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Florida Judge Defends Decision to Apply Islamic Law in Tampa Case (Islamic States of America)
Fox News ^ | 3/23/2011 | fox news

Posted on 03/23/2011 6:51:37 PM PDT by tobyhill

A Florida judge is defending his controversial decision to apply Islamic law instead of state or federal statutes in determining whether an arbitration award was correct, the St. Petersburg Times reports.

The case in question involves former trustees of a local Tampa mosque, the Islamic Education Center of Tampa, who are suing because they claim they were unfairly removed as trustees.

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Richard Nielsen said that the two parties can seek guidance from the Koran to resolve their dispute, according to MyFoxOrlando.com.

Nielsen said that based on testimony, "under ecclesiastical law," and pursuant to the Koran, "Islamic brothers should attempt to resolve a dispute among themselves."

"If Islamic brothers 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.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: contractlaw; islamiclaw; sharia

1 posted on 03/23/2011 6:51:41 PM PDT by tobyhill
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To: tobyhill; JulieRNR21; Impy; fieldmarshaldj; Cindy

Isn’t this grounds for impeachment?


2 posted on 03/23/2011 6:55:26 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued (Muslims are a people of love, peace, and goodwill, and if you say that they aren't, they'll kill you)
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To: tobyhill

Maybe the judge got so wrapped up in the case that he forgot what country he was in ....


3 posted on 03/23/2011 6:55:41 PM PDT by Ken522
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To: tobyhill

And then again under Islamic Law you can just agree to disagree and then decapitate each other.
Please.


4 posted on 03/23/2011 7:01:49 PM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
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To: tobyhill

If they wanted to use Islamic law to settle the dispute, they should have never taken to a US court, they should have taken it to one of their religious leaders.


5 posted on 03/23/2011 7:06:47 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Islam is the religion of Satan and Mohammed was his minion.)
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To: tobyhill; Larry Lucido; humblegunner; Salamander; Markos33

The judge in this case is simply applying the same principle to the Mohammedans that US Courts have used for years in dealing with Christian Churches.

There is long standing recognition of ecclesiastical autonomy in dealing with internal church matters. For example, the Roman Catholic church has its own legal system, complete with Canon Law and Canon Lawyers.

On the other hand, if someone were to argue that Mohammedanism is not a bona fide religion, but rather a murderous, cultic, death worshiping socio/political movement, which should not be afforded protection of US Law under any premise, then I’d say you had more of a solid case.

But, given the assumption that they have religious standing, this judge’s ruling was absolutely correct.


6 posted on 03/23/2011 7:11:17 PM PDT by shibumi (Vampire Outlaw of the Milky Way)
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To: Clintonfatigued

That is, actually the law. When a religious group appears in court, the law is to look to their internal ‘contract’ first. This is not creeping sharia here. And this is coming from me, a major islamophobe.


7 posted on 03/23/2011 7:11:21 PM PDT by esquirette ("Our hearts are restless until they find rest in Thee." ~ Augustine)
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To: Clintonfatigued

“Isn’t this grounds for impeachment?”

I would think so, but until we elect enough patriot legislators to impeach goat-butt-sniffing traitors, I’d guess this decision will stand.

I’m still amazed by how our chicken gizzard legislators refuse to remove black-robed commies. If we had a patriot history, kids would read how 10,000 judges had been hanged for treason since our founding.


8 posted on 03/23/2011 7:12:22 PM PDT by sergeantdave (The democrat party is a seditious organization and must be outlawed)
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To: shibumi
There was a long thread on this earlier today. The judge didn't need to defend his decision at all. The case involved two parties who had previously signed an agreement to have any disputes by a third-party arbitration process based on sharia law. This is no different than any other arbitration process involving religious groups.

The person who "lost" the arbitration was apparently a "Sore Loserman" and tried to bring a suit in civil court to overturn the prior arbitration decision, and the judge rightly told him to take a hike.

9 posted on 03/23/2011 7:16:13 PM PDT by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: tobyhill

This is nothing new, and is not creeping Sharia. This is simply a doctrine that allows courts to take a pass on getting involved in religious matters. It’s good that everyone is on the lookout, but this doesn’t seem to be a departure from our legal tradition.


10 posted on 03/23/2011 7:17:35 PM PDT by cdcdawg
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To: tobyhill
He's not "applying Islamic law."

He is enforcing the terms of a contract between consenting parties, in this case a Board of Directors.

The fact that one faction of the parties changed their minds doesn't change the contract.

Don't enter into a contract you don't intend to honor.

11 posted on 03/23/2011 7:20:26 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun." -- Barry Soetoro, June 11, 2008)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

‘If they wanted to use Islamic law to settle the dispute, they should have never taken to a US court, they should have taken it to one of their religious leaders”

Exactly! Obviously, the parties were unable to settle their problem according to their religious beliefs; therefore they took it to US courts. Is this judge saying that he is has no jurisdiction and therefore they should use Sharia law? Or does his reliance on Sharia seem to give the court’s imprimatur on the use of Sharia Law?.

Let’s contrast a similar legal issue with Christian churches. For example: The Episcopal church is taking to court (over who owns the church property) those congregations who want to disassociate themselves from the diocese because of fundamental and doctrinal issues. Has any court told these churches to solve their issues using biblical procedure? Or are they suggesting that “biblical” principles be used to determine the outcome?


12 posted on 03/23/2011 7:24:00 PM PDT by t2buckeye
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To: Blood of Tyrants

‘If they wanted to use Islamic law to settle the dispute, they should have never taken to a US court, they should have taken it to one of their religious leaders”

Exactly! Obviously, the parties were unable to settle their problem according to their religious beliefs; therefore they took it to US courts. Is this judge saying that he is has no jurisdiction and therefore they should use Sharia law? Or does his reliance on Sharia seem to give the court’s imprimatur on the use of Sharia Law?.

Let’s contrast a similar legal issue with Christian churches. For example: The Episcopal church is taking to court (over who owns the church property) those congregations who want to disassociate themselves from the diocese because of fundamental and doctrinal issues. Has any court told these churches to solve their issues using biblical procedure? Or are they suggesting that “biblical” principles be used to determine the outcome?


13 posted on 03/23/2011 7:24:23 PM PDT by t2buckeye
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To: tobyhill

Islamic law instead of state or federal statutes in determining whether an “arbitration” award was correct,........................... Isn’t arbitration non judicial? Decided by a panel of uninterested parties? Sounds fishy.


14 posted on 03/23/2011 7:27:26 PM PDT by Bringbackthedraft (I see a dark cloud coming over the horizon, and its reminiscent of 1939.)
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To: tobyhill

You’re a bunch of stupid, ignorant racists and I’ll do whatever I want.

Now pay your taxes - I need a raise. :)

-judge’s defense


15 posted on 03/23/2011 7:28:33 PM PDT by Tzimisce (Never forget that the American Revolution began when the British tried to disarm the colonists.)
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To: esquirette

You are correct, of course. The Fox headline is incorrect and unnecessarily provocative.

The judge did not apply shariah law, the parties themselves applied it.
The judge was not defending his decision, he was merely explaining it.
The decision is not controversial or even a close call; there is nothing to defend.


16 posted on 03/23/2011 7:31:45 PM PDT by frog in a pot (We need a working definition of "domestic enemies" if the oath of office is to have meaning.)
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To: frog in a pot; shibumi

The fallacy in all this is the presumption that this farce is a religion. I agree completely with shibumi, and the comment deserves to be made again:

On the other hand, if someone were to argue that Mohammedanism is not a bona fide religion, but rather a murderous, cultic, death worshiping socio/political movement, which should not be afforded protection of US Law under any premise, then I’d say you had more of a solid case.

But, given the assumption that they have religious standing, this judge’s ruling was absolutely correct.


17 posted on 03/23/2011 7:37:26 PM PDT by esquirette ("Our hearts are restless until they find rest in Thee." ~ Augustine)
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To: shibumi
I believe you are correct in certain aspects, but there is one major problem: One party sued. Ecclesiatic autonomy is for matters internal to the church, that would prevent issues going before the state. The biblical principle (and thus has founded itself in US laws), comes from 1 Cor 6:1-8. The context used by Christians, is that it is a shame to bring a matter between two brothers, into the courts of lost people; in the world system. Therefore, once a case is brought before the courts, one party has decided not to use the internal procedures. At that point, the laws of the land kick in; and the only valid evidences are (1) the by-laws, (2) the constitution of the organization, and (3) the testimony of each witness. Then the state and local laws are applied to settle the dispute. The judge ruled incorrectly. Good discussion.
18 posted on 03/23/2011 7:41:33 PM PDT by Salvavida (The restoration of the U.S.A. starts with filling the pews at every Bible-believing church.)
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To: esquirette; shibumi

You will see from my posting history that I have been unbending in my opinion that islam is a false religion and have no doubt that shariah law is incompatible with our U.S. Constitution, to say nothing of our culture.

But I can reach the result we are discussing without the necessity of acknowledging that islam is a religion.

Suppose you and I have a written agreement to submit any controversy to a jointly approved arbitrator and the agreement further provides the arbitrator will decide the dispute in accordance with the regulations of the American Contract Bridge League.

Suppose further, based on those regulations that the arbitrator finds in your favor and I take it to a judge (and such appeal is allowed by state law). Can there be any doubt as to what the result should be?


19 posted on 03/23/2011 7:59:19 PM PDT by frog in a pot (We need a working definition of "domestic enemies" if the oath of office is to have meaning.)
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To: Salvavida
Then the state and local laws are applied to settle the dispute. The judge ruled incorrectly.

Not if one thinks of this as a contract dispute and, of course, an enforceable arbitration agreement is a contract. Now, if court had determined the parties did not have an enforceable contract it would have looked elsewhere for guidance.

20 posted on 03/23/2011 8:08:52 PM PDT by frog in a pot (We need a working definition of "domestic enemies" if the oath of office is to have meaning.)
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To: frog in a pot

I hear what you are saying, but any contract that is not consistant with the law in that State, or violates any US Federal LAW would be null and void. We can make contracts, but they do not supercede US LAW!


21 posted on 03/23/2011 8:12:55 PM PDT by Kackikat
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To: tobyhill

Why can’t we use American law to overturn his decision and remove him from the bench.


22 posted on 03/23/2011 8:19:13 PM PDT by Revel
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To: tobyhill

DumbA** Judge.

Once it gets used/incorporated, then it becomes precedent — and can be applied to future cases/courts.

Idiot Judge — or maybe that was the intent.


23 posted on 03/23/2011 8:24:30 PM PDT by TomGuy
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To: tobyhill

*


24 posted on 03/23/2011 8:30:47 PM PDT by fightinJAG (I am sick of people adding comments to titles in the title box. Thank you.)
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To: frog in a pot

Correct. But in that case, the court appoints an arbitrator and the two parties are responsible for his/her fees; and then they have to come back to court once an agreement is made.

The key issue is the lawsuit filed. It has to be ajudicated in accordance with state and local laws. It cannot be disposed of using Sharia Law because the petitioner sought relief from the courts; not from the religious establishment.

Now the only other way, and this is not mentioned in the article, is that the judge could have dismissed the case on the basis of the petitioner withdrawing the suit when they came to realize they could settle outside using Sharia law.

At that point, it’s a non-issue. Unless of course, someone is beheaded. I think it comes back to court under a whole new set of laws. :-)


25 posted on 03/23/2011 8:37:21 PM PDT by Salvavida (The restoration of the U.S.A. starts with filling the pews at every Bible-believing church.)
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To: Kackikat

The dispute arises on the claim that one of the parties was unfairly removed as trustee(s).

You are assuming there is a state or federal law that would apply in this instance to determine any unfairness. I don’t think so; but if so, it is likely that would have been brought to the judge’s attention.

My sense from the poorly written article is that they have not yet had a hearing before the arbitrator. If that is true and the award is contrary to some state or federal law, then the disappointed party can be expected to appeal with a “void as against public policy” type of argument as one of their complaints.


26 posted on 03/23/2011 8:46:47 PM PDT by frog in a pot (We need a working definition of "domestic enemies" if the oath of office is to have meaning.)
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To: Salvavida
The key issue is the lawsuit filed.

In my opinion, the key issue before the court was whether the parties were bound by an enforceable arbitration agreement (and I will add here given the tone of the thread, that did not have an unlawful purpose). Once so determined by the judge, he honored that agreement.

You can have the last word.

27 posted on 03/23/2011 8:57:10 PM PDT by frog in a pot (We need a working definition of "domestic enemies" if the oath of office is to have meaning.)
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To: Kackikat

Excuse me, they did have an arbitration hearing and an award was rendered. It was in the first paragraph and I missed it.

So my last sentence in #26 brings us to where the parties are, the losing party took it to the judge and he found no basis for overturning the award.


28 posted on 03/23/2011 9:07:54 PM PDT by frog in a pot (We need a working definition of "domestic enemies" if the oath of office is to have meaning.)
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To: frog in a pot

Someone on another thread (I wish I could remember who so I could give them proper credit) made the analogy to a dispute over a Bridge Tournament Prize. This is no different from the judge saying “You agreed to the official rules of bridge when you entered into and played the tournament. Therefore, the rules of bridge dictate who won.”


29 posted on 03/23/2011 9:09:56 PM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (There are those that break and bend. I'm the other kind.)
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To: BuckeyeTexan

Tournament bridge players are a rough crowd. One little improper movement or word and some of those attractive ladies will stand up and threaten to kick your a$$. {;^)


30 posted on 03/23/2011 9:18:42 PM PDT by frog in a pot (We need a working definition of "domestic enemies" if the oath of office is to have meaning.)
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To: frog in a pot

I see your point.

I was looking at it from a Christian perspective: i.e., a lawsuit should have never been filed because the case should have gone to the greater muslim community when the dispute couldn’t be settled between the two parties: just as the agreement states.

The judge ruled correctly. I guess.


31 posted on 03/23/2011 9:58:32 PM PDT by Salvavida (The restoration of the U.S.A. starts with filling the pews at every Bible-believing church.)
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To: Clintonfatigued

In my option it’s grounds to have his honor committed to a mental hospital.


32 posted on 03/23/2011 10:05:36 PM PDT by Impy (Don't call me red.)
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To: tobyhill; wideawake

As I’ve observed before, it’s just like professional wrestling. We have several “angles” going at once, each with its own “heels.” We have the islamic “angle,” the Hispanic “angle,” the Black militant “angle,” and the homosexual “angle.” Logically, these groups cannot co-exist together and yet there is nary a peep of disharmony in the heels’ dressing room.


33 posted on 03/24/2011 8:18:09 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Velo' `amad 'echad lifneyhem! Velo' `amad 'echad bifneyhem!)
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To: tobyhill
The final arbiter in Islamic law is Kalashnikov.
34 posted on 03/24/2011 9:55:17 AM PDT by Brad from Tennessee (A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

“If they wanted to use Islamic law to settle the dispute, they should have never taken to a US court, they should have taken it to one of their religious leaders.”

Exactly, Judge Nielson should have told them to go away as this is a CIVIL court, not an Islamist court.


35 posted on 03/25/2011 12:06:27 AM PDT by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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To: frog in a pot

“The judge did not apply shariah law, the parties themselves applied it.”

But Judge Nielson said: “This case will proceed under Ecclesiastical Islamic Law.”

In a secular court, this is wrong. They should settle it themselves.


36 posted on 03/25/2011 12:16:23 AM PDT by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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To: Sun; esquirette; Salvavida; shibumi; Kackikat; BuckeyeTexan

Your quote is correct, and the parties may have already settled it themselves. The court has decided it will determine whether they did or not pursuant to “Ecclesiastical Islamic Law.”, and that appears to be appropriate under the law. And here, esquirette was right on the money.

Rather than relying on a reporter’s version of the version of other reporters, here is the judge’s written opinion:
http://www.fljud13.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=Gou70XZCgII%3d&tabid=667&mid=1031

The opinion comes from an emergency hearing, that was requested prior to trial, which is limited to the issue of whether an arbitrator’s award is to be enforced. The hearing does not concern any facts in the underlying lawsuit which may include other complaints. The hearing is not yet concluded and defendant is yet to present its case - which may explain some of the confusing language in the news reports.

The question for the court (in my words) is, “Does religious law or state law apply to enforceability of an arbitration award such as in this instance?”

The court cites FLA case law which hold a trial court could not intervene in an internal church governance dispute. One of the FLA cases also cites the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S Constitution.

It appears the court had no option other than to conclude “as to the question of enforceability of the arbitrator’s award the case [not the lawsuit, the hearing] should proceed under ecclesiastical Islamic law.”

The opinion states the court will require further testimony at the next hearing to determine whether Islamic dispute resolution procedures have been followed in this matter.

Defendants can be expected to argue the resolution procedures were flawed and plan to call 5-7 witnesses. Even if they offer good evidence, IMO at best it would appear the court would likely order them to restart arbitration.

Note to self: “Don’t argue with someone named “esquirette” until you have all the facts.


37 posted on 03/25/2011 12:45:02 PM PDT by frog in a pot (We need a working definition of "domestic enemies" if the oath of office is to have meaning.)
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To: frog in a pot

(Blush) It is all based upon the assumption that this is a religion, which is the ultimate problem.


38 posted on 03/25/2011 12:56:05 PM PDT by esquirette ("Our hearts are restless until they find rest in Thee." ~ Augustine)
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To: esquirette; frog in a pot

Islam is also a political struture. Wouldn’t it be great if the court refused to entertain the matter citing the political question doctrine? (I know, dream on.)


39 posted on 03/25/2011 1:10:10 PM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (There are those that break and bend. I'm the other kind.)
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To: Sun

To be fair, the judge has clarified his position and says that if it comes to trial, he will be using common law to settle the matter, not sharia law. But the question he is being asked should never have been, they want to know if sharia law was followed properly in the divvying of funds. Not exactly his area of expertise but he will attempt to answer the question anyway.


40 posted on 03/25/2011 1:11:33 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Islam is the religion of Satan and Mohammed was his minion.)
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To: BuckeyeTexan; esquirette
I know, dream on.

Well, that dream may become a reality. There is the stated intent, if not overt effort, by the advocates of shariah law to infiltrate out legal system.

While considering the FLA case, I was thinking I should find time to read the reviews about the NJ husband who apparently walked based on his argument he had a shariah right to beat his wife.

Did you watch the moslem on Judge Napolitano's program last night? He argued he was a good moslem that practiced shariah. When challenged, he acknowledged there were parts of shariah law he could not accept.

Kind of like arguing one is a good Christian although some of the 10 Commandments are unacceptable.

As you both suggest, Islam is the Religion of Policial Expediency and it is currently playing our Constitution against us.

Have a good weekend.

41 posted on 03/25/2011 2:06:23 PM PDT by frog in a pot (We need a working definition of "domestic enemies" if the oath of office is to have meaning.)
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To: esquirette; frog in a pot
"It is all based upon the assumption that this is a religion, which is the ultimate problem."

Like some brilliantly insightful poster said upthread a while ago - "...a murderous, cultic, death worshiping socio/political movement, which should not be afforded protection of US Law under any premise..."

(Now who was that guy who said that? heh, heh, heh...)


42 posted on 03/25/2011 6:21:46 PM PDT by shibumi (Vampire Outlaw of the Milky Way)
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To: frog in a pot; Blood of Tyrants

Thanks for your responses, and here’s a bit on both sides of the issue:

“Now it’s not unusual for a dispute to arise within a religious institution and for a court to order a mediation or arbitration, in order to resolve this without the court having to render its own judgment.

But what makes this case unusual, and highly troubling, is that a group of Muslim leaders—the CURRENT mosque leaders—who do NOT want to be subject to sharia law, are being compelled to do so by an American judge”

more http://www.redstate.com/tomtflorida/2011/03/20/sharia-law-has-come-to-florida/

“But SOME (emphasis mine) commenters over at Jihad Watch don’t think this is a blatant example of creeping shariah. For example, commenter TheSSBlock explains that those involved in the case are simply asking the judge to be an arbitrator (something Tillison’s post recognizes), and that isn’t cause for alarm:”

more http://www.theblaze.com/stories/did-shariah-law-just-work-its-way-into-a-florida-court/

You can find same info. at both links, but I used two links to more clearly divide both sides of the issue.


43 posted on 03/25/2011 9:05:22 PM PDT by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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To: Sun; Blood of Tyrants
Again, it seems important for a clear understanding of this situation to rely on the words and facts in the judge’s opinion.

Despite what others (who may have overstayed Friday's Happy Hour) say about the matter:

- The court is not compelling either party to submit to shariah law. If it confirms the award it is merely acknowledging the parties had a preexisting enforceable obligation to submit.

- The court has not ordered arbitration. It may, however, if it finds the parties are bound to church regulated arbitration and the earlier arbitration was conducted improperly.

- No party is asking the judge to arbitrate. Clearly, plaintiffs make no such request. They argue “we have had arbitration, it’s a done deal, please enforce the arbitrator’s award” – which also favorably resolves its underlying lawsuit.
Defendants are not asking for arbitration. When the hearing reconvenes, defendants can be expected to argue “arbitration was not required in this instance but any arbitration that may have occurred was conducted in a manner that violated ‘church’ rules”.

Defendants likely prefer litigation based on civil law for two reasons, first they have already lost in one arbitration proceeding and secondly, arbitration tends to hasten the day they may have to write a big check.

If BofT will indulge me, I will refine his #40.
The court is being asked to confirm that “…sharia law was followed properly in the arbitration process that calculated the divvying of funds.” “…he will attempt to answer the question by requesting and considering the testimony of church officials on the subject.”

44 posted on 03/26/2011 10:40:21 AM PDT by frog in a pot (We need a working definition of "domestic enemies" if the oath of office is to have meaning.)
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