A new chapter in the age-old debate about the role of religion in government is playing out in Oklahoma this month as a federal judge considers the constitutionality of a ballot initiative that forbids state courts from considering Islamic Shariah law in their decisions.

Although sponsors of the measure produced no evidence that Shariah law — the body of law based on the Koran and the religion of Islam — is actually being used in the courts, voters approved the measure by a 70 percent margin Nov. 2.

State Senator Rex Conrad, who penned the legislation, told the Los Angeles Times, “Oklahoma does not have that problem yet? … But why wait until it’s in the Courts?”

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