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Arkansas House advances bill seen as anti-Sharia law

by The Associated Press | February 6, 2017 at 5:11 p.m. | Updated February 7, 2017 at 4:30 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas House says judges in the state's courtrooms should use only American-based laws when making decisions, despite complaints that the proposal addresses a problem that doesn't exist.

The bill by Rep. Brandt Smith had passed the House Judiciary Committee despite criticism that it targeted Muslims, even though it doesn't mention Sharia law by name. Some also said the bill improperly infringes on the courts.

Before Monday's 63-24 vote, one lawmaker questioned whether Smith's bill might also prohibit the use of Mosaic law such as the Ten Commandments. Another asked to delay the vote.

Smith told his colleagues that the state's judges could use clarity on what material they should use when weighing cases.

Legislatures in Idaho, Kentucky, Montana and Oregon have seen similar bills this year.

Read Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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