Texas lawmaker Molly White has a message for any Muslims who want to visit the Texas Capitol: Pledge allegiance to the United States, or get out of my office.
According to the Texas Tribune, the outspoken Republican left a message for her staffers on how to treat any Muslims who might happen by her office while she was back in her home district. She then shared her instructions with her constituents, via her Facebook page.
Every year since 2003, the Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) observes Muslim Capitol Day, in which Texas Muslims visit the Capitol building to learn about the political process and possibly meet their lawmakers (unlikely, since at the time of this year’s Muslim Capitol Day, the legislature was not in session and most, like Molly White, were back in their home districts).
The Muslim community was taken aback by Ms. White’s demands, to say the least, and have appealed to House Speaker Joe Straus to investigate if any ethics rules were violated by the move, according to Politico. CAIR spokesperson Robert McCaw sent a letter to the Speaker.
“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? Are House members prohibited from making constituents take oaths before meeting with their elected representatives or house staff? Or, are you aware of any other ethical breaches that may have occurred because of these statements?”
Ms. White has gained something of a reputation for herself in Texas for being outspoken, if not downright bellicose, regarding her beliefs on Islam and on Muslims in Texas. On learning, earlier this week, that a group of Dallas Muslims had created a voluntary Sharia court — essentially a form of binding arbitration that would only rule on business and family matters, and only if both sides agree to it beforehand — White posted another anti-Muslim Facebook post, according to Yahoo! News.
“Remember, in the Koran, it is ok to lie for the purpose of advancing Islam. Texans must never allow fringe groups of people to come here so that they can advance their own culture instead of becoming an American and assimilating into the American way of life. That, I can assure is not the intent of most Muslims who move to America.”
Even before they could see the inside of Molly White’s office and hear her exhortation to pledge allegiance, about 100 participants in Muslim Capitol Day — mostly children — were met with protesters holding signs denouncing Islam and Sharia Law on the lawn of the Texas Capitol building, according to the Houston Chronicle.
As of this post, it is unclear if any of the Muslim visitors to Molly White’s office took her advice and pledged allegiance.