SC bill would nullify Islamic law in state courts

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A South Carolina proposal would prevent the state's courts from enforcing foreign law, including Islamic Sharia law, though Muslim advocates say it could essentially ban religion from mundane matters such as weddings and even burials.

The bill makes no reference to a specific religion or country, though its sponsors acknowledge they worry about the ultraconservative tenets of Sharia law, or Islamic religious law.

At least 13 states have introduced similar measures this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Senator Mike Fair, a Greenville Republican who is the bill's main sponsor, said there was a need to clarify that cultural customs or foreign laws don't trump U.S. laws.

Muslim advocates, however, fear the law could essentially ban mundane religious practices in legal documents like wills, which may distribute property based on Islamic traditions.

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