Pierre, SD – A bi-partisan group of state legislators have united behind to two bills that would protect South Dakotans from dangerous and risky foreign laws. The first bill, SB 201, would prohibit South Dakota courts from using dangerous foreign laws that deprive parties of the same fundamental rights granted under the constitutions of the United States and the State of South Dakota. The second bill, SB 170, would require investment products to carry a disclosure if the security is controlled by risky foreign laws.
State Senator Dan Lederman, stated, “Invoking Shariah law, in criminal and especially in civil cases, is a means of imposing an agenda on the American people while circumventing the US and state constitutions by using foreign laws which do not recognize our constitutional rights and liberties in US courts. It’s a hostile foreign law that has no place in American courts.”
State Senator Reid Holien, supporter of SB 201 in the Senate announced, “I have seen first-hand the evils of Shariah while in Europe. Now I’m concerned because people have tried using it in courtrooms around America. I’m very concerned that many who use Shariah as a defense are often trying to justify criminal and violent behavior. Or in the case of civil proceedings they are trying to justify forced marriages. The bottom line is that we can’t let people use dangerous foreign laws in state courts.”
Representative Manny Steele from Sioux Falls is also concerned about the proliferation of dangerous laws that run counter to American rights and liberties. “I have deep concerns about the use of any foreign law in a South Dakota courtroom that condones violence and abuse. America is a tolerant nation and our courts should not be endorsing or condoning the use of foreign laws like Shariah or any other.”
Most recently, supporters of Shariah have attempted to use it in over eleven American state courts as a defense in criminal and civil proceedings. For example, civil claims attempted by proponents of Shariah include the defense of such atrocities as forced child marriages, polygamy, and harsh “prenuptial penalties”for women and children in divorce and child custody cases.
Another area of great concern to legislators is the proliferation of risky foreign investments in the post 9-11 world. In light of those concerns, legislators have joined together in support of SB 170 which would require foreign-controlled investment products sold in South Dakota to carry a disclosure to investors.
Shariah Compliant Finance funds have exponentially multiplied in the last decade. And so have the concerns about where those investment dollars are going. For example, recent federal investigations like the Holy Land Foundation case have shown that Shariah Compliant Finance funds have contributed investment funds to Islamic charities which in turn have funded terrorism including the 9-11 attacks.
Representative Charlie Hoffman from Eureka is concerned that certain investment funds are pouring dollars into charities which subsequently fund terrorism. “At the state level we are limited in what we can do for national security, but what we can do for our country when it comes to the financing of international terrorism, is require investment products controlled by foreign laws such as Shariah to carry a disclosure so South Dakota investors know what they are potentially investing in.”
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