Use of Islamic law OK in civil case, judge rules

Published: October 25, 2011

A state appeals court has ruled that a Hillsborough County Circuit judge can consider Islamic law to decide a civil case between a mosque and its former trustees.

The decision by the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Lakeland to decline the appeal of the Islamic Education Center of Tampa sends the case back to Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Richard A. Nielsen. Nielsen’s decision in March to allow the case to proceed under “ecclesiastical Islamic law” drew national attention when the ruling was criticized by conservative bloggers.

The case has its roots in 2002, when the mosque ousted four of its founding members; those founding members later sued the mosque. One of the main issues of dispute was who would be responsible for how to spend $2.5 million Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise had paid the mosque for 3.4 acres needed to widen Veterans Expressway.

When he made his March ruling, Nielsen said courts have ruled “that ecclesiastical law controls certain relations between members of a religious organization, whether a church, synagogue, temple or mosque.”

The uproar over the ruling went overboard, said Lee Segal, a Clearwater attorney representing the ousted trustees. He said the ruling follows established legal precedent and does not mean Nielsen is allowing Islamic law to trump U.S. law.

“When the parties agree (before the trial that) they are bound to Islamic law, they can be bound to Islamic law,” Segal said. “As long as what you are agreeing to doesn’t violate the constitution of the United States, you can apply any type of law.”

Though the issue of Islamic law has garnered attention, the legal fight over the lawsuit is complicated, with much of it revolving around the arbitration process.

On Monday, Paul Thanasides, the attorney for the mosque, filed a new motion to dismiss the case because of lack of jurisdiction.

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About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

7 Replies to “Use of Islamic law OK in civil case, judge rules”

  1. There is going to be an uproar, what is really scary is that when several states have passed laws or amendments to their Constitutions saying only US law can be used in US courts the liberal Judges have declared them unconstitutional.

  2. they are making head way in to America. Something more serious has to be done. I wish I could estimate the “point of no return” and people could know about it. its as if this stuff is not urgent.

  3. Although Newt Gingrich’s personal marital history reflects poorly on potential integrity, and as much as it will be difficult for conservative’s to overlook an abundance of Gingrich’s historic flaws

    (NY ’10 Scozzofava interference , sharing the bench w/Pelosi re:man-made global warming , and going way back – statism support reflected in 8 book reading list he provided to congress on which was “The Third Wave” by Alvin Toffler, a very progressive book which in chapter 28 calls the constitution obsolete requiring a new vision. AND Newt also wrote the forward for another of Toffler’s published works, ““Creating a New Civilization” … disturbing associations for a “conservative”.

    Gingrich’s superior intellect however, IS reflected in this, his latest campaign –>solidly constitutional. Newt Gingrich – Exposes America’s Cancer

    This is Newt Gingrich’s speech at The Values Voters Summit on October 7, 2011. Here he exposes many profound realities that combine to produce the tumor of the cancer that has been eating away at America for decades now.
    The full excerpt is about 15 minutes. Also for sake of brevity and importance, the most outstanding points are each made available on a separate clips:
    Newt Gingrich – Exposes America’s Cancer

    Newt – Judges Arrogance

    Newt – Courts out of Touch & Unconstitutional

    Newt – It’s Their Opinion Only

    Newt – Law Schools

    Newt – The Lawyer Class

    Newt – Solutions -Judicuary Opposite American Traditions

    Newt – Closing – Reclaim America

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