It’s time for Florida to get it right on Sharia law

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Sharia law is anathema to American jurisprudence and has no place in either our legal system or modern, civilized society.

Last year, a Tampa-area trial judge reversed himself and didn’t use Sharia law, even though an appellate court had ruled that it was OK to do so. Although the trial judge had his epiphany, that appellate decision is still out there, ready to do damage.

In response, a bill was proposed in the Florida Legislature early this year that would have prohibited state courts from using foreign law to decide cases. It breezed through all the appropriate committees and was approved by the House. It never made it to the Senate floor, however, and died without a chance.

We occasionally hear of a stoning or beheading in more primitive societies. Of more immediate concern is that such barbaric acts have now reached our own shores, in at least one instance.

In April, CBS News revisited the 2009 Arizona honor killing of Noor Almaleki by her own father, Faleh Almaleki. He first struck her with his Jeep Grand Cherokee after he accelerated in a beeline toward her. Then he drove over her broken, bleeding body to complete the job. Noor’s crime, in her father’s eyes, was that she was becoming “too westernized.”

Peoria, Ariz., police detective Chris Boughey told “48 Hours Mystery” correspondent Troy Roberts that the father’s act was “no accident. He felt like it was his duty to do this — to restore his honor, restore his family’s honor.” The detective’s next words were even more sobering:

“This isn’t an isolated incident, as we know now. It’s happened around the world. And now here we have it in the United States. This is a really big problem.”

Noor Almaleki is but one name in a long roll call of similar such murders of young women in North America and Western Europe. Not all the attacks were successful. The most famous such victim wasHarry Potter actress Afshan Azad, who was able to escape during a beating from her brother in Manchester, England. Her infraction was her relationship with a Hindu man, and both her father and brother had vowed to kill her because of it.

A bill prohibiting Florida courts from basing decisions on foreign law almost became law last March. The 2013 legislative session will begin next March. If you agree such a law should be passed, question the candidates on this issue doggedly and vote accordingly.

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