Breitbart Texas has learned the four Islamic Tribunal “lawyers” in Dallas do not appear to be licensed to practice law in Texas. A search of the State Bar of Texas’ membership lookup revealed the four men are not listed as members of the Bar. Breitbart Texas confirmed this search in a conversation with the Bar’s membership department who claimed they had no membership listing for the four individuals.
The Islamic Tribunal in Dallas lists four of its members as both lawyers and judges, as was previously reported by Breitbart Texas. In a section on the group’s website, “Meet the Attorneys,” Imam Yusuf Z. Kavakci, Imam Moujahed Bakhach, Imam Zia ul Haque Sheikh and Dr. El-badawi are all listed and called attorneys. On another page the same four men are referred to as judges. The site states the Islamic Tribunal resolves business disputes, divorce (Talaq) cases, community problems, serious family problems, and Khula. The site has a slogan that states “Redefining Legal Care Services.” It also claims to have “Experienced judges ready to fight for you.”
After the State Bar of Texas confirmed the four men were not known to be licensed to practice law in Texas, Breitbart Texas spoke with the Supreme Court of Texas’ Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee (TXUPLC). This is a volunteer organization whose members are appointed by the Texas Supreme Court to investigate complaints about individuals who are practicing law without being licensed.
Zara Munoz, the organization’s only paid worker, told Breitbart Texas that in the past two weeks they have received three complaints about the Islamic Tribune members seemingly practicing law without a license. “The complaints have been turned over to an investigator,” she said. Munoz stated it was still too early in the investigation to have any information at this time.
She explained the TXUPLC has civil authority in this area but does not have any criminal authority. The TXULPC can take individuals to court and seek an injunction. They can also issue cease and desist actions. She said any criminal matters must be referred to the local district attorney’s office.
During an interview with Dr. Taher El-badawi who was speaking on behalf of the tribunal, he said the organization follows Sharia Law to resolve civil disputes in family and business matters. He claimed the group also works to resolve workplace disputes and product liability issues.
The organization’s website states, “The Islamic Tribunal seeks support and guidance from consultants and counselors to its attorneys to ensure that local, state and federal law are strictly conformed to and decisions that originate from the Tribunal are in accordance with said laws.”
“These proceedings must be conducted in accordance with the law of the land; local, state and federal within the United States,” the site continues. “Through effective mediation and arbitration, decisions can be made that are stipulated in the Shari’ah and adhering to the binding, ethical and legal code that exists within this country with the final approval of the relevant courts and judges.”
Breitbart Texas also raised a question with the TXULPC about the attorneys claiming to be judges. Munoz said that does not fall under the TXUPLC and referred this writer to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. Munoz stated that a person putting themselves forward as being an attorney who is not licensed to practice law could be guilty of a third degree felony.
Breitbart Texas reached out to the Islamic Tribunal for a response to the discovery of the attorneys’ alleged lack of a license. No response was immediately available from the tribunal.
Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.