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  • Rep Molly White Asks Muslim Visitors to Pledge Allegiance

    Rep to Staff: Ask Muslim Visitors to Pledge Allegiance | The Texas Tribune

    Freshman state Rep. Molly White, R-Belton, is not in Austin today to celebrate Texas Muslim Capitol Day. But she left instructions for the staff in her Capitol office on how to handle visitors who are, including asking them to declare allegiance to the United States.

    "I did leave an Israeli flag on the reception desk in my office with instructions to staff to ask representatives from the Muslim community to renounce Islamic terrorist groups and publicly announce allegiance to America and our laws," she posted on Facebook. "We will see how long they stay in my office."

    Texas Muslim Capitol Day, which began in 2003, is organized by the Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and brings members of Muslim communities in Houston, Dallas and other areas of the state to the Capitol to learn about the political process and meet state lawmakers. Texas has the eighth-largest Muslim population in the United States, with more than 420,000 Muslims residing in the state, according to estimates from the Texas State Historical Association.

    Even before participants in Thursday's event — about 100 Muslims, mostly children — could get to lawmakers' offices, they encountered opposition from a group of about 25 protesters outside the Capitol holding signs. One said, "Radical Islam is the New Nazi." Another said, "Go Home & Take Obama With You."

    The Muslim group held a press conference on the South steps of the Capitol, where one of the protesters yanked the microphone from an event organizer, shouting, “Islam will never dominate the United States and by the grace of God, it will never dominate Texas.”

    As the group of Muslims continued the event by singing "The Star-Spangled Banner," the interruptions persisted, with the protesters yelling, “Islam is a lie!” and “No Sharia here!”

    Mustafaa Carroll, the executive director of the Houston chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, called the behavior "very frustrating." Carroll said this was the first year protesters showed up since Muslim Capitol Day began.

    "I'm more concerned with state leaders and what they say than I am about anybody else because they are the lawmakers," he said.

    The Council on American-Islamic Relations has sent a letter to House Speaker Joe Straus asking whether White had violated ethics rules by instructing her staff to ask Muslim visitors to her office to declare their allegiance to the United States.

    "Our ethics question is: Has Rep. White violated any House rules in creating such an internal office policy that is selectively being enforced to discriminate against certain religious minorities trying to meet with her or her staff?" the letter asks. "Are House members prohibited from making constituents take oaths before meeting with their elected representatives or House staff?"

    In a statement, Straus said: "Legislators have a responsibility to treat all visitors just as we expect to be treated — with dignity and respect. Anything else reflects poorly on the entire body and distracts from the very important work in front of us." His statement did not address the ethics complaint.

    Neither Gov. Greg Abbott nor Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has weighed in on the matter.

    As of mid-morning, the Israeli flag was still on the desk in White's office. By noon, she had released a follow-up Facebook post that added: “I do not apologize for my comments. … If you love America, obey our laws and condemn Islamic terrorism, then I embrace you as a fellow American. If not, then I do not."

    But at 3 p.m., White released a new statement saying she welcomed "all of my constituents who would like to come and visit our office in the Texas State Capitol."

    "As law-abiding American citizens, we all have the privilege and the right to freedom of speech granted to us by the First Amendment," she wrote. "... As a proud Texan and American I fully denounce all terrorist groups or organizations who’s [sic] intent is to hurt and destroy the great state of Texas and our nation.”

    This was not the first time White has aired her concerns about Muslims on Facebook.

    In June, she took to the social network to pledge that "finding Jihadists in Texas and arresting them" and purging the state "of all Muslim, military training camps including Imam's [sic] who promote, assist and encourage Jihad" would be among her top priorities as a legislator.

    In the comments on that post, she warned her followers that "Muslims cannot be trusted no matter how peaceful they appear."

    "If they come here and convert to the American way of life I may be more willing to trust," she continued. "When they come here to advance their way of life, Islam, then no trust there."
    This reeks of McCarthyism.
    "Draft beer, not people."

  • #2
    also, when was Israel part of the US?

    racists and bigots, quelle surprise.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

    Comment


    • #3
      Asshat, thy name is Belton.
      “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
      Mark Twain

      Comment


      • #4
        Two different issues here.

        Asking people to swear allegiance to the US is particularly assholish thing to do not because of what it is but because of what it is trying to say.

        As for the Israeli flag... In any other civilized country that would be grounds for dismissal.

        You want to radicalise previously non radical Muslims? Make them swear allegiance to the US in the presence of an Israeli flag. Leave them in absolutely no doubt that you support their enemies (whether deserved or not) and then wonder why they dont feel accepted in US society.

        Fucknuckles.
        The best part of repentance is the sin

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by astralis View Post
          also, when was Israel part of the US?
          Surely you can't have missed the increasing link in some sectors of American society between patriotism & 'support of Israel' (read support of Likud).

          Mark down Belton for 'instant right wing hero' status.

          Can you imagine the volume of the screams if a politician somewhere asked Jews to swear allegiance in front of the flag of an actual US ally that has actually fought alongside America in War....like Saudi Arabia or Germany?


          Originally posted by chakos View Post
          Two different issues here.

          Asking people to swear allegiance to the US is particularly assholish thing to do not because of what it is but because of what it is trying to say.

          As for the Israeli flag... In any other civilized country that would be grounds for dismissal.

          You want to radicalise previously non radical Muslims? Make them swear allegiance to the US in the presence of an Israeli flag. Leave them in absolutely no doubt that you support their enemies (whether deserved or not) and then wonder why they dont feel accepted in US society.

          Fucknuckles.
          Yup. People who feel alienated from their own society are fertile ground for radicalism. What better way to achieve this than to tell tem that they are assumed disloyal until proven otherwise. While I don't necessarily think all American Muslims would view Israel as 'the enemy', it would be perfectly reasonable to see that as an absurd & offensive provocation.
          sigpic

          Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

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          • #6
            Originally posted by astralis View Post
            also, when was Israel part of the US?
            Err ... perhaps she thinks it's the other way round - the US is part of Israel? Oi vey!!
            If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Red Team View Post
              This reeks of McCarthyism.
              I was under the impression that the release of the Mitrokhin Archive and declassification of Venona had vindicated the majority McCarthy's claims.
              "Nature abhors a moron." - H.L. Mencken

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Genosaurer View Post
                I was under the impression that the release of the Mitrokhin Archive and declassification of Venona had vindicated the majority McCarthy's claims.
                I was under the impression that was not the case, but that it has been presented as such by a handful of politically motivated authors. Additionally, 'McCarthyism' describes a phenomenon that impacted the lives of thousands of people who were nothing to do with any spies or 'agents of influence', but simply held the wrong views or had the wrong politics at a particular time.

                Havrey Khler is one of the pre-eminent historians of the topic, having had access to Russian archives & having been instrumental in getting the Venona material declassified. he has taken a lot of abuse from both left & right about his findings. BTW, the highlighted is the reason there has been a concerted campaign on the right to rehabilitate McCarthy. It is all about eroding any distinction between 'liberal' or 'Democrat' and 'traitor' (see Anne Coulter). Also an attempt to rob the left of a powerful rhetorical weapon against the right (see also: 'Hitler was left wing'). I'm not suggesting you are attempting any of that, just that you have been misled.

                But if McCarthy was right about some of the large issues, he was wildly wrong on virtually all of the details. There is no indication that he had even a hint of the Venona decryptions, so he did not base his accusations on the information in them. Indeed, virtually none of the people that McCarthy claimed or
                alleged were Soviet agents turn up in Venona. He did identify a few small fry who we now know were
                spies but only a few. And there is little evidence that those he fingered were among the unidentified spies
                of Venona. Many of his claims were wildly inaccurate; his charges filled with errors of fact, misjudgments
                of organizations and innuendoes disguised as evidence. He failed to recognize or understand the differences among genuine liberals, fellow-traveling liberals, Communist dupes, Communists and spies — distinctions that were important to make. The new information from Russian and American archives does not vindicate McCarthy. He remains a demagogue, whose wild charges actually made the fight against Communist subversion more difficult. Like Gresham’s Law, McCarthy’s allegations marginalized the accurate claims. Because his facts were so often wrong, real spies were able to hide behind the cover of being one of his victims and even persuade well-meaning but naïve people that the whole anti-communist cause was based on inaccuracies and hysteria.
                http://www.raleighspyconference.com/...rthy_klehr.pdf

                ...anyways, this is a distraction. Back to the moron in Texas....
                Last edited by Bigfella; 01 Feb 15,, 02:25.
                sigpic

                Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Red Team View Post
                  "As law-abiding American citizens, we all have the privilege and the right to freedom of speech granted to us by the First Amendment," she wrote. "... As a proud Texan and American I fully denounce all terrorist groups or organizations who’s [sic] intent is to hurt and destroy the great state of Texas and our nation.”

                  This was not the first time White has aired her concerns about Muslims on Facebook.

                  In June, she took to the social network to pledge that "finding Jihadists in Texas and arresting them" and purging the state "of all Muslim, military training camps including Imam's [sic] who promote, assist and encourage Jihad" would be among her top priorities as a legislator.

                  In the comments on that post, she warned her followers that "Muslims cannot be trusted no matter how peaceful they appear."

                  "If they come here and convert to the American way of life I may be more willing to trust," she continued. "When they come here to advance their way of life, Islam, then no trust there."
                  Nothing but pandering to get elected in Texas. Problem is that this stuff plays very well in Texas and just goes to show that they are nuts. I know some colleagues in Texas who soak this stuff up and they are highly educated. I've told them so but they say since I live in the Bay Area I am just another liberal commie. Becomes scary stuff when people believe these things...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post
                    Nothing but pandering to get elected in Texas. Problem is that this stuff plays very well in Texas and just goes to show that they are nuts. I know some colleagues in Texas who soak this stuff up and they are highly educated. I've told them so but they say since I live in the Bay Area I am just another liberal commie. Becomes scary stuff when people believe these things...
                    In my view this goes beyond the political spectrum. This act by Rep. White presents not only a blatant violation of First Amendment rights, but also underlines a severe disconnect among a worryingly large population of Americans who are unable to distinguish Muslims from Islamic fundamentalists.

                    I'm sure as hell positive I won't be seeing elected officials in Albany forcing Catholics to declare allegiance to the United States to spite the Vatican.
                    "Draft beer, not people."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Not much to say on the actual article in question. Pretty clearly pointlessly provocative headline-grabbing intended to prove neo-conservative bona fides. It'll probably fly in her district, even if she gets rightly blasted on the national stage for it.

                      Originally posted by Bigfella View Post
                      I was under the impression that was not the case, but that it has been presented as such by a handful of politically motivated authors. Additionally, 'McCarthyism' describes a phenomenon that impacted the lives of thousands of people who were nothing to do with any spies or 'agents of influence', but simply held the wrong views or had the wrong politics at a particular time.

                      Havrey Khler is one of the pre-eminent historians of the topic, having had access to Russian archives & having been instrumental in getting the Venona material declassified. he has taken a lot of abuse from both left & right about his findings. BTW, the highlighted is the reason there has been a concerted campaign on the right to rehabilitate McCarthy. It is all about eroding any distinction between 'liberal' or 'Democrat' and 'traitor' (see Anne Coulter). Also an attempt to rob the left of a powerful rhetorical weapon against the right (see also: 'Hitler was left wing'). I'm not suggesting you are attempting any of that, just that you have been misled.
                      Obviously in this instance, because so little of Venona has been decrypted and so much archival material from the period is still classified or untranslated, most of us can only base our views on summaries of the material from 'experts' on the subject. That said, it seems pretty clear to me that the Soviet Union was behaving in a manner as close to that of a belligerent as it possibly could short of outright declaring war against the west in general and the United States in particular - some of the things to come out of the Mitrokhin Archive about Soviet intelligence operations during the period are genuinely hard to believe. In light of that, I have to view people like Khler's "fellow-traveling liberals, Communist dupes, Communists" the same way I'd view folks like Charles Lindbergh or the Amerikadeutscher Bund in 1940 - clearly not enemy agents, but certainly verging in that direction, and suspicions about their loyalty wouldn't be lacking in justification.

                      Beyond that, I've always been interested in historical revisionism (probably due to my contrarian nature), especially on subjects that have been presented to me as purely black-and-white. When the subject was covered in any of my US history classes, it typically went something like this: "McCarthy was a mean old drunk Republican who randomly accused a bunch of innocent people of being Commies and ruined their lives for no reason, it was the Salem Witch Trials all over again, let's spend the next hour reading excerpts from The Crucible."

                      My reading of the currently available information is that penetration of the US government in the period, and particular of the State Department, was actually worse than McCarthy claimed, and that the majority of the people he accused actually were significant security risks, with a not insubstantial number who legitimately were working for the Soviets. Regardless of the effectiveness of his methods (I don't think you can justifiably say they were even a little successful) or his motives (clearly partisan), or the motives of those who are now pushing to revise the record, this to me was still a huge reversal of what I'd been taught in high school and college about the subject. It'd be like finding out that Salem really had been a hotbed of witchcraft.

                      I guess my point would be that saying "McCarthyism!" to me no longer calls into mind entirely unfounded accusations leveled against purely innocent victims, and I roll my eyes when it's still used that way.
                      "Nature abhors a moron." - H.L. Mencken

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Genosaurer View Post
                        Not much to say on the actual article in question. Pretty clearly pointlessly provocative headline-grabbing intended to prove neo-conservative bona fides. It'll probably fly in her district, even if she gets rightly blasted on the national stage for it.
                        Agree

                        Obviously in this instance, because so little of Venona has been decrypted and so much archival material from the period is still classified or untranslated, most of us can only base our views on summaries of the material from 'experts' on the subject. That said, it seems pretty clear to me that the Soviet Union was behaving in a manner as close to that of a belligerent as it possibly could short of outright declaring war against the west in general and the United States in particular - some of the things to come out of the Mitrokhin Archive about Soviet intelligence operations during the period are genuinely hard to believe. In light of that, I have to view people like Khler's "fellow-traveling liberals, Communist dupes, Communists" the same way I'd view folks like Charles Lindbergh or the Amerikadeutscher Bund in 1940 - clearly not enemy agents, but certainly verging in that direction, and suspicions about their loyalty wouldn't be lacking in justification.
                        Suspect all you want, but wrecking their lives on the basis that they held an unpopular belief is no better than targeting Muslims who might disagree with US policy in the ME. It certainly doesn't justify what thousands were subjected to without any proof of wrongdoing.

                        Beyond that, I've always been interested in historical revisionism (probably due to my contrarian nature), especially on subjects that have been presented to me as purely black-and-white. When the subject was covered in any of my US history classes, it typically went something like this: "McCarthy was a mean old drunk Republican who randomly accused a bunch of innocent people of being Commies and ruined their lives for no reason, it was the Salem Witch Trials all over again, let's spend the next hour reading excerpts from The Crucible."
                        I'm a contrarian too, but in this case the description you were given of McCarthy was accurate. In fact, the Venona archive has simply confirmed that he was largely wrong.

                        My reading of the currently available information is that penetration of the US government in the period, and particular of the State Department, was actually worse than McCarthy claimed, and that the majority of the people he accused actually were significant security risks, with a not insubstantial number who legitimately were working for the Soviets. Regardless of the effectiveness of his methods (I don't think you can justifiably say they were even a little successful) or his motives (clearly partisan), or the motives of those who are now pushing to revise the record, this to me was still a huge reversal of what I'd been taught in high school and college about the subject. It'd be like finding out that Salem really had been a hotbed of witchcraft.
                        I would humbly suggest you are reading it wrong. You are correct that the issue of spying was worse than was known publically, but what you are missing is that it had been dealt with or was being dealt with entirely separate from what McCarthy was doing. The government moved on the issue years before McCarthy jumped on board for his own reasons. If anything he just got in the way & he hurt innocent people in the process.

                        If someone was running around in 2000 claiming a 'big Muslim plot against America' as a means of political advancement, but proceeded to accuse a bunch of people who actually had zero link to terrorism and one or two minor players whose links were already known to the Government, the events of 9/11 wouldn't redeem that person's actions. They would still be just as wrong.

                        I guess my point would be that saying "McCarthyism!" to me no longer calls into mind entirely unfounded accusations leveled against purely innocent victims, and I roll my eyes when it's still used that way.
                        Ah, but that is an entirely accurate description of what happened. He WAS wrong. He DID level unfounded accusations against innocent people and he did it for pretty base political purposes. That is why some modern day right wingers want to have him as a guardian angel. Roll your eyes no more. The new information we have certainly changes our understanding of that period, but it does little to redeem McCarthy. If you want to redeem someone Whitaker Chambers is a better candidate. He actually was right.

                        The term remains useful.
                        Last edited by Bigfella; 02 Feb 15,, 12:41.
                        sigpic

                        Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

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                        • #13
                          Would it be OK if she asked all visitors to pledge allegiance to America?
                          "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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                          • #14
                            No it wouldn't

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gun Grape View Post
                              No it wouldn't
                              Don't we do that in high school? Do we still do that in high school? It's been a while for me.
                              "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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