The Edmond Sun

Nation & World

April 22, 2014

3 Senate candidates say no to Sharia law

EDMOND — EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one of a series of stories covering the Republican debate for the U.S. Senate race to fill the unexpired term of retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn.

Whether to deport non-citizen Muslim men in the U.S. who believe violence is justified by Sharia law was a question asked to three of the seven Republicans running for the U.S. Senate.

The Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee hosted a debate recently in Oklahoma City. The office is being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn.

Congressman James Lankford said Great Britain has experimented with allowing certain pockets of their nation to function under Sharia law.

“We should adamantly, adamantly oppose it in the United States,” said Lankford, who visited a Sharia community in Great Britain.

Lankford said that he was warned by law enforcement there that they do not patrol the area.

Americans believe in freedom of religion as it is protected by the U.S. Constitution, he said.

“But Islam is different when in its most radical form because it’s not a religion. It’s a governmental system,” said Lankford, 46. “And they require a governmental control as well as religious control.”

A person has a right to their faith but do not have the right to take over the U.S. government and that should be prohibited, said Lankford, an Edmond resident.

Sharia law does not recognize the laws of the state of Oklahoma or the U.S., said former state Sen. Randy Brogdon, 60, of Owasso.

“I believe we should protect the citizens of our state first,” Brogdon said. “And protect the citizens of this country against any kind of insurgency against another unlawful regime.”

Former state Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon said U.S. borders must be secured in Oklahoma and in the U.S. before there is talk of deporting anybody. Shannon said he was the House Speaker when the Legislature voted for Sharia law to be kept out of the court system.

“If somebody’s posing a threat to this country and they’re not supposed to be here — we should get rid of them,” Shannon said. “There’s no question about that.”

The bigger issue is immigration, said Shannon, 36.

“We should say no to amnesty and we should secure our borders,” he said.

Other Republican U.S. Senate candidates for the unexpired term include Jason Weger, 31, of Norman; Kevin Crow, 46, of Chickasha; Eric McCray, 33, of Tulsa; and Andy Craig, 41, of Broken Arrow.

One Independent candidate, Mark Beard, 54, of Oklahoma City is also running for the Senate seat.

The three Democrats contenders for U.S. Senate include state Sen. Connie Johnson, 61, of Oklahoma City; Patrick Hayes, 39, of Anadarko; and Jim Rogers, 79, of Midwest City.

Voters will nominate their party’s candidates on June 24 for the statewide primary election. A run-off primary election is set for Aug. 26. The general election is scheduled for Nov. 4.

jcoburn@edmondsun.com | 341-2121

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