Is Adam Hasner running for Senate on an anti-Sharia platform?


Looks like it, if you watch this video posted by the Shark Tank, a website tracking Sunshine State politics.

Here’s the relevant grab:

A judge within the state of Florida in judging on litigation between citizens in a Florida state court announced that the decision was going to be based on Islamic law. That is not suporting the United States constitution or the constitution of the state of Florida. We need to speak out. we need to make sure that these threats do not contiunue to grow, do not continue to infiltrate our state and our country.

Okay: I’ve known Hasner for a number of years, he’s smart, affable and a successful pol, a rising Jewish GOP star. He wants Bill Nelson’s job as of Jan. 1 2013, although he’s not yet formally running. I look forward to covering the race.

Hasner wants red meat.

The problem is, it ain’t kosher.

Here’s a story on the case, from the St. Petersburg Times. It appears to boil down to this: Four ex-trustees of a mosque agreed to arbitration by an Islamic scholar and to drop their lawsuit against sitting trustees. They dropped that lawsuit and the arbitration took place — but they also sued the mosque. 

Judge Richard Nielsen’s dilemma: Did the sides abide by the Islamic arbitration? Was the arbiter fair?

The judge said he needs to address these questions before the case comes to trial. He’s made crystal clear that if and when it comes to trial, Islamic law will not apply in his courtroom:

In an appeal of the judge’s decision, [the mosque’s attorney] Thanasides wrote, "The First Amendment restricts courts’ authority to review, interpret and apply religious law because these actions interfere with a party’s right to choose, free from state involvement, the religious dogma it will follow."

The judge said he would use Islamic law to decide only the legitimacy of arbitration.

"What law would we be applying (at) trial?" Thanasides asked.

"That trial would be civil law," the judge said. "Florida law."

So: The judge wants to assess if actions surrounding an earlier attempt to settle this matter were made in good faith. This means assessing whether the plaintiffs, the defendants and the arbiter acted according to the agreed-upon precepts. Those precepts happen to be the Koran.

Once that’s out of the way, no more Koran, at least not in determinative terms.

The mosque is aggressively rejecting this approach on constitutional grounds, which is a little weird considering its sitting trustees had agreed to an arbitration according to Koranic precepts, but okay: Defense lawyers seek the best defense, however inconsistent it may be with their clients’ prior actions.

That doesn’t mean Hasner is making sense.

What exactly is the constitutional question here? Should a court ignore religious agreements in deciding on cases of civil law?

What does that do to the state laws that condition civil divorces by Jewish couples to the granting and receipt of a "get," a religious divorce?

Are no religious considerations to be considered by a court? If a kosher caterer provides treif meat, do you just grin and bear it? Should there not be redress? But how could there be redress if the court is barred from considering Leviticus?

And what’s the "threat?" Who’s being "threatened" in this case? And what "infiltration?" This is Nielsen’s decison — is Hasner saying the judge is a secret Muslim?

Two preemptive counterarguments:

"Islam discriminates against women/Jews/Christians/you name it." So, for instance, do the halachic laws of divorce discriminate against women, even under the circumstances that Jewish feminists have endorsed in order to prevent the phenomena of agunot, women who have not receieved gets from recalcitrant husbands. The halacha still stands that on Orthodox batei din, the judges are all men; it still stands that if the women bear children before the process is completed, the children are ostracized as mamzers. No such stigma attaches to the man’s children. And really, this one is beside the point: If parties agree to a religious arbitration, they agree to a religious arbitration.

"Judeo-Christian nation." Hasner walks into this one too, later in the video. There’s no free pass for us "Judeo-Christians." There is no establishment of religion, or two religions, period. And explain to me how, constitutionally, you keep Islamic divorce law forever banished from the courts, but allow in halachic divorce law.

You can hear from the video that this red meat works, it gets votes, but it also comes back to poison us. Witness the Jews held over on Alaska Airlines for laying tefillin.

We are all strangers in America. It may be what makes this country work.

Recommended from JTA