JEFFERSON CITY—Muslim Day at the Capitol April 13 gave Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, an opportunity to talk about a bill he is sponsoring, Senate Bill 308, that highlights the American body of law.
“You can either say we clarify or we codify what’s already in the hearts and minds of the American people, and that is that our Constitution and our state laws already forbid using any type of foreign lawmaking body, the foreign influence of other laws, to dictate what happens in our courts,” Nieves said.
Nieves is not in favor of instituting Sharia Law in the United States of America, which going back to the 1700s has never been called a Muslim nation.
“There’s always a legitimate worry on the part of many of us that if we don’t clarify and rein in the way that our courts can make decisions now, who knows what type of system may influence our courts in the future?” Nieves said. “We’re not so much fixing a problem in Missouri with Senate Bill 308. We’re avoiding a problem in Missouri with Senate Bill 308.”
Another Missouri lawmaker, Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Pacific, is attempting to accomplish something similar with House Bill 708. At the heart of Curtman’s bill is the idea that the United States of America never has been, is not now, and never will become a Muslim nation.
“We have got to articulate in our policy that we can only use American laws,” Curtman said.
In this he has backing of the No. 2 leader in the House, Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller, R-Willard and a member of Second Baptist Church, Springfield.
“The laws in our nation are based upon justice,” Schoeller said. “We don’t base them upon one faith or another faith, but rather the protection of all people to have equal opportunity to choose whether or not they practice a particular faith, or not to practice.”
Kerry Messer, lobbyist for the Christian Life Commission of the Missouri Baptist Convention, said the primary Muslim strategy is likely to revolve around pushing court cases that will prompt Missouri judges to look beyond our borders and import various forms of internationally certified Islamic legal precedent.
“To prevent the courts in Missouri from allowing Sharia Law to be applied is going to require a lot of proactive effort on the part of the Legislature,” Messer said. “The presence of the Muslim community here today articulating their position in favor of Sharia Law gives impetus to the efforts to get the Legislature to understand that there is a serious problem looming on the horizon.”
ALLEN PALMERI/associate editor