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.