WASHINGTON, 9 December 2005 Ã¢?? Here in the United States, witnesses taking the stand in a court of law traditionally are asked to swear to tell the truth Ã¢?? by placing their right hand on the Bible.
So when Muslims in Guilford County, North Carolina, tried to donate copies of the QurÃ¢??an for courtroom use, Chief District Court Judge Joseph Turner rejected the proposal.
Taking an oath on the QurÃ¢??an is not allowed by North Carolina state law, he said, which specifies that witnesses shall place their hands on the Ã¢??Holy Scriptures,Ã¢?Â which he interprets as the Christian Bible.
Ã¢??WeÃ¢??ve been doing it that way for 200 years,Ã¢?Â he told reporters. Ã¢??Until the legislature changes that law, I believe I have to do what IÃ¢??ve been told to do in the statutes.Ã¢?Â
The Council on American-Islamic Relations and the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the decision by the Guilford County Courts.
Ã¢??This was the first time that we had a judge… going on record and stating unilaterally what is a holy scripture and what is not Ã¢?? what we believe to be a violation of the establishment clause,Ã¢?Â said Arsalan Iftikhar, legal director of CAIR.
The anticipated decision comes four months after the ACLU of North Carolina and CAIR filed a lawsuit asking a judge to clarify that state law allows people to swear on religious texts other than the Christian Bible. The lawsuit followed objections made this summer over the inability of Muslims to be sworn in Guilford County courts using the QurÃ¢??an. [article]
Why is CAIR fighting this?! This is like a free pass! It’s like when you were a kid and you’d day dream about what you would do if you had an invisibility cloak and this was long before harry potter came around and……….No?
Was I the only one?
Why should Muslims get to swear on their own book? The Jews don’t. The Hindus don’t? Do they? What comes next? Will athiests demand to use a coloring book?
And who do those Muslims think will pay for the production and distribution of their little luxery? Non-Muslim American tax payers? Tsk Tsk Tsk
“No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities…”
Said Thomas Jefferson
“…As long as their religion is Christianity” He added.
How bout an Archie comic instead? That was for me, the All-American holy cow.
saaleha, lol. believe me, the comic book world is much more controversial than organized religion. if archie was introduced into the courts then the “Jughead” and “besty and veronica” comicbook sects…i mean fans…would be in uproar. Marvel and DC would put up a stink. And the world would be submerged into a chaotic abyss…
these people take their religion…i mean comic books…very seriously. 😀
As a Muslim, I would hate to be forced to take oath on the bible. Perhaps the courts should stop requiring “holy scriptures” at the oath stand. I think CAIR wants to put Muslim issues on the map in America and this is just one way to do that.
Im not sure it should even be required to put your hand on any book. I’m Muslim, and I think as long as I swore by the name of Allah, then putting my hand on the Qur’an or not, wont make a difference. I think everyone should just swear by the name of their God.
I agree with some of the comments above, I also think that Muslims are supposed to believe in all other books, so as a matter of fact Quraan, Bible, or Torah… what difference does it really make? They are supposedly all books of God?! This is a symbolic act, and muslims are supposed to be “good” people who do not lie, so if someone does not care about the symbolism behine this, then even if they gave them 10 copies of the Quraan, they would still lie!
There’s a difference between believing that God (Allah) sent previous revelations to previous communities, and that parts of these revelations are contained in the Taurah or the Bible as a whole, and believing in the Bible or the Tanakh as they are today. (“All other books” would include the Gita and other things that aren’t even mentioned as previous revelations of Allah).
In the United States, you are supposed to be able to raise your right hand and not swear by a deity or put your hand on a book at all. You “swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” without calling upon the help of Allah or whatever a person chooses to worship. In many places, this is completely acceptable, as is using the scripture of one’s religion. The statute in N.C. seems to me to be worded as to accept the Tanakh (the Jewish Bible), the Christian Bible, the Qur’an, and any other scripture a people hold as sacred. These NC judges simply seem to be a part of the growing fundamentalist / evangelical movement taking hold here that would deny the rest of us the right to exist as full citizens alongside them. .
I have lived in North Carolina twice now… and compared to other places I have lived or visited, NC is unfortunately a very backward place to live. It is full of ridiculous ironies (example is Durham, home of the Duke tobacco dynasty AND the ‘City of Medicine’) The natives here cannot even intellectually decide on joining many other states with regard to a Lottery.
About the only thing that keeps me here is a job (and aside from the taxes) a lower cost of living as compared to places I would love to live in (Southern California as an example) but honestly cannot even begin to afford such.
As a potential Muslim (still considering taking my Shahada) I am always interested in making new friends. Please feel free to write me at: RashadKamal@wmconnect.com