As Republican lawmakers met for a “Homeland Security Summit,” Muslim leaders said state Rep. Kyle Biedermann discriminated against them in sending a letter to poll their beliefs.
Texas Tribune The poll — which Biedermann said was sent out to gather responses ahead of a “homeland security summit” asked Texas Muslims to indicate whether they support efforts to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization. The poll also asked respondents whether they supported the “Declaration of Muslim Reform Movement” and a pledge regarding the safety of former Muslims.
But CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), a Muslim Brotherhood front group, which is sponsoring Texas Muslim Capitol Day (a day in which Muslims take over the capital, use the lobby as a prayer room, and hound representatives with complaints about so-called “Islamophobia”), contended that Biedermann’s intentions were to derail the upcoming event on Jan. 31st.
Sarwat Hussain, president of the San Antonio chapter of CAIR, said that Biedermann’s poll, is “reminiscent of McCarthyism.” “His intolerance of Texas Muslims is putting this segment of our state into a more vulnerable position. His treatment of Muslims is giving fuel to the fire of “Islamophobia” that is running rampant in our state.”
“Homeland security must be our top priority,” Biedermann said as he introduced the speakers. “We have a responsibility as Texans to secure the border and protect the state against serious growing threats of America.”
Republican state representatives at the summit heard from seven speakers, including Irving mayor Beth Van Duyne, about concerns related to Sharia and unsubstantiated claims that the presence of mosques furthers radicalization. Van Dyne said she was called a racist, bigot and Islamophobe after she made public comments following rumors that a Muslim court was imposing Sharia in Irving.
Also present at the summit was former Republican state Rep. Molly White, who two years ago came under fire for leaving instructions for her staff to ask Muslim visitors to her office on Texas Muslim Capitol Day to declare allegiance to the United States.
Several times throughout the forum, state Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington, blamed the media for divisive coverage of Muslims that allowed Muslims to believe “they can create their own laws in America” and said he was “disgusted by it.”
Biedermann added that he invited CAIR to the summit but received no response from the organization.