LANSING — State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) sent an invitation to the representatives that sponsored or co-sponsored a controversial bill that would prohibit state courts from using foreign laws — including, but not limited to, Sharia law, Catholic canon, and Jewish Halacha — to meet with the interfaith council in the city of Dearborn. However, religious laws are frequently taken into consideration in state courts, such as marriage, divorce and business arbitrations. Thus, this bill potentially poses serious constitutional issues.
“This proposed legislation is a clear violation of the Establishment Clause, which requires that our government be secular and treat all religions equally,” said Hammoud. “Similar legislation was already ruled unconstitutional in Oklahoma, and this bill perpetuates inaccurate and unjust Islamophobic stereotypes. I wanted to take this opportunity to invite a few of my legislative colleagues to my district to speak directly to the religious community.”
Here is the invitation that Rep. Hammoud sent:
I would like to invite the sponsor, Rep. Hoitenga, and co-sponsors of HB 4499, to meet with the interfaith council in the City of Dearborn. The Dearborn Area Interfaith Network (DAIN) is comprised of leaders from several religions in the community, including Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Their mission is “building bridges for the sake of loving neighbors."
I invite members to have an honest and respectful discussion with community leaders to address any of their questions or concerns, as well as to dispel any negative preconceived notions or stereotypes.
Please contact my office if you are interested in attending. I will do what I can to set the meeting up in accordance with your availability.
Thank you for your consideration!