AAF Thanks Lawmaker for Withdrawing Anti-Sharia Bill
(PATERSON, NJ, March 12, 2012) -- Leaders of the New Jersey Muslim community
today thanked Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi for her decision to withdraw bill
A-919, which would have prohibited "application of foreign laws," from further
consideration by that state's legislature.
Assemblywoman Schepisi, who represents the 39th legislative district in Bergen
and Passaic Counties, introduced the bill in late 2011. It was originally
introduced in 2010 by Assemblywoman Charlotte Vandervalk. Bills with similar
language have been promoted by those seeking to target Sharia, or Islamic
SEE: Bans on Court Use of Sharia/International Law
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Anti-Sharia bills were recently withdrawn or failed to pass in Minnesota,
Georgia and Florida.
CAIR: Minn. Lawmaker Drops Anti-Sharia Bill
CAIR Hails 'Sharia' Victory in Florida
"This is a wise decision by the esteemed assemblywoman," said Dr. Aref Assaf,
president of the American Arab Forum, a think-tank based in Paterson, N.J. "Of
course we want our Constitution to be the supreme law of the land. New Jersey
need not follow other states that have either passed or attempted to pass
similar legislation that has the principal objective of demonizing the faith of
millions of American Muslims."
"Rather than strengthening constitutional protections, these bills undoubtedly
violate religious freedom and weaken the independence of our courts," said
Council on American-Islamic Relations-New Jersey (CAIR-NJ) Chair Nadia Kahf. "We
thank Assemblywoman Schepisi for her decision in support of religious freedom
and constitutional rights."
The American Arab Forum is the leading Arab-American organization in New Jersey.
Its focus is to proactively advocate for Arab and Muslim-American affairs. GO
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its
mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect
civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote
justice and mutual understanding.