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Sat May 23, 2015, 06:02 PM

Anti-Sharia Bill Dead, but Sentiment Alive

The 84th session of the Texas Legislature, which wraps up at the end of this month, has not lacked for anti-Muslim sentiment. Anti-Sharia law House Bill 562, filed by Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano, passed out of committee in April (but didn't see a House floor vote), while Rep. Molly White, R-Belton, generated national headlines in January for her unwelcoming attitude toward Muslim visitors at the Capitol (see "Rep. Molly White Not Quite Sure Who's an American," Jan. 29).

White's notorious Facebook post instructing her staff to "ask representatives from the Muslim community to renounce Islamic terrorist groups and publicly announce allegiance to America and our laws" was in response to Texas Muslim Capitol Day, which had been organized by Texan Muslims and their allies to educate legislators about Islam.

White is not alone among public officials in using social media to inveigh against Muslims. Reacting to what had been described by media as "the first Sharia tribunal in Texas and the U.S.," Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne wrote on Facebook, "Sharia Law Court was NOT approved or enacted by the City of Irving. Recently, there have been rumors suggesting that the City of Irving has somehow condoned, approved or enacted the implementation of a Sharia Law Court in our City ... I will not stand idle and will fight with every fiber of my being against this action. Our nation cannot be so overly sensitive in defending other cultures that we stop protecting our own. The American Constitution and our guaranteed rights reign supreme in our nation and may that ever be the case."

The Sharia tribunal in Irving is led by four imams who use Sharia to mediate disputes in family and business matters. "The misconception about what they see through the media is that Sharia means cut the head, chop the heads, cut the hands and we are not doing that," Tribunal Judge Imam Moujahed Bakhach said. "We are not here to invade the White House or invade Austin," CBS 11 News reported.

Read more: http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2015-05-22/anti-sharia-bill-dead-but-sentiment-alive/

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