Dancer bill stops Sharia law from being used in NJ courts to harm women and girls

Dancer bill stops Sharia law from being used in NJ courts to harm women and girls

Ron Dancer

TRENTON, N.J. – As Afghan women flee the country in fear for their safety and freedom following the Taliban takeover, Assemblyman Ron Dancer is fighting to protect the rights of women and girls in our state. His bill would prohibit foreign law from being enforced in New Jersey if it violates the U.S. Constitution or conflicts with federal or state law.   

Dancer’s legislation springs from a 2009 family court decision that denied a New Jersey woman’s restraining order against her Moroccan husband who claimed he was following Sharia law when he sexually forced himself upon her. Ultimately, the state Appellate Division of the Superior Court overruled the decision, because New Jersey law considers coerced sex between married people to be rape.

“The rights and liberties guaranteed to us by the Constitution should be safeguarded from foreign law, no matter your sex, color or creed,” Dancer (R-Ocean) said. “This bill is meant to ensure that every citizen in this state is treated equally under the law. It’s about preventing appalling decisions like the 2009 ruling from happening again, and preserving freedom and justice for all.”

The people of Afghanistan, particularly the women and girls, fear a return to the Taliban regime of 1996 through 2001 that conducted public stonings and amputations, confined women to their homes and banned girls from school. The Taliban’s strict interpretation of Islam’s legal system, Sharia law, was used as justification.

The bill (A3770) would codify the appellate court’s ruling. It has been referred to the Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee.