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NC Judge: Witnesses Can Take Oath On Quran

From those defenders of the faith at the Associated Press:

Court witnesses can take oath on Quran or any religious text, judge says

May 24, 2007

RALEIGH, North Carolina: Witnesses and jurors being sworn in at North Carolina courthouses can take their oath on the Quran or any other religious text,a judge ruled Thursday following a legal challenge that argued limiting the oath to the Bible alone was unconstitutional.

The ruling came after the American Civil Liberties Union argued that restricting the oaths to the Bible favored Christianity over other religions.

The question surfaced after Muslims tried to donate copies of the Quran to Guilford County’s two courthouses. Two judges declined to accept the texts, saying that taking an oath on the Quran was illegal under state law.

The issue drew national attention in January when the first Muslim elected to U.S. Congress took a ceremonial oath with a Quran once owned by Thomas Jefferson.

State law currently allows witnesses to take their oath in three ways: by laying a hand over “the Holy Scriptures,” by saying “so help me God” without the use of a religious book, or by an affirmation using no religious symbols.

The group sought a court order clarifying that the law was broad enough to allow the use of multiple religious texts, or else declaring the statute unconstitutional.

Though the judge stopped short of that, the ACLU still considered the ruling “a great victory.”

“As of today all people can use the holy text of their choice,” said Seth Cohen, an ACLU attorney who argued the case.

“We welcome this ruling as an expression of our nation’s constitutional commitment to religious diversity and tolerance,” said Arsalan Iftikhar, legal director for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The ACLU said six other states have similar laws that favor the Bible in courtrooms: Arkansas, Delaware, Kansas, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

In North Carolina, it is rare for someone taking an oath at one of the state’s 108 court facilities to request an alternative to the Bible, said Dick Ellis, a spokesman for the state Administrative Office of the Courts.

A trial court judge initially dismissed the ACLU’s suit in December 2005, ruling it was moot because there was no actual controversy at the time.

An appeals court panel allowed the case to go forward in January, after the ACLU added Syidah Mateen as a plaintiff. In its decision, the appeals court cited Mateen’s claim that her request to place her hand on the Quran as a witness in a domestic violence case was denied in 2003.

During a hearing this month, state attorneys asked the judge to dismiss the case, calling the complaint political.

The state has 30 days to appeal Thursday’s ruling and is reviewing it, said Noelle Talley, spokeswoman for the state attorney general.

Never mind that the Quran (Koran) proclaims that it is perfectly acceptible (even advisable) to lie to and/or about infidels.

The ACLU’s destruction of our country marches on unabated.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, May 25th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “NC Judge: Witnesses Can Take Oath On Quran”

  1. jrmcdonald says:

    The Quran allows lying when a Muslim is speaking to a non Muslim. Tell the ACLU all faiths are not equal.

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