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“We were not involved with the creation of the idea,” said Kelly Cook, national field director for AFA, “but we could see that there was confusion among the voters as to what a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ vote meant.”

Mr. Cook also claimed that the Oklahoma attorney general wrote the ballot in an intentionally confusing way. He added that this controversy is not about freedom of religion, but about protecting the Constitution.

Sharia law has already been used in a New Jersey court in a decision that acquitted a Muslim immigrant from Morocco who repeatedly raped his wife based on the rights that Sharia law gives husbands with regard to sexual rights of men and women. An appellate court later reversed the decision, saying that the judge was mistaken in believing that the religious beliefs of the defendant were a valid argument for his acquittal.

“We see evidence already of Sharia law taking root in America,” Mr. Cook said, in reference to the New Jersey case.

The issue of the use of Muslim law in secular courts, combined with charges of disloyalty and Islamization, has become increasingly prominent in recent years throughout Europe and North America as the Muslim propulation in these countries grows.

Sharia courts already exist in Britain, which at last count had 85 Sharia courts operating within its borders. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williamson took some heat for backing these courts and calling the role of Sharia law in the country “unavoidable.”

These courts operate in much the same way as ecclesiastical and rabbinical courts operate in America to resolve private disputes between Catholics and between Jews. In those cases, if the parties voluntarily agree to submit their case for arbitration, the religious court’s ruling generally acquires the force of law if the ruling does not violate some state or federal law.
Indeed, opponents of the referendum point to these accommodations U.S. secular courts already have made to Judaism and Catholicism as proof that Oklahoma’s ballot measure is religious discrimination.

Catholics in America currently can settle disputes that call for a consideration of canon law in Catholic tribunals. These cases mostly deal with divorce and abortion, and the consequences of the rulings mainly deal with a withholding of Holy Communion in divorce cases or excommunication in some abortion cases.

“Civil courts can’t adjudicate canonical matters for a variety of reasons, but among them would be that common law simply knows next to nothing about how canon law works,” said Edward Peters, a canon lawyer and professor at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

Mr. Peters added that canon law “knows how to work with various secular legal systems in a way that respects both lawful civil authority and the integrity of the Catholic faith.”

Many anti-Sharia spokesmen accuse CAIR of secretly trying to bring down American law. Mr. Spencer said, “CAIR … wants to see Islamic law in the United States,” and Mr. Guandolo agreed, saying that “CAIR is a Hamas front.”

The FBI placed surveillance upon CAIR’s founders, and during its 1993 founding meeting, the FBI stated that “all attendees of this meeting were Hamas members.” The group also has been named an unindicted co-conspirator in a court case involving the diversion of Muslim-charity to terrorist groups.

Mr. Awad blames the amendment on what he claims is popular “Islamophobia” in America, but critics of CAIR and Sharia law say that the only reason Americans are wary of Islam is the actions of Muslims influenced by Sharia.

“If there’s suspicions about Muslims in the U.S., the only people to blame are Muslims,” said Mr. Spencer. “People see what Islamic law is … they don’t want Islamic law in the United States, and they vote against it.”