated for a hearing in the Texas legislature next week.

Tags : Sentiments, Stirs, Texas, Tribunal, muslim, bill, local

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