Lego pulls 'anti-Islamic' toy

The Oklahoma legislature passed a bill Monday to prevent the use of religious or foreign law in state courts. Between 2010 and 2012, lawmakers in 32 states introduced similar bills, and six states –  Oklahoma, Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota and Tennessee – enacted such bills into law.

Oklahoma’s earlier law, which explicitly banned sharia (Islamic law), was struck down in federal court in 2012. A new interactive map by the Pew Research Center allows you to click on a state to read about the legislation proposed or enacted there in recent years to ban the consideration of foreign or religious law in state court decisions.

The Pew Research has released an additional resource that focuses more broadly on religious law, courts and mediation in the United States. This new report examines how some of the country's major Christian traditions and other religions, including Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism – 15 groups in total – decide internal matters and apply their religious laws.

Some of the legal codes – Islamic sharia and Jewish halakhah, for example – are quite comprehensive, covering many aspects of individual, family and community life, from marriage and divorce to death and inheritance. Other religious legal traditions, including those of many Protestant denominations, focus largely on internal church governance, including the expulsion of members and disciplining of wayward clergy.

 Each entry includes links to official documents and other resources to help readers who want to delve more deeply into a particular religious group’s laws or judicial system.