Sharia Hysteria: Dancing with Bigots

by Dan Quinn

As we have reported, an Arizona attorney and white supremacist who traffics in anti-Muslim and anti-black bigotry created the model legislation for House Bill 911, an anti-Sharia bill that passed the Texas House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee last week. And who is supporting HB 911?

One supporter testifying in favor of state Rep. Leo Berman’s bill during the Texas House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee hearing on April 4 described herself as a “national member of ACT! For America.” ACT! describes itself as providing “American citizens a means to be a collective voice for the democratic values of Western Civilization, such as the celebration of life and liberty, as opposed to the authoritarian values of radical Islam, such as the celebration of death, terror and tyranny.” In truth, ACT! works overtime to smear all Muslims as “radicals” and “militants.”

The Anti-Defamation League notes that ACT!’s founder, a Christian immigrant from Lebanon, sees all Muslims as a threat. ADL quotes from ACT! founder Brigitte Gabriel’s book They Must Be Stopped; Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It:

“It is not yet politically correct to talk about a religious war. But this is exactly what we are facing: a religious war declared by devout Muslims. It’s not radical Islam. It’s what Islam is at its core.”

ACT! opposes all immigration by Muslims to the United States — in fact, Gabriel has claimed that tens of thousands of Muslims are already in the United States as sleeper agents who have already infiltrated the government, law enforcement, the CIA and the FBI. Those militants apparently are the vanguard of a vast operation to conquer the United States and turn the world into an Islamic state.

Not surprisingly, ACT! appeals to a broad range of paranoid people whose bigotry isn’t restricted to targeting just Muslims. Last month, for example, People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch reported about the head of the Sarasota, Fla., chapter of ACT!, Rich Swier. Swier has been warning that history classes in our nations’ schools are teaching children to be anti-American:

“I would encourage every parent and grandparent that [sic] look at your child’s and grandchild’s textbook, it is not the same textbook that you grew up with, it is dramatically different, it is I would almost say anti-American.”

And what would be “pro-American”? Just the day before, Swier — a Tea Party activist — provided some insight into his own version of “pro-American” when he warned about the coming “extinction” of white people in this country. In an e-mail to Tea Party Nation supporters, Swier argued that “anti-family government programs,” efforts to “redefine marriage,” and other alleged horrors are lowering the fertility rate of white people in America:

“The White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) population in America is headed for extinction and with it our economy, well-being and survival as a uniquely America culture. This county is dying not because it is aging, it is dying because of infertility as public policy.”

As we said, this isn’t surprising.