Texas Enacts (Governor Signed) ‘Anti-Sharia’ Law: House Bill 45, “American Laws for American Courts”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law House Bill 45, more commonly known as “American Laws for American Courts,” or ALAC. It prohibits the use of any foreign law in the state’s courts, specifically in family cases that involve marriage or parent-child relationship matters.
HB 45 makes no mention of any particular foreign nation, religion, or cultural practice but clarifies that “foreign law” means a rule, law, or code from a jurisdiction outside of the United States and it shall not override U.S and Texas law or their respective constitutions. It specifies that a “foreign judgment” means a ruling from a court, tribunal, or administrative adjudicator outside U.S. states and territories. The bill underscores that, in the event of any legal conflicts, “federal or state law prevails.”
The Texas chapter of the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called HB 45 anti-Sharia law and lobbied for the state’s Muslim community to oppose the bill. “We believe it prevents Muslims from practicing their faith in areas such as Islamic marriage, divorce, funeral procedures, and civil agreements, they said in a press release.
In January 2015, Breitbart Texas confirmed in a report that an Islamic tribunal using Sharia law operated in Dallas. Dr. Taher El-badawi, one of four attorneys who called themselves “judges” and not arbitrators, claimed the tribunal and its decisions were “voluntary.” El-badawi said the tribunal operated under Sharia as a form of “non-binding dispute resolution” in civil disputes in family and business cases but also admitted that when in conflict between Sharia and Texas law, “we follow Sharia law.”
Texas is the 12th state to enact ALAC. The other states are Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Washington.