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NC Muslims hope Gov. Pat McCrory vetoes anti-Shariah bill

c. 2013 Religion News Service

(RNS) North Carolina Muslims hope they can persuade Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, to veto a bill that prohibits state judges from considering “foreign law.”

“It’s going to be tough,” said Rose Hamid of Charlotte. “But I do believe there is a chance.”

Muslims across the state oppose the bill they think is motivated by intolerance and may potentially infringe on other religious groups. Bills against judicial consideration of “foreign laws” are believed to really be opposing Shariah, or Islamic law.

If McCrory signs the bill, North Carolina would become the seventh state to have an anti-Shariah law, joining Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. In May, Alabama lawmakers approved a like-minded constitutional amendment that state voters will consider in 2014.

“It’s a 50-50 shot,” said Corey Saylor, a spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has sent out a national “action alert” urging Muslims to call and email McCrory to ask him to veto the law. “I’m hopeful that reason will prevail over bigotry and ignorance.”

Jibril Hough, a spokesman for the Islamic Center of Charlotte, said McCrory has met North Carolina Muslims and knows that such a bill inflames hostility against Muslims. The bill doesn’t specifically mention Shariah law, but it’s clearly aimed at the legal system based on Islamic teachings.

“He knows what Islam is about, and how this might hurt Muslims here,” said Hough, who said he was trying to get a meeting with McCrory about the bill.

“But he’s also a politician.”