Brian Nieves: Is GOP Senator's "Civil Liberties" Bill Just Another Anti-Sharia Law Proposal?
State Senator Brian Nieves is worried about the United Nations, as reflected in his proposed legislation against an international sustainable development agreement from 1992. This U.N pledge is not, however, the only foreign offense threatening Missouri, according to the Republican legislator.
via Facebook Brian Nieves
At least it seems that way from his latest bill that opponents say is nothing more than a paranoid, offensive -- and recycled -- proposal to block Sharia law, the religious law of Islam.
"It's been a stunt from the beginning," Sean Soendker Nicholson, executive director of Progress Missouri, tells Daily RFT. "He's demonstrating some sort of disgust with...Islam. There's no actual need for this legislation."
But Nieves says his critics have no idea what they are talking about -- and took to Twitter to vent about it.
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Progress Missouri and Nieves had a lively Twitter debate about Senate Bill 267, which critics say is a clear mirror image of Republican proposals that have cropped up in Missouri in previous years and have been introduced around the country -- all designed to block Sharia law from somehow being imposed on states.
Progress Missouri has done some digging that shows how the language of Nieves' bill is quite similar to the arguments of David Yerushalmi, who has been accused of anti-Muslim bigotry in his arguments that Sharia Law is a major threat to American freedom. (The New York Times has this an-depth story on him.)
"They mirror his model pretty closely," says Nicholson.
As written, SB 267, full version on view below, would create the so-called Civil Liberties Defense Act that "specifies how courts may rule in contractual disputes involving the law of other countries and jurisdictional issues involving other countries." The draft says:
The Missouri general assembly finds that it shall be the public policy of this state to protect its citizens from the application of foreign laws when the application of a foreign law will result in the violation of a right guaranteed by the constitution of this state or of the United States, including, but not limited to, due process, freedom of religion, speech, or press, and any right of privacy.
Here are some excerpts of the tweets Nieves -- who did not return Daily RFT's calls yesterday -- sent about this in response to Progress Missouri:
Continue for more from Progress Missouri and the full draft bill.