Apr 27 2011
Muslims are furious over new anti-terrorist legislation. Afraid it will ‘unfairly’ target them. (Unfairly? Oh, that’s rich.)
Tennessean -The House Judiciary Committee approved anti-terrorism legislation that critics say would be used unfairly against Muslims, dealing the bill a victory after heavy lobbying by Muslim groups.
Judiciary Committee members voted 12-4 in favor of the Material Support to Designated Entities Act, a bill that would give the governor and the attorney general the power to declare organizations to be terrorist groups.
Supporters say the bill does not target any particular groups, but opponents say it is a veiled attack on Muslims, noting that it in its original form the bill specifically targeted Shariah, the basic set of Islamic religious laws. (It isn’t veiled, it’s the politically correct way to attack Muslims without having to state the obvious. See….we on the right can play that game, too)
The vote sends the measure to the House Finance Committee, which must also approve it before it can go before the full House of Representatives. The measure is also scheduled to come up this afternoon in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The House Judiciary Committee approved the bill after nearly two hours of debate, much of it over whether groups suspected of terrorism would have enough opportunities to challenge the designation.
“Isn’t that the ultimate in truly Big Brother?” said state Rep. Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol, who joined Democrats Janis Sontany, Mike Stewart and Karen Camper in voting against the bill. “I like the intent. It just candidly scares me what we open up with this and what we potentially toss out.”
The measure’s sponsor, House Speaker Pro Tempore Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma, said the bill is meant only to give state authorities the power to cut off funding and support for groups planning terrorist attacks. (OH NOES! How dare they try to cut off funding for terrorist front groups like CAIR)
Muslims and civil liberties have opposed the material support bill since release of the first version, which specifically targeted organizations that practice Shariah. The term can be applied to a broad range of Muslim practices, and they argued that the bill would have the effect of criminalizing their religion. (That’s the idea!)
A couple of lawmakers criticized Shariah in today’s committee meeting. State Rep. Rick Womick, R-Rockvale, said political and legal aspects of Shariah are incompatible with the U.S. Constitution, and he questioned a Nashville imam called to testify whether he would place Shariah above the Constitution.
Yet, Matheny and several other supporters said the bill was not aimed at any religion and would not impact peaceful religious practices. “This is a benign bill to every organization, every community in this state,” he said. “This is not a witch hunt. This is nothing but to protect ourselves where the federal government can’t or won’t.”