Texas Muslims Targeted by Freshman Republican Representative

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In a move reminiscent of Joseph McCarthy, newly-elected Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives Kyle Biedermann sent a survey to Texas Muslims, in advance of the Texas Muslim Capitol Day organized by the state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

He was not checking to see who wanted the vegetarian boxed lunch and who would be OK with halal chicken.

Per Quorum Report:

Freshman Rep. Kyle Biedermann, R-Fredericksburg, sent a questionnaire to Muslims across Texas asking about their support for Shariah law, the Muslim Brotherhood and ex-Muslims. A copy of the survey was obtained by Quorum Report on Wednesday. The return address on it is Biedermann’s Texas Capitol office.

Copies of the survey, marked “URGENT REPLY ASAP” on the envelope and addressed to attendees of Muslim Advocacy Day slated for the end of this month at the Capitol, were sent to Muslims not only in Biedermann’s district in the Hill Country but as far away as North Texas.

Texans are not required to submit survey responses in advance to visit the Texas Capitol, or declare anything about their religious beliefs or affiliations, and yet, that’s what the format implies. Since Biedermann’s office has not yet complied with a request for a copy of the survey, we have only this image:
Biedermann Poll

The form says:

POLL RESPONSE
Texas Muslim Capitol Day 2017

Please indicate your support and approval of any of the following items by placing an “X” in the appropriate box. Place the completed form in the enclosed pre-addressed postage-paid envelope and mail same to Rep. Kyle Biedermann, PO Box 2910, Austin, Texas 78768-2910–ON OR BEFORE January 20, 2017.

I AGREE WITH AND SUPPORT THE FOLLOWING INDICATED ITEMS:

◊ Declaration of Muslim Reform Movement.
◊ Muslim Pledge for Religious Freedom and Safety from Harm for Former Muslims
◊ S. 2230 of the 114th U.S. Congress that requires the U.S. Secretary of State to determine whether the Muslim Brotherhood meets the criteria for designation as a foreign terrorist organization.

In the current political climate, it is downright offensive to think that a representative of the government could demand to know citizens’ positions on various pieces of legislation.

And it gives you chills to consider what a list of respondents could be used for in the future. Not to mention how he got the list that he used for the mailing in the first place.

That’s not what Texans expect of their government.

Multiple requests to Biedermann’s staff for copies of the survey have not yet been fulfilled.

Is this the sort of leadership we should expect from Biedermann now that he’s a member of the legislature?

Past performance is no guarantee of future results when it comes to mutual funds and Texans football, but it often gives all the insight we need when it comes to Republicans in Texas.

You may recall the photo of Rep. Biedermann giving a seig heil while dressed as a jaunty Hitler with a pink pashmina—the San Antonio Express-News got the story, and the photo, in March 2016:

Kyle Biedermann has a simple explanation for why he once posed for a photograph in a Hitler costume with a swastika on his arm and a pink sash around his neck while smiling and making a Nazi “sieg heil” salute.

It was for charity.

Biedermann dressed up like “gay Hitler,” he said, for a Saturday Night Live-themed costume party that benefited a Fredericksburg food pantry about eight years ago. “Gay Hitler” was a character portrayed on the television comedy show in 2001 by actor Chris Kattan.

“What would be offensive about that photograph?” Biedermann asked on Wednesday. “This whole thing is about political correctness. It’s not a problem for me whatsoever.”

Nonetheless, Biedermann removed the photograph from his Facebook page before running for office.

Well, huh. “It was for charity” really is not in any way a reason to dress as Hitler, the man or the homophobic caricature. That’s common decency, which, Biedermann may not realize, is a synonym for political correctness.

Texans, we’ve known this was coming. It is time to stand up for Texas Muslims and refuse to let them be treated with anything less than the full respect and dignity all people should be afforded by the Texas government.

Consider supporting CAIR’s Texas Capitol Day, either by attending to support their membership, or better yet, by donating to help underwrite the cost of their trip and the valuable work they do to fight for civil liberties and educate the community.

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About Author

Andrea Greer

Andrea, an activist, fundraiser, feminist, writer, and baker, is not as tall as you think she is. She's been at this a long time, and wants to know what you are doing to make the pie higher and raise more hell. Her mother would like you to know she's got a law degree.

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