Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) smacked down Rep. Peter King’s (R-NY) attempt to link Boston bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to Islamic extremists based in the American Muslim community with no evidence, an allegation that emerged as part of a theme among House Republicans on Sunday morning.
The exchange between Feinstein and King took place on Fox News Sunday, when host Chris Wallace asked whether he agreed with the idea that “political correctness be damned, we have to do more effective surveillance inside the Muslim community.” King tried to link “Muslim communities” to the attack, a claim which Feinstein demolished:
KING: Listen, the threat is coming from within the Muslim community in these cases. In New York. that’s why Commissioner Kelly has 1,000 police officers out in the community. Unfortunately, he gets smeared by the New York Times and the Associated Press, but the fact is we’ve stopped 16 plots in New York because we know that al-Qaeda is shifting its tactics…If you know a certain threat is coming from a certain community, that’s where you have to look.
WALLACE: Senator Feinstein, your reaction to this?
FEINSTEIN: That’s exactly where they will look. I don’t think all of this is very helpful. I think the important thing is to get the facts. Let the investigation proceed. The FBI has very good interrogators. They know what they are doing. I believe that they will put a case together that will be very strong. With respect to whether we are doing enough in the Muslim community, I think we should take a look at that, but I don’t think we need to go and develop some real disdain and hatred on television about it.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told a conservative radio host this afternoon that he believes Americans must be allowed to own firearms to protect against the growing threat of “sharia law.”
Appearing on web-radio show The Voice of Freedom, Gohmert argued that Congress ought to vote down any restrictive new gun regulations because American gun-owners need their firearms as a defense against Muslims who want to subvert the United States Constitution with the Islamic moral/political code.
“[The Second Amendment] is for our protection and the Founders’ quotes make that very, very clear. Including against a government that would run amuck,” he said, before explaining: “We’ve got some people that think sharia law should be the law of the land — forget the Constitution. But the guns are there, that Second Amendment is there, to make sure all of the rest of the amendments are followed.”
Gohmert has long expressed a belief that elements of radical Islam have infiltrated the United States government. Last fall, he vocally led the charge to investigate Clinton aide Huma Abedin for what he suspected were ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. He has also led the push for congressional hearings on “creeping sharia law.”
Alabama Democrats aren’t shedding any tears over state Rep. Richard Laird’s decision to leave the party this week.
Laird, of Roanoke in east Alabama, announced Monday that he was becoming an independent. On Friday, Democratic leaders rebuked Laird for sending an offensive email to legislators and constituents prior to his party switch.
On Jan. 23, Laird sent an email to a group of recipients that included House Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, state Rep. Duwayne Bridges, R-Valley, and state Rep. Mike Ball, R-Madison. Also copied on the email was Mellie Parrish of Lineville, a member of the Randolph County Democratic Party Executive Committee.
The message contained a picture of President Obama kissing Democratic U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi on the cheek, with a caption that read “The only time you’ll see a Muslim kiss a pig.” Obama is a Christian.
House Minority Leader Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, said the message was “very distasteful.”
Hubbard said he encouraged Laird to leave the Democratic Party and that he would caucus with the GOP in the state House. Laird joins state Sen. Harri Anne Smith of Slocumb as the only independents in the Legislature.
Alabama Democrats said Laird did the party a favor by leaving on his own accord.
Representative Walter Jones (R-NC) slammed a decision by Craven Community College to purchase 25 books on Islam and Muslim culture, claiming it is biased against the Christian faith and a waste of taxpayer money.
The school, located in New Burn, North Carolina is a recipient of a grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The grant is “intended to address both the need and desire of the American public for trustworthy and accessible resources about Muslim beliefs and practices and the cultural heritage associated with Islamic civilizations.”
In a letter to the Craven Community College Board of Trustees, Jones says it is “appalling” to him that “a federal agency like NEH is wasting taxpayer money on programs like this.” He has consistently opposed and voted against funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/5/12) — A coalition of 11 major American Muslim organizations today called on the Republican Party to reach out to Muslim voters by rejecting anti-Islam bias and discriminatory legislation.
At a noon news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., the coalition announced the publication of a full-page advertisement in the conservative Washington Times newspaper outlining recent examples of intolerant speech and actions by Republicans and offering recommendations to help improve GOP relations with the Muslim community.
That open letter to the GOP states in part:
“We are writing to offer an open invitation to reassess your party’s current relationship with American Muslims. As with other demographics, American Muslim support for Republicans has dropped precipitously in recent years. This shift away from the GOP is not set in stone, but its future direction is dependent on choices your party makes.”
Recommendations for GOP leaders outlined in the open letter include:
The party establishment should speak out strongly against biased speech within its ranks.
The party should make a concerted effort to engage Muslim voters.
The party establishment should oppose efforts to pass discriminatory legislation.
The party establishment should reject any member’s effort to use official public forums to smear a minority.
Party officials should end the persistent witch-hunt targeting legally operating Muslim institutions.
The coalition’s letter concludes by stating:
“Let us all work together to maintain America’s leadership in support of emerging democracies and the rule of law worldwide by promoting the humanitarian principles enshrined in our Constitution’s Bill of Rights. May God Almighty bless the United States of America.”
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas Republicans tried to distance themselves Saturday from a Republican state representative’s assertion that slavery was a “blessing in disguise” and a Republican state House candidate who advocates deporting all Muslims.
The claims were made in books written, respectively, by Rep. Jon Hubbard of Jonesboro and House candidate Charlie Fuqua of Batesville. Those books received attention on Internet news sites Friday.
On Saturday, state GOP Chairman Doyle Webb called the books “highly offensive.” And U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, a Republican who represents northeast Arkansas, called the writings “divisive and racially inflammatory.”
Hubbard wrote in his 2009 self-published book, “Letters To The Editor: Confessions Of A Frustrated Conservative,” that “the institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise.” He also wrote that African-Americans were better off than they would have been had they not been captured and shipped to the United States.
Fuqua, who served in the Arkansas House from 1996 to 1998, wrote there is “no solution to the Muslim problem short of expelling all followers of the religion from the United States,” in his 2012 book, titled “God’s Law.”
The number of Muslim delegates attending the Democratic National Convention has quadrupled since 2004, according to a Muslim advocacy group.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations counts more than 100 Muslim delegates representing some 20 states at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C., this week. That’s up from 25 delegates in 2004, according to CAIR.
CAIR government affairs coordinator Robert McCaw said the numbers were “a sign of the American Muslim community’s growing civic engagement and acceptance in the Democratic Party.” He also said that Democrats had targeted outreach to American Muslims.
A “handful” of Muslims were delegates at the Republic National Convention last week in Tampa, Fla., McGraw said. Campaign officials for Mitt Romney, President Barack Obama’s GOP challenger, did not respond to a request for comment.
Neither Republicans nor Democrats invited a Muslim cleric to deliver a blessing during their conventions, even as Christian, Jewish and Sikh leaders received invitations.
Most Muslim Americans voted Republican through the 2000 presidential election, but switched allegiances after the Patriot Act and other post-9/11 security policies, which some Muslims believe unfairly target their community. And while former President George W. Bush called Islam a “religion of peace,” some conservative Republicans now push for state laws to ban Shariah, Islamic law. The national GOP platform approved last week declares that U.S. courts should not consider foreign laws in their decisions.
Gabriela Saucedo Mercer hasn’t even won the Republican primary for Congress in Arizona yet, but she is already facing attacks from the Democratic Congressman she is hoping to unseat in November over some incendiary comments she made in the past about Middle Eastern immigrants.
In an interview with a conservative website last year, Saucedo Mercer talked in depth about her views on immigration. A Mexican immigrant herself who became a U.S. citizen, she said the issue was important because people from places other than Mexico were among those coming across the border illegally.
“That includes Chinese, Middle Easterners,” she said. “If you know Middle Easterners, a lot of them, they look Mexican or they look, you know, like a lot of people in South America, dark skin, dark hair, brown eyes. And they mix. They mix in.
“And those people, their only goal in life is to, to cause harm to the United States. So why do we want them here, either legally or illegally? When they come across the border, besides the trash that they leave behind, the drug smuggling, the killings, the beheadings. I mean, you are seeing stuff. It’s a war out there.”
Saucedo Mercer was facing fellow Republican Jaime Vasquez in Tuesday’s primary in Arizona’s 3rd congressional district, with the results due later tonight. But her supporters and opponents both clearly expect her to win.
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/24/2012) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today asked the Republican Party to reject a newly-adopted platform plank that includes a section supporting a ban on foreign law, which its sponsor admits targets the religious principles of American Muslims.
CAIR noted that the plank appears to be modeled on dozens of bills introduced in state legislatures nationwide based on draft legislation promoted by David Yerushalmi, an infamous Islamophobe with a history of bigoted statements targeting women, African Americans and people of the Jewish faith.
While leaders like Speaker Boehner and Sen. John McCain were rightly praised for taking a strong stand against Rep. Michele Bachmann’s witch hunt against Muslims in the U.S. government, don’t give the party of Lincoln a pass on Islamophobia just yet. In Tampa this week, GOP leaders adopted a plank to their platform supporting a ban on foreign law and aimed at Shariah, the Islamic religious law that many conservatives insist is secretly insinuating itself in the U.S. The platform still has to be approved by the entire convention in a vote next week, but generally, most things approved by the platform committee make it into the final platform.
Thursday, August 09th, 2012, by Blake Farmer
It’s getting tougher to be a Republican in Tennessee while also fully accepting the practice of Islam.
An incumbent in the U.S. House found herself on the defensive after being called soft on Sharia law, and the governor has been forced to explain why he hired a Muslim as part of a growing public push to raise suspicions of Islam.
“By stopping this now, we’re going to save ourselves a lot of difficulty in the future,” says Lee Douglas, a dentist in Brentwood who sees what he calls an “infiltration” of Islam in federal and state government.
Douglas points to the appointment of Samar Ali to work in Tennessee’s economic development office. He and others drafted a resolution criticizing the governor and making a case that Islam is bent on world domination.
A version of the document has been signed by a growing list of county-level Republican executive committees, including the state’s wealthiest and arguably most influential GOP stronghold of Williamson County.
Douglas uses the term Sharia, laws outlined in Muslim holy books, almost interchangeably with the religion itself.
He says the government should be showing deference to the religion on which the country was founded – Christianity. Instead, Douglas sees the U.S. Justice Department going to bat for Muslims, who make up one percent of the state and the U.S. as a whole.
Federal courts intervened in a lawsuit that attempted to keep the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro from opening.