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Early draft obtained by Wonkette
Early draft obtained by Wonkette

Oh, boy, it’s almost time for Texas Muslim Capitol Day again, that biennial event where the state’s Muslim citizens are invited to come on down to the Pink Dome in Austin to learn how their state government works, how to be effective citizen lobbyists, and to be screamed at by crazy people who fear that energy drinks are full of SATAN (and Sharia, same thing). You might recall that a couple years back, state Rep. Molly White marked Muslim Capitol Day by vacating her office altogether but putting any Muslim constituents on notice that if they wanted to meet with her, they’d have to “pledge allegiance to American Law,” renounce terrorism, and say hi to the Israeli flag on her desk:

molly white facebook

It wasn’t clear whether the Muslims were also supposed to pledge allegiance to Israel or if the flag was just there to scare ’em off like garlic would a vampire.

Sadly, Ms. White lost the 2016 Republican primary to a gent named Hugh Shine, about whom we know nothing except he appears to be a rightwinger who hates illegal Messicans more than Muslims. But there’s already a strong contender to take White’s place in the overcrowded Texas Bigot Hall of Fame: freshman state Rep. Kyle Biedermann, who prepared for Muslim Capitol Day by sending a questionnaire to “Muslim leaders” at mosques and Muslim student groups to gauge just how dangerous their freaky anti-American religious beliefs are, if they wouldn’t mind:

In a letter dated Jan. 11 and signed by Biedermann, Muslim Texans were asked to state whether they support efforts to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization, the “Declaration of Muslim Reform Movement” and a pledge regarding the safety of former Muslims.

The results of the poll, the letter indicates, would be shared with Texas elected officials.

He just wants some feedback to better serve the great State of Texas, after all. A spokesperson for Biedermann initially gave the Texas Tribune only a media advisory about a “homeland security summit” Biedermann plans for January 26 at the Capitol, a few days ahead of Muslim Capitol Day, aimed at studying up on “the critical threat of radical Islamic terrorism in Texas.”

A bit later, the office sent a more specific written statement, explaining, “The poll that went out was paid for with private funds and was sent out to gather responses in advance of my upcoming Homeland Security Summit[.]” Private funds, so don’t you go worrying about any official harassment of Texas Muslims, you sillies, even though the envelopes were marked “URGENT REPLY ASAP” and sent by a state representative. The Tribune notes that other participants in Biedermann’s little bigot party include representatives from “the American Islamic Forum for Democracy” and “Former Muslims United,” which do not at all sound like Islamophobic shell groups bent on promoting Islamophobic paranoia.

Heavens, for complete balance, the summit will also be graced with the presence of Irving mayor Beth Van Duyne, that minor rightwing national hero who keeps freaking out about “SHARIA LAW COURTS,” which are actually just private mediation services run by imams. Ms. Van Duyne has never had similar conniptions about Jewish or Christian mediation services run by rabbis or pastors, because obviously those are normal religions, not scary terrorist groups out to destroy America.

Bee “I dare you to find a nicer Texas lady name” Moorhead, the executive director of Texas Impact, a statewide interfaith alliance, was properly disgusted with Biedermann’s little publicity stunt, and urged concerned mosque and student groups who had contacted her group not to bother responding. Texas Impact also sent a letter to Biedermann calling his survey “misleading and intimidating.” What, just because he wants Texas Muslims to know Big Brother’s watching them? That might also make them feel all secure, knowing a state representative cares.

“It’s shocking that a few legislators — and it really does seem to be a few — insist on trying to marginalize [Muslims] session after session and try to keep them boxed into only being relevant on issues where it’s their identity that’s at stake,” Moorhead said. “It’s so disrespectful.”

ICYMI

Disrespectful? You know what’s disrespectful, Ms. Bee Moorhead? Disrespectful is not assuming that every member of a particular religion is bent on cutting off your head the first chance they get! Disrespectful is thinking the U.S. Constitution applies to people who pray funny! Disrespectful is failing to drown out Muslims singing the Star Spangled Banner with anti-Islamic chants! This here is America, and we know what respect is all about — it’s about having all the guns you want, and making sure the heathens know they can’t even have any rest when they’re dead. That’ll teach ’em to love America.

Yr Wonkette would like to congratulate Rep. Biedermann on his impressive display of patriotism, and to remind him that the Trump Administration still has a lot of open jobs.

Then again, so do a lot of Texas sewage treatment plants.

[Texas Tribune / Quorum Report / Charlie Pierce at Esquire]

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