UnNews:Florida judge defends decision to apply Islamic law on Muslims
24 March 2011
ORLANDO, Florida -- A Florida judge is defending his decision to apply Islamic law instead of US state or federal statutes in determining whether a punishment was correct, the St. Petersburg Times reports.
The case in question involves the son of a former trustee of a local Tampa mosque, whose name was not disclosed because of his status as a minor. He requested an ice cream cone from a fellow Muslim classmate in return for the loan of $20 the week before, a request that, under Sharia law, is clearly a charge of interest, a crime punishable by the amputation of the left hand (on the first offense).
Hillsborough Circuit Judge Richard Nielsen said that regardless of what US law says, two parties can seek guidance from the Koran to resolve their dispute.
Nielsen said that based on testimony "under ecclesiastical law" and pursuant to the Koran, "Islamic peoples should attempt to resolve a dispute among themselves."
"If Islamic peoples are unable to do so, they can agree to present the dispute to the greater community of Islamic brothers within the mosque or the Muslim community for resolution," he said. “But the Koranic law is clear in the matter, the boy’s hand must be removed as punishment for his unbounded greed and avarice. And yes, we have taken into account the defendant’s age (12).”
Legal observers say there are several cases in which agreements between two parties can supersede Florida's general laws. For example, when a 15-year-old Muslim girl was gang-raped by her twelve cousins, Sharia law makes clear that the girl is to be buried up to her nose in dirt and then stoned to death by onlookers.
"What the judge has said is that he will apply Islamic Law on Muslims, because that is the law of their motherland," Shahzad Ahmed, an attorney with Ne Jame Law Firm in Orlando, told the station. "This concept of following a different set of rules outside of state or federal law is not at all unusual in America. Just look at Congress!"
To defend his ruling, Nielsen issued a decree Tuesday stating: "From now on, all Muslims will be subject to Sharia law regardless of where they live." Nielsen said, according to the St. Petersburg Times. “Now maybe they’ll be less inclined toward usury!”
- Staff "Florida Judge Defends Decision to Apply Islamic Law in Tampa Case". MyFoxOrlando.com, March 24, 2011