Posted by on April 24, 2013 in Blog

By Jennine Vari

Spring 2013 Intern

In March, the Florida State Senate introduced an anti-Sharia bill “Application of Foreign Law in Certain Cases,” or SB58. The Florida House version of this bill (HB 351) has already passed, and the Senate Rules Committee could vote on SB58 any day. As it stands right now, if SB58 passes the Rules Committee and gets to the Senate floor, it will likely pass the Senate.

We can’t let that happen.

Here is a bit more about SB58 and the implications it has for religious freedom, not just for members of our community, but for other Americans as well:

SB58, is modeled after anti-Muslim advocate David Yerushalmi’s legislation, which prompted anti-Sharia copycat legislation in 15 states. Despite opposition from the American Bar Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Anti-Defamation League, the main proponent of  SB58 in the Florida Senate, Sen. Alan Hays, is still attempting to garner support for his legislation by distributing booklets in the FL State Senate entitled “Shari’ah Law: Radical Islam’s Threat to the US Constitution.” This “education” is nothing more than fear-mongering which attempts to ostracize Arab Americans and American Muslims, and as it turns out, American Jews as well who under this bill, wouldn’t be able to seek a divorce in accordance to orthodox custom.

The authors of SB58 claim the bill will protect Florida and the Constitution from the imposition of “foreign laws,” but it does nothing other than discriminate on the basis of religion. This bill is bad for Florida and bad for the country.

TAKE ACTION: Tell your state Senator to vote against SB58.


We are very pleased to tell you that Sen. Alan Hays’ latest attempt to pass SB 58 failed in the State Senate last week. This is the third year that Sen. Hays has submitted an anti-Sharia bill, and the third year that AAI members have helped ensure it doesn’t get passed.

A big thank you to all the members and supporters who spoke up and told their Senators to vote “No” on the bill. This victory belongs to you!

We’ll continue to keep an eye out for what’s on the Florida Legislature’s agenda, and we’ll keep you posted. For now, enjoy this well-earned win!


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