Sunday, March 18, 2012


NJ Muslims Thank Lawmaker for Withdrawing Anti-Sharia Bill

(PATERSON, NJ, March 12, 2012) -- Leaders of the New Jersey Muslim community today thanked Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi for her decision to withdraw bill A-919, which would have prohibited "application of foreign laws," from further consideration by that state's legislature.

Assemblywoman Schepisi, who represents the 39th legislative district in Bergen and Passaic Counties, introduced the bill in late 2011. It was originally introduced in 2010 by Assemblywoman Charlotte Vandervalk. Bills with similar language have been promoted by those seeking to target Sharia, or Islamic principles.

SEE: Bans on Court Use of Sharia/International Law
David Yerushalmi: A Driving Force Behind Anti-Sharia Efforts
Meet the White Supremacist Leading the GOP's Anti-Sharia Crusade

Anti-Sharia bills were recently withdrawn or failed to pass in Minnesota, Georgia and Florida.

CAIR: Minn. Lawmaker Drops Anti-Sharia Bill
CAIR Hails 'Sharia' Victory in Florida

"This is a wise decision by the esteemed assemblywoman," said Dr. Aref Assaf, president of the American Arab Forum, a think-tank based in Paterson, N.J. "Of course we want our Constitution to be the supreme law of the land. New Jersey need not follow other states that have either passed or attempted to pass similar legislation that has the principal objective of demonizing the faith of millions of American Muslims."

"Rather than strengthening constitutional protections, these bills undoubtedly violate religious freedom and weaken the independence of our courts," said Council on Amerinca-Islamic Relations-New Jersey Chair Nadia Kahf. "We thank Assemblywoman Schepisi for her decision in support of religious freedom and constitutional rights."

The American Arab Forum is the leading Arab-American organization in New Jersey. Its focus is to proactively advocate for Arab and Muslim-American affairs. GO

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: American Arab Forum President Aref Assaf, 973-960-2673,; CAIR-NJ Chair Nadia Kahf, 973-901-1618, E-Mail:

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