Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed Bill 45, known as “American Laws for American Courts,” (ALAC), into law.
According to Breitbart, the bill ensures that only American law will be used in the courts of the state, prohibiting any foreign law, including Sharia.
Representative Jeff Leach (R-Plano), one of the co-authors of the Bill, called the law “vitally important.”
Breitbart reports that representative Dan Flynn (R-Canton), lead author of Bill 45, also tried to pass similar legislation in the past, but failed.
He noted in a press release that divorce orders, child support, property settlements are often dictated by foreign law in Texas.
“My colleagues and I here at the Texas Legislature want to make sure Texas judges never apply foreign law in Texas courts in violation of constitutional rights and the public policy of our state,” he said.
Although Bill 45 does not give any specific examples of what foreign law is, it clarifies that any rule, law, or code from a jurisdiction outside of the United States is considered “foreign law.” The Bill states that in any legal conflicts, “federal or state law prevails.”
This will exclude Sharia Law, meaning that an Islamic Tribunal that was confirmed by Breitbart Texas, will no longer be able to operate.
According to Breitbart Texas, one of the ‘judges,’ Dr. Taher El-badawi, said the tribunal operated under Sharia Law as a form of “non-binding dispute resolution.”
El-Badawi said on the matter of divorce that “while participation in the tribunal is voluntary, a married couple cannot be considered divorced by the Islamic community unless it is granted by the tribunal.”
According to Breitbart Texas, the tribunal’s (now-deleted) website stated that, “the courts of the United States of America are costly and consist of ineffective lawyers. Discontent with the legal system leads many Muslims in America to postpone justice in this world and opt for an audience on the Day of Judgment.”
“It is with this issue that Muslims here in America are obligated to find a way to solve conflicts and disputes according to the principles of Islamic Law and its legal heritage of fairness and justice in a manner that is reasonable and cost effective,” it continued.
Although the participation in this tribunal is voluntary, El-Badawi would not state the consequences of not abiding by the ruling.
The Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called Bill 45 anti-Shariah law and tried to ensure the states Muslim community would oppose the Bill. “We believe it prevents Muslims from practicing their faith in areas such as Islamic marriage, divorce, funeral procedures, and civil agreements,” the council said in a press release.
Texas is the 12th state to enact ALAC.
According to ACT for America, the other states are Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Washington.
The Texas supreme court will have to adopt Bill 45’s rules by January 1, 2018. The law will go into effect on September 1.