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AG Legal Opinion: Texas Courts Don’t Have To Adhere To Sharia Law

Ryan Poppe

The latest opinion from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says that family courts in the state do not have to adhere to foreign laws when settling a case, including those involving Sharia Law.  While the opinion includes all foreign laws, Muslim-American support groups are calling it an anti-Islamic stance.




Paxton’s opinion that was released Wednesday says that Texas family courts are not required to enforce the rulings and/or laws of a foreign country if they violate or contrast Texas laws, including the use of Sharia Law in family disputes and custody hearings.


Canton Republican Rep. Dan Flynn requested the Attorney General’s opinion late last year.  He also authored a bill in 2015 that would’ve banned the enforcement of all foreign laws in Texas if they contradicted the state constitution. The bill ultimately died, but Flynn says he plans to revive his efforts during the 2017 legislative session.


“You come to this country because you like how you can be successful, you like how you can be free, so don’t bring your cultural items here and expect us to change," Flynn says.


While some Islamic supporters call the latest opinion and proposed legislation anti-Islamic in nature, Flynn says his opinion request and legislation doesn’t single out Muslims. He says he only wants to ensure that US federal and state laws are being enforced on Texas soil.


Sawat Hussein with the San Antonio Council on American Islamic Relations says no Muslim-American is fighting to have Sharia law recognized in Texas.  She calls the legal opinion unnecessary.


“We know according to the Koran, according to Islam we have to abide by the rules of the land where we live," Hussein explains.


Hussein says culturally most Muslim families will work out their differences while consulting an Imam from their local mosque before taking their case to a court of law. 

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.