Manufacturing Bigotry: A State-by-State Legislative Effort to Pushback Against 2050 by Targeting Muslims and Other Minorities

Based on review and analysis of laws passed and bills proposed in 6 identified issue areas, some key findings are noted below:
i. Red states, or states dominated by Republican lawmakers, have the most restrictive legislative agendas across all six (6) issue areas for both laws passed and bills proposed.
ii. However, a relatively small number of lawmakers, 480 out of 3813 (12.6%) Republican state legislators are sponsors of restrictive bills proposed in more than one issue area. This indicates that, more than “red vs. blue” politics, this is a “red vs. red” issue, reflecting internal disagreements within the Republican Party at the state-level.
 iii. Additionally, as both parties have become more polarized, it has squeezed out ideological moderates in both parties. Particularly in the Republican Party, more moderate female Republican lawmakers have been undercut, and the more conservative female Republican lawmakers remain. This is critical because female legislators tend to be more effective than men, as well as more moderate, and collaboration- and consensus-oriented.4 With regard to anti-sharia specifically,
iv. 630 of the total 3813 (16.5%) Republican state legislators have sponsored or co-sponsored an antisharia/anti-”foreign law” bill.
v. And 80% of the 102 anti-sharia bills were sponsored or co-sponsored by an overlap legislator, or legislator who sponsored or co-sponsored a restrictive law in another of the six issue areas.
vi. It is critical to note that the greatest overlap with anti-sharia/anti-”foreign law” legislation is not with anti-immigration laws as might be thought but with strict Voter ID laws and Right-to-Work laws. Both of these types of laws negatively and disproportionately impact African-Americans, women and Latinos. Thus, if a lawmaker wants to support legislation marginalizing the most people at one time, antisharia along with Voter ID and/or Right-to-Work would help to achieve that end.
 vii. Although the linkage between anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim advocacy is very strong, research indicates that anti-immigration law proposals are limited in number because of the high political and financial costs of implementing legislation that faces widespread opposition from religious groups and business interests alike5 .
Institute for Social Policy and Understanding: link to pdf of report: http://www.ispu.org/files/PDFs/ISPU%20Manufacturing%20Bigotry[4].pdf

Oklahoma legislator’s proposal would ban use of Shariah law

By Bill Sherman, Tulsa World, 10/13/10

A proposed amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution that would ban Shariah
law in the state court system is either a pre-emptive strike against
encroaching Islamic law in the U.S. or an expression of Islamophobia,
depending on who you ask.

State Rep. Rex Duncan, R-Sand Springs, authored State Question 755,
which requires state courts to rely only on federal and state laws when
deciding cases, and forbids courts to consider international law or
Shariah law. It will appear on the Nov. 2 general election ballot. . .

“I would describe this as a pre-emptive strike,” Duncan said. “We don’t
want to let it get a toehold.”

Razi Hashmi, former executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the
Council on American- Islamic Relations, said the proposal is motivated
by hate for Muslims.

He said Duncan has a history of anti-Muslim bigotry, including backing a
proposal to ban Muslim headscarves on driver’s license photos and
refusing to accept the Quran as a gift.

“A law such as this sends us backward, and is really bad for business,
especially in an oil state that deals with the Middle East,” he said.

Denmark: Muslims walk out of terrorism conference after Islamophobic comments by legislator

Several Muslim attendees walked out of a “Terrorism and Communication” conference hosted by the Danish Security and Surveillance Agency.

A local pubic broadcaster notes that Muslim guests, including an imam, decided to leave after Soren Esperson from the Danish People’s Party stood up and said that Islam is one of the world’s problems. Esperson’s comments came after the head of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service, Jakob Scharf, opened the conference by saying that Islam cannot be equated with terrorism, and argued that doing so complies with the demands of al-Qaeda’s fear-driven tactics.

Michigan elects first Muslim woman state lawmaker

Thirty-two year old Rashida Tlaib has made history by winning a seat in the Michigan legislature, becoming the first Muslim woman to serve in the state legislature. Rashida, who was born in Michigan to Palestinian immigrants, said that: “Allah had chosen me for this job.” Tlaib is a community activist and lawyer, and defeated her Republican opponent by a wide 9 to 1 margin on the November 4th elections. “My parents had taught me the importance of hard work, honesty and commitment. And those values today paid me in the form of being electing to the prestigious position of Michigan State Legislature, representing a diverse community of Latino, African American and Arabs,” said Tlaib.

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Iran to counter ‘Fitna’ with two documentaries

Iran plans to counter the inflammatory _Fitna’ video made by Dutch legislator Geert Wilders with two documentary films. The films, titled _Reply to Fitna’ and _Beyond Fitna’ aim at what the filmmakers call neutralizing the plot by the Dutch against Islam. The two Iranian filmmakers have also announced their readiness to debate Wilders over his film. Tehran has condemned Wilders’ film, calling it insulting and anti-Islamic and as symbolic for the deep antagonism of some Western countries towards Muslims and Islam.