Texas House Candidate Warns of Muslim ‘Infiltration’ in American Society

A candidate seeking a seat in the Texas House of Representatives in the May 27 Republican runoff recently warned listeners on a religious radio program about “the infiltration of our society by Muslims.” The Texas Tribune reported about the comments by Rob Henneke, who finished second in the March primary for the GOP nomination to replace state Rep. Harvey Hildebran, R-Kerrville, in a Hill Country House district:

“I’m very concerned about the infiltration of our society by Muslims right now in Texas,” Henneke told listeners. “I don’t think people are aware about how pervasive that has become in our society.”

He said he would support in the next legislative session the passage of the American Laws for American Courts Act, which would forbid the use of foreign law in the state’s courts.

“We have good, very conservative judges that I don’t think would be open to allowing” Shariah law in Texas, Henneke said in an interview. “But I have seen reports and heard anecdotally situations elsewhere in this country and in Texas where that has been a problem and an issue.”

Our friends at Texas Impact have rightly denounced Henneke for crossing the line into religious bigotry. His comments about the mythical threat of Shariah law in Texas are also absurd. Measures like the American Laws for American Courts Act have failed to pass in Texas because — as legal experts, business representatives and religious groups have pointed out repeatedly — they are unnecessary (both the U.S. and Texas Constitutions bar the imposition of religious laws), legally problematic and potentially unconstitutional. But promoting anti-Muslim hysteria (and bigotry) clearly remains a weapon in the far right’s political arsenal.

15 thoughts on “Texas House Candidate Warns of Muslim ‘Infiltration’ in American Society

  1. Wooooooow… -.- What a shameful thing to say. I really shouldn’t be surprised at this point, but honestly I am. It’s so disappointing.

    1. Treaties signed and ratified by the United States are the supreme law of the land as stated in the Constitution. So, foreign law can apply in the US provided it is as an explicit part of a treaty. In theory (and that’s a fear the fringers always prey on) a conspiracy of Congress and POTUS could introduce foreign religious law abolishing US law by means of such a treaty. In reality the US governmnet takes the Roman position that the US are not bound by any law foreign or domestic, so even those treaties signed and ratified get ignored and violated on a regular base (same as the Constitution in times of ‘need’).
      In my opinion most of the Muslim scare pushed by extremists is just a welcome new gig after anti-semitism and anti-communism have become unacceptable or hopelessly obsolete. In other words the evil raghead has just replaced (for the moment) the hook-nosed usurer and the sly Red plotter of yesterday but the character and means attributed to the new enemy are in essence the same. Occasionally it’s all to obvious that the old scripts get reused with just some key words replaced.

  2. The real concern is that people like this can get ahead by terrifying an innocent, uninformed electorate into putting them in an office for which they are incapable of governance. Wake up, Kerr County! Wake up, Texas! Wake up, America!

  3. Well, maybe since the Hobby Lobby ruling that religious concerns trumps federal law, they should worry. It won’t always be a right-wing fundi Christian. There is even now a church in South Carolina that says the state law against same-sex marriage goes against their conscience. Where does this end? With everybody doing whatever they like and then claiming it is a matter of conscience?

  4. I suggest another Texas state law. I call it the:


    Just like famous Southern Baptist Preacher and Mercer University President Reverend Godsey has said:

    “When you get right down to it, there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between Christian Fundamentalism and Islamic Fundamentalism.”

    So sure. They’re afraid all right. They are afraid the intense legalism of Islam will appeal to the same people who would otherwise find Christian fundamentalism appealing—like say—appealing to those people who want to keep women submissive, barefoot, and pregnant. There’s just one of many things they share in common.