Editorial: Courts should Allow Qur'an in Courtroom Oaths

June 23, 2005

Source: Rocky Mount Telegram


On June 23, 2005 the Rocky Mount Telegram reported, "An Islamic group is asking North Carolina court officials to allow the use of the Qur'an when administering courtroom oaths. The request stemmed from an incident last week, in which judges in Guilford County told a Greensboro Islamic center that they would not permit people to be sworn in on the Islamic holy book rather than a Bible. At present, the most commonly used method of oath-taking is with the Bible... The Administrative Office of the Courts, which oversees courtroom policy in North Carolina, has no plans to implement a policy in the near future — unless there's a lawsuit, said AOC spokesman Dick Ellis. But why should court officials wait for a lawsuit to do the right thing? Critics of waiting worry that by allowing judges to decide individually whether to allow Qur'an oaths or not could result in constitutional violations, especially if certain judges use Bibles exclusively. That would promote one faith over another, and that's unconstitutional."