Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Court Says Muslim Witness Cannot Take Oath On Quran

Today's Legal Intelligencer reports on a decision by a Pennsylvania trial court judge holding that a Muslim woman could not take her oath as a witness using the Quran. In Musaitef v. Musaitef, (Philadelphia County, PA Common Pleas), the court read 42 PA.C.S. Sec. 5901 strictly to require that the witness either take the oath on the Christian Bible or else make a non-religious affirmation. The case, a custody dispute between a Muslim mother and Muslim father, is still ongoing.  The father, who took his oath on the Bible, raised the objection to the mother using the Quran.  Apparently the mother's insistence on a Quran was intended to suggest that the father's testimony was untruthful because his Islamic faith included the belief that oaths taken on non-Muslim religious books do not bind him to tell the truth.