Should Muslims testifying in court be allowed to swear to tell the truth on the Quran rather than the Bible? The issue has sparked a legal debate in North Carolina, reports the Greensboro News & Record. It began when the local Muslim center tried to donate copies of the sacred text to courts for the traditional swearing-in of witnesses. Officials with the state Administrative Office of the Courts are now trying to come up with a policy on the potentially explosive issue.
The office will pose the question to the state’s judges this week. A preliminary opinion last week said that state law allows people to be sworn in on a Quran, but the judge who sets policy for the local county’s nine Superior Court courtrooms disagreed and said the Quran could not be used. As the number of Muslim faithful grows in North Carolina, observers say the issue may have to be resolved by the legislature or courts. But it seems no one has ever formally challenged the state’s oath-taking practices, which date to 1777.