February 24th, 2012 11:01 EST
CAIR Action Alert: Oppose South Dakota`s Anti-Sharia Bill
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on Muslims and other people of conscience in South Dakota and nationwide to urge elected officials in that state to reject House Bill 1253 (HB 1253), the sponsor of which admits that is designed to attack Sharia, the religious principles of American Muslims.
"I would be less than fully honest with you if I didn`t also say that part of the purpose of [HB] 1253 is to deal with what I am going to say generally has been referred to as Sharia Law," said State Representative Roger Hunt (R-10) before the State House Judiciary Committee. "[This bill] will give us the provision needed to in essence deal with religious codes that would be sought in the state of South Dakota."
SEE: Rep. Hunt Before the South Dakota State House Judiciary Committee (At 2:30:20)
HB 1253 is one of more than 20 similar pieces of legislation that have been introduced in state legislatures nationwide that prohibits any state court consideration or application of "religious code" or "foreign law." These acts seek to marginalize Muslims from having the equal rights and access to the courts as other religious groups.
SEE: South Dakota HB 1253, Judicial Enforcement of Religious Codes
CAIR to Florida Legislature: `Sharia` Law Would Demonize Islam
Bans on Court Use of Sharia/International Law: 33 Bills in 20 States to Start 2012
On February 10, the bill was approved by the South Dakota House of Representatives sent to the State Senate for further consideration. The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to review the bill on Thursday, February 23. The office of South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard has voiced support for the bill.
SEE: HB 1253, Bill History
The nationwide campaign to pass state bans on the court consideration of "religious code" and "foreign law" is led by David Yerushalmi. Yerushalmi is an infamous anti-Muslim extremist with a history of bigoted views targeting Muslims, Jews, African-Americans, and women. He is also the head of the anti-Islam hate group Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), which on its now password-protected website offered a policy proposal that would make "adherence to Islam" punishable by 20 years in prison, called for the immediate deportation of all non-citizen Muslims and urged Congress to declare war on the "Muslim Nation," which SANE defined as "all Muslims."
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) named Yerushalmi a member of the "anti-Muslim inner circle."
SEE: A SANE Act to Deal with the Islamic Threat to America`s National Existence (SADITANE)
SPLC: The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle
Links to Background Information on David Yerushalmi:
David Yerushalmi: A Driving Force Behind Anti-Sharia Efforts in the U.S.
Meet the White Supremacist Leading the GOP`s Anti-Sharia Crusade
The Man Behind the Anti-Shariah Movement (NY Times)
Anti-Islam Activist Yerushalmi Measures Imams` Beards
Profile of Anti-Sharia Extremist David Yerushalmi
In a March 2, 2006, article for The American Spectator, Yerushalmi wrote: "Muslim civilization is at war with Judeo-Christian civilization ... The Muslim peoples, those committed to Islam as we know it today, are our enemies."
Yerushalmi is also staff attorney for Frank Gaffney, president of the Washington-based Center for Security Policy. Gaffney was a key witness for the plaintiffs in a controversial lawsuit against a mosque being built in Tennessee. Gaffney has also promoted the false belief that President Obama is a Muslim.
Gaffney: Mosques `Destroy Western Civilization from Within` (Video)
Frank Gaffney Claims Obama `May Actually Still be` a Muslim
Immediate Action Requested: (As always, be polite and respectful.)
1. Contact South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard. Call 605-773-3661, and ask to speak to the director of constituents.
2. Contact South Dakota Senate Majority Leader Russell Olson (R-08), Minority Leader Jason Frerichs (D-01) and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee
To contact the members of the House Courts of Justice Committee:
Committee Chair Craig Tieszen (R-34) " Phone: 605-773-3821
Ranking Member Joni Cutler (R-14) " Phone: 605-773-Senator Tim Begalka (R-4) " Phone: 605-773-3821
Senator Angie Buhl (D-15) " Phone: 605-773-3821
Senator Jean Hunhoff (R-18) " Phone: 605-773-3821
Senator Eldon Nygaard (R-17) " Phone: 605-773-3821
Senator Mike Vehle " Phone: 605-773-3821
IMPORTANT NOTE: Copy all correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org
I urge you to reject HB 1253, a "religious code" bill that is a thinly-veiled attack on the state`s Muslim population that only serves to marginalize Muslims and to deny them equal rights and equal access to the courts enjoyed by other religious groups.
I am deeply concerned that the South Dakota Legislature would even consider HB 1253, a bill that was apparently drafted using a template written by David Yerushalmi, an infamous anti-Muslim extremist with a history of controversial views targeting Muslims, Jews, African-Americans, and women.
I believe that if this bill is passed, it will have a potential impact on the state`s religious liberties and diverse business community which regularly deals with foreign nations and laws.
3. Inform your friends and family by forwarding this alert to at least five other people. Tell them you took action and ask them to do the same.
CAIR is America`s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
For more information, contact: CAIR Government Affairs Coordinator Robert McCaw, Tel: 202-742-6448, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Staff Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com.