In short, the bill, which is based upon model legislation published by Public Policy Alliance, would prevent an Alaskan's constitutional rights to be impeded in any way by the application of foreign law. A court, arbitrator, mediator, administrative agency, or enforcement agency could not apply a foreign law if application of the foreign law would violate an individual's right guaranteed by the Constitution of the State of Alaska or the United States Constitution. Rep. Gatto defines "foreign law" as a law, rule, or legal code or system established and used or applied in a jurisdiction outside of the United States and the territories of the United States.
Read the full text of HB88 HERE. It is in his sponsor statement that Rep. Gatto mentions "Sharia". Gatto writes, in part:
One example of an offending transnational law is sharia - authoritative Islamic law that is applied as the law of the land in many countries around the world. Sharia is patently offensive to U.S. and Alaska constitutional law because it criminalizes apostasy (violation of Free Exercise of Religion) and blasphemy against Islam, Mohammed, and sharia itself (violation of Free Speech). Sharia also violates principles of due process and equal protection by discriminating against non-Muslims and women.
Countries that apply sharia as the law of the land include Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, and Somalia. Many Muslim countries apply sharia as the law of the land in specific legal areas such as family law and inheritance. Examples of these countries and political regimes include Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, parts of Indonesia, Gaza, Jordan, and Yemen. In addition, just about all Muslim countries have a de jure or de facto sharia supremacy clause which effectively does not allow any "secular" law to violate sharia's fundamental principles of Islamic supremacy. Countries of this type include such "moderate" countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Afghanistan, and even Iraq.
Another example not mentioned by Gatto would be Europe's odious Holocaust Denial laws, which trample upon free speech. Passage of HB88 would make it more difficult for a nation with Holocaust Denial laws to make any claims against Alaskan journalists or bloggers who engage in public disputation about the Holocaust.
But even though neither Islam nor Sharia are mentioned in the bill, merely exemplifying Sharia in the sponsor statement was enough to set off the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which issued a hysterical statment entitled "CAIR: ALASKA LAWMAKER SMEARS AMERICAN MUSLIMS - Anti-Sharia bill sponsor claims Middle Easterners 'occupy' neighborhoods, 'establish their own laws'". CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor wrote "The level of anti-Muslim fear-mongering coming primarily from some elements within the Republican party is really getting out of hand. If passed, this bill and others like it across the nation would result in government-sanctioned discrimination against a minority faith. Moderates in the Republican Party must stand up and return the GOP to the anti-discrimination principles of Abraham Lincoln."
Other states known to have introduced or are contemplating anti-Sharia legislation include Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Florida, and South Dakota.
The fact is that while Islam in the United States is neither separatist nor supremacist for the most part, except in isolated places like Dearborn, MI where they've become numerous, the same cannot be said elsewhere in the world. In the Middle East, where Islam is overwhelmingly predominant, it is clearly supremacist, frequently levying barbaric punishments such as amputation, stoning, and clitoral circumcision in some of the more fundamentalist countries like Saudi Arabia. Christians, if permitted to practice at all, tend to be third-class citizens, behind even Jews in the social and political pecking order. The Middle East is one of two major areas in the world where no official indigenous presence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is permitted (the other is China), although LDS foreigners in the host countries may be permitted to assemble and worship privately. Furthermore, the so-called "orchestrated revolutions" taking place in Middle Eastern countries are suspiciously viewed by some as a precursor to the possible resurrection of the ancient Muslim regional caliphate; this development could place Israel in mortal danger.
In Europe, where Muslims aren't predominant, Islam has acquired a separatist character. Many Muslims transform their neighborhoods into no-go areas for other people and even the cops. The Act For America website claims this is becoming a widespread practice. The people who chimped out and repeatedly rioted in France, burning hundreds of cars, are predominantly Muslim. In the United Kingdom, some public schools force all students to eat halal meat regardless of religion; while there's nothing dangerous about halal meat, it does impose an Islamic practice upon non-Muslims.
One of the Anchorage Daily News' Alaska Voices columnists is a U.S. Navy veteran who converted to Islam, Al-Hajj Frederick H. Minshall ("Al-Hajj" designates a Muslim who's made a pilgrimage to Mecca). Minshall has not yet weighed in on HB88 but I expect him to publish his thoughts within the next couple of days. The most noticeable Islamic presence in Alaska is in Anchorage; the first mosque, or masjid in Alaska is currently under construction.