Last January I wrote about the efforts of Tea Partier extraordinaire, Rep. Paul Curtman (R-105), to introduce into Missouri law Anti-Sharia prohibitons on the order of those found unconstitutional in Oklahoma last year. I observed about Curtman’s legislative forays at the time that:
… it was pretty easy to dismiss his anti-Sharia bill out-of-hand, although it’s difficult to say if that will be the case in the lege given some of their recent antics.
Indeed. The House will soon debate Curtman’s anti-sharia law while pretending, as in the past, that it’s anything but an effort to diss Muslims – a difficult thing to do when, according to reports, earlier debates of the same bill introduced last year centered on almost nothing but Sharia. Curtman will no doubt persist in hiding behind behind an understanding of the Constitution that seems to have been derived from the comic book version of the document:
This bill is about one thing and one thing only, and that is to protect the fundamental rights that are guaranteed to our citizens under our founding documents, in the federal constitution and in our state constitution.
Actually, there’s lots of guarantees in the Constitution that this law abrogates. Try the Freedom of Religion Clause in the 1st Amendment. And, for the record, Sharia is religious law, not “foreign” law which Curtman & Co. claim to be worried about – not that international law can’t be constitutionally recognized in U.S. courts. We couldn’t have international commerce if that were the case.
All of which is to beg the biggest problem with this type of legislation. In San Diego recently, an Iraqi Muslim woman died after being found, brutally beaten, in her home with a note which, according to her daughter, read “Go back to your country, you terrorist.” Muslims are scarcer in Missouri, but we’ve still had examples of bigotry in action such as vandalism at a local mosque. So tell me, how is stupidity like Curtman’s little exercise doing anything more than feeding the prejudice that results in such actions? And while you’re at it, tell me how this level of ignorance is allowed to go unchecked in the state capital?
*Corrected for accuracy.