ADL Disappointed by Passage of Oklahoma Ballot Measure Targeting Islam

Dallas, TX, November 8, 2010 … Calling it "at best unnecessary, and at worst a manifestation of religious intolerance," the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today voiced disappointment over the passage of Oklahoma State Question No. 755. This state constitutional amendment specifically prohibits Oklahoma Courts from using Sharia law – the law of Islam. However, it contains no similar prohibition on other religious laws.

Mark L. Briskman, ADL North Texas Regional Director, issued the following statement:

State Question No. 755 is at best unnecessary, and at worst it is a manifestation of official intolerance for Muslim Americans. This measure is a solution in search of a problem. There is no evidence that Oklahoma Courts are inappropriately using Sharia law or for that matter other religious laws. And if the courts attempted to do so, the federal Establishment Clause would generally bar such a practice.

The question's singling out Islam for disparate treatment in the Oklahoma Constitution is unconstitutional. Furthermore, it conveys messages of mistrust and suspicion, and indirectly encourages dangerous stereotyping and prejudice. The amendment is un-American, wrong, and contrary to our national value of equality for all.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.