Florida Judge Will Consult Islamic Law in Suit

He'll use it in case involving mosque, fired trustees
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2011 2:58 PM CDT
Florida Judge Will Consult Islamic Law in Suit
Photo illustration: A Florida judge will use Islamic law to settle part of a case involving a mosque and ousted trustees.   (Shutterstock)

A judge in Florida trying to resolve a convoluted case involving a mosque and four of its fired trustees says he will consult Islamic law to settle one aspect of the case, reports the St. Petersburg Times. The decision is drawing flak from conservative bloggers who say sharia is being used in American courts, and even the mosque itself disagrees with the move. "The mosque believes wholeheartedly in the Koran and its teachings," says its attorney. "They certainly follow Islamic law in connection with their spiritual endeavors. But with respect to secular endeavors, they believe Florida law should apply in Florida courts."

Specifically, the judge says he will use Ecclesiastical Islamic Law to determine whether the mosque and the trustees "properly followed the teachings of the Koran in obtaining an arbitration decision from an Islamic scholar," explains the Times. The judge says he will use the law to determine only whether the arbitration is legitimate and should be binding. (The trustees are suing because they say they were improperly fired.) Legal scholars have mixed opinions on whether the judge is doing the right thing. Click for the full background. (Read more Tampa stories.)

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