By Laura Fawaz, Contributing Reporter
State Legislator Dave Agema, a Republican from Michigan, was the state representative behind this bill, and actively pushing for it to pass during Michigan’s lame duck session.
CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, had their state-wide chapters calling on “all people of conscience” to urge their state governors “to veto the biased bill which is among those that seek to impose government-sanctioned discrimination on followers of a minority faith.”
Bill HB 4769 was officially denied Monday. “We welcome the decision of the MI GOP House leadership for not bringing to the floor for vote the so-called ‘anti-Sharia bill’ against the wishes of one of its own influential party members,” said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid.
Rep. Agema, who has a history of making controversial comments relating to Muslims, recently stated, “We have the largest concentration of Muslims in the state in the Dearborn area. I know we have (sleeper) cells there. That is what I really want to get at.”
Rep. Agema is known to not back down from such comments. In an interview with the Grand Rapids Press, in his explanation of why he feels the bill is important, he said, “They (Muslims) want specific laws applied to their specific groups … They do not want to be under our law.”
Though Agema is term limited and will not be able to formally re-introduce this or any such legislation in the future, he was however voted this year to serve as the Republican National Committeeman for Michigan.
“We hope that the MI GOP will continue to eschew any anti-Islam and anti-immigrant views while Agema serves as National Committeeman for their party,” said Walid.
In 2011 a new resolution was passed to oppose such bills that target an entire group of people based on their faith. It was passed by the American Bar Association (ABA), and says, “Initiatives that target an entire religion or stigmatize an entire religious community, such as those explicitly aimed at ‘Sharia law,’ are inconsistent with some of the core principles and ideals of American jurisprudence.”
So far, anti-Muslim laws have been adopted in Arizona, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Kansas.
To see the bill HB 4769, along with the names of those legislators breaking the above law from ABA, seehttp://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2011-2012/billintroduced/House/htm/2011-HIB-4769.htm.