Another Unnecessary Fear-Mongering Bill

Another Unnecessary Fear-Mongering Bill April 21, 2017

A Michigan Republican legislator is proposing yet another pointless bill that will be useful to use for demagoguery during the next campaign, this time a bill that would forbid the use of foreign law by Michigan courts, something already not allowed except in contractual situations.


Michigan residents would be banned from using other countries’ laws in court under a bill proposed by Rep. Michele Hoitenga, R-Manton, according to an email obtained by MLive.

In an email sent to state lawmakers seeking co-sponsors on Monday, Hoitenga said her bill doesn’t specifically mention Sharia Law, but wrote that it would include the religious law association with Islam.

“If you have not heard by now, a doctor in Detroit is being charged with operating an underground clinic that actively engaged in genital mutilation on young girls, essentially practicing a fundamentalist version of Sharia Law,” Hoitenga wrote in the email.

The doctor she references is Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, 44, who federal prosecutors accuse of having performed female genital mutilations at a Detroit-area clinic.

A terrible crime, but one that has precisely nothing to do with any such bill. The doctor cannot cite foreign law, much less Sharia law, in her defense. That’s the status quo.

In a statement to MLive, Hoitenga clarified that the legislation referred to recognition in courts, and was not specific to Sharia law.

“This legislation does not target any specific group or religion, it simply clarifies that foreign laws that are inconsistent with American laws will not be recognized in our courts,” Hoitenga said in the statement.

“It’s important to affirm our state and federal constitutions and the freedoms they provide, as they are constantly under assault. A clear message must be sent that our state will not tolerate the application of any law that would result in inhumane actions against women and children, even if such are accepted in other countries.”

Nonsense. That is already the law and it has always been so. Just like the proposed bill to “protect” the already-existing right of clergy to refuse to perform same-sex weddings, there is one and only one goal here — to give the sponsors an issue to demagogue in their next election. “My opponent thinks that Muslims should be able to engage in female genital mutilation in this state without being prosecuted” will be the lie they tell based on opposition to this bill. Pure fear-mongering.

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