Barbara Cargill, who chairs the Texas State Board of Education and is running for re-election to her District 8 seat this year, still thinks she is one of a minority of “conservatives” on a state board in which 11 of 15 members are Republicans. And she also wants voters to know that she’s working to protect Texas kids from Planned Parenthood and Muslims.
The Conservative Coalition of Montgomery County (CCMC) this week posted video of a discussion with Cargill at a meeting last February. The group also posted video from a discussion with Cargill’s opponent in the May 29 GOP primary, Linda Ellis. Both candidates are from The Woodlands just north of Houston. (You can watch CCMC videos for Cargill, Ellis and candidates for other elective offices here.)
Cargill got into trouble just days after Gov. Rick Perry appointed her board chair last July, when she suggested that some of her Republican colleagues weren’t Christians and conservative. In her talk before the CCMC in February, Cargill left out the suggestion that five of her Republican colleagues aren’t Christians, but she made clear that she… Read More
The Texas Eagle Forum strolled into the wrong committee hearing last month (video below).
It was on Feb. 17 when the Texas House Committee on Public Education met in Austin to take up interim charges at a hearing on charter schools. Speaking at the hearing, TEF Vice President MerryLynn Gerstenschlager asked lawmakers to pass legislation requiring charter school operators to be U.S. citizens.
Why? Fethullah Gulen.
We’ve seen this song and dance before. When your goal is to stoke irrational fears, it’s always best to have a bogeyman you can point to. And for a few years now, far-right pressure groups like TEF have settled on Gulen and Harmony Charter Schools.
It goes like this: Fethullah Gulen, who is a billionaire Turkish Muslim living in Pennsylvania, funds numerous charter schools across the country — including some in Texas — under the name of Harmony Charter Schools. Ergo: Muslim+schools+children=Indoctrination. At least, that’s the way TEF sees it.
But to hear TEF tell it, the problem is not that Gulen is Muslim. Says Gerstenschlager:
“There is an emphasis on Turkish culture. And that is fine. But it seems to be a common thread throughout these schools. And I wonder if they spend… Read More
The anti-Muslim rhetoric grew even more vicious in 2011. Today we look at the Islamophobia and other stunning ignorance demonstrated in quotes from the far right over the past year. Read other quotes from the far right in 2011 here.[It is] the most likely and perhaps only community in America who will stand up to and ultimately help ensure the defeat of this seditious totalitarian political program.”
— Right-wing honcho Frank Gaffney, warning that Muslims are now trying to take over American conservativism by, in part, infiltrating the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the annual gathering of conservative political activists set. Salon, January 5, 2011
“Islam has no fundamental First Amendment claims, for the simple reason that it was not written to protect the religion of Islam. Islam is entitled only to the religious liberty we extend to it out of courtesy. While there certainly ought to be a presumption of religious liberty for non-Christian religious traditions in America, the Founders were not writing a suicide pact when they wrote the First Amendment.”… Read More
It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s refreshing to see a person in a high position of power stand up to the hysterics, even if some of those hysterics are the same people who voted for him.
“And I’m tired of dealing with the crazies.”
So are we. The above is how New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie recently reacted to criticism of Sohail Mohammed, an attorney Christie appointed to a state judgeship. Mohammed is a Muslim, so the far right immediately pounced with the math of hysteria: Muslim + Judgeship = OMG! Sharia Law!!
Credit Gov. Christie, as he was having none of that nonsense at a recent press conference:
“Sharia law has nothing to do with this at all. It’s crazy. It’s crazy. The guy’s an American citizen who has been an admitted lawyer to practice in the state of New Jersey, swearing an oath to uphold the laws of New Jersey, the constitution of the state of New Jersey, and the Constitution of the United States of America . . . This Sharia law business is crap. It’s just crazy. And I’m tired of dealing with the crazies.”
Here’s video of Christie’s comments… Read More
Kate Alexander of the Austin American-Statesman has a story about how anti-Muslim bigotry almost derailed a major public school budget bill last week, nearly forcing the Texas Legislature into another special session. Prodded by anti-Muslim hysteria from right-wing activists (like the folks at Texas Eagle Forum), a number of House members voted against the budget because of concerns that Harmony Public Schools -- a successful charter school network -- supposedly has ties to radical Muslims from Turkey. Alexander reports that far-right lawmakers fear the schools are being used to indoctrinate American students: State Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Van, requested an investigation of Harmony. He said Harmony teaches Islamic culture, and "you cannot distinguish Islamic culture from their religion. Where there is smoke, you should look into it." But look who came to the defense of Harmony schools: State Board of Education member David Bradley, R-Beaumont Buna: "There is a lot of misinformation, a certain level of fear and a small helping of bigotry that needs to go away," said State Board of Education member David Bradley, R-Beaumont. Bradley said he would be the "first to sound the alarm" if there were anything to be alarmed about. But the board has not received substantive complaints from parents of the 16,000 children that attend any of the 33 Harmony campuses across the state, he said. "The only thing these guys are guilty of are high scores and being Turkish," Bradley said. Excuse us for laughing at the idea that David Bradley opposes anti-Muslim bigotry. Read More