COEUR d'ALENE - A Christian pastor who was formerly Muslim said he encouraged a handful of legislators to table a child support bill, possibly costing Idaho $46 million in federal funding.
"I was down there when the bill passed the Senate," said Shahram Hadian, pastor at the Truth In Love Project Ministry. "And I shared my concerns with the legislators."
Hadian said he was invited to come to Boise and speak to a group of legislators during a closed-door luncheon at the Statehouse where he shared a two-page summary of his concerns with SB 1067.
That legislation was designed to bring Idaho's Child Support Program in line with guidelines that are required to use the federal child support enforcement system.
Idaho does not have a child support enforcement system of its own. Like many other states, Idaho uses a portal into the federal system, which allows Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to track and collect child support from non-custodial parents who leave the state or change jobs.
The federal system can also track non-custodial parents in other countries, and SB 1067 would have amended Idaho's existing child support laws to clarify how those laws would work under an international treaty.
Hadian is concerned that if the bill becomes law the way it is currently written, it would open the door to Sharia law.
"It would open the door to the language of the Hague Treaty," he said. "The feds are forcing the states to pass this verbatim, and it's coming from the United Nations."
Hadian, who was born Muslim under Islamic laws in Iran, said he believes Muslims are trying to gain a foothold in Idaho by establishing enclaves around the state.
He said a group of Muslims was trying to establish a small Muslim community in Kuna, Idaho.
"That's a fact," he said, adding their plans to build a cemetery and small community were recently exposed. "There are also plans to bring 2,000 Muslim refugees to Idaho."
He said that could put Idaho courts in the position to apply Sharia law when settling marriage disputes and other civil matters.
"What happens if there is a ruling that is in conflict with Idaho laws?" Hadian asked. "There is no specific language in the bill that would protect the rights of those dealing with parentage, child support and support orders from a foreign country that would contradict our laws here in Idaho."
Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d'Alene, said that simply is not true.
"For him to say there is no specific language, that's not true," Malek said. "There is a whole brand new section in the law that protects Idaho's laws."
Section 54 on page 28 of the bill covers an entire page of "exceptions" that would allow a judge to refuse to recognize another country's child support order.
For instance, if an Idaho judge found that: "Recognition and enforcement of the order is manifestly incompatible with public policy, including the failure of the issuing tribunal to observe minimum standards of due process, which include notice and an opportunity to be heard," he or she could refuse to recognize a support order, according to the bill.
Malek said without amending Idaho's child support laws, the state will no longer qualify to use the federal enforcement system. He cannot understand the reluctance of some legislators to see the need.
"All we are talking about with this legislation is money orders," he said. "We are trying to make sure that these kids do not become wards of the state.
"Without this, we don't have any enforcement tools of our own," Malek continued. "So why wouldn't we have to play by their rules, in order to use the federal system?"