The event began at 9:30 a.m. on the South steps of the Capitol. The crowd
that gathered was no more than a couple of hundred folks. Muslims
from all over Texas attended. Some had been bused in from Dallas and
There were 23 speakers listed on the Texas Muslim Capitol Day website.
I had wondered how they would have time for 23 people to speak during
the one hour that had been allocated for the rally. Speaker after speaker
approached the podium and in quick order, introduced themselves, told a
little about who or what they represented and said a sentence or two about
their cause. There were buzz words that were used repeatedly such as
social justice, collectivism, inter-faith dialogue and of course, peaceful.
The speeches were nothing more than short plugs for various causes
aligned with Muslims.
After the rally, was an hour-long program in the auditorium with speakers
who would discuss various aspects of legislative process and various bill
being filed this session. The moderator was Sarwat Husain (CAIR – San
Bee Morehead (Executive Director, Texas Impact) spoke about being an
effective advocate with your state legislator, explaining ways to take action
and how to “make something happen”. Bee drew attention to an
information pamphlet that was in the registration packet, A Guide to
Legislative Behavior, which explained how to approach and dialogue with
your legislator (I have a copy of the pamphlet).
The next speaker was Mustafaa Carroll (CAIR – Houston) who talked about
bias and racial profiling, which he stated was on the rise with regard to
Muslims due to Islamophobia. (Wondering what race Islam is. –ed.) He stated that he did not like the word
“Islamophobic” and preferred to refer to bias and profiling as “anti-Muslim
Carroll went on to say that there is a new “civil rights era” emerging, but
that the impetus for it this time is different. The impetus this time is more
global; it has a geo-political impetus, and there is a media market that
He talked about the fact that Texas is subject to become a blue state in the
not too distant future; that it is already a purple state. Carroll stated, “we,
as Muslims in this society have the opportunity to become a very effective
force in this state and in this country, if we will step forward and do our job
Carroll advised that a copy of HB 750 was in their packets (there wasn’t a
copy in my packet!) and that it was touted as an “anti-foreign” bill but said
he wanted everyone to be clear that HB 750 and the Senate bill were
actually “anti-Shariah bills”. Carroll said, “We tried to downplay the whole
issue of the anti-shariah campaign because we didn’t want to give the other
side any excitement about being here.”
Carroll went on to talk about shariah and the fact that many Muslims don’t
like to hear him say “shariah” ; that they are nervous about the use of the
word. He said that Muslims are not trying to make shariah the law of the
land, they just want to practice their religion. I found it troubling when he
said, “Following the law of the land is part of shariah. We follow the law of
the land – in fact if we are practicing Muslims, we are above the law of
the land. The law doesn’t affect us at all.” This was not news to me, but
this boldness of saying it in the sessions caught me off-guard.
Finally, Carroll went on to explain that when they visited 20 out of the 30+
state representatives in the Houston area, they (CAIR) were surprised to
find that some legislators who had a large mosque in their district did not
even know that the Muslims were there. He warned that by not making
themselves known to their state legislators, Muslims make it easy for the
representatives to file “these kinds of silly bills” (his words – NOT mine). He went on to say that the “anti-shariah” bills are unconstitutional and that it
will remain to be seen exactly what impact they will have on Muslims.
Carroll advised that when the attendees went to visit their representative
later in the day, they should be sure to tell them that they want HB 750 to
be defeated. He re-stated that “we tried not to make this a big issue –
but it is a big issue. We know the bill is unconstitutional and we know
that the people who write the bills are not concerned about the
unconstitutionality of them, but are concerned about casting a black
cloud over the entire Muslim community to make it look like we are a
fifth column in the United States, trying to subvert the American
(So CAIR leader Mustafaa Carroll denies Muslims want to subvert the American government? From Discover the Networks:
“Ibrahim Hooper (formerly Doug Hooper) is a white American convert to Islam and one of the founders of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). At present, he serves as a spokesman and “Director of Strategic Communications” for that organization. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in journalism & mass communication.
Hooper has candidly stated that while he does not endorse the violent tactics of Islamic radicals, he does share their desire to impose Islam on all of America. “I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future,” he told the Minneapolis Star Tribune in a 1993 interview. “But I’m not going to do anything violent to promote that. I’m going to do it through education.”
Ten years later, in 2003, Hooper stated that if Muslims were ever to become a numerical majority in the U.S., they would likely seek to replace the Constitution with Islamic law (Sharia), which they view as divinely inspired and thus superior to all other legal systems.” Link
This leads me to think Mr. Carroll may not be completely forthcoming. Can you say taqiyya? –ed.)
There were two other speakers: Baldomero Garza and Matt Simpson.
Both talked about other bills which CAIR wanted the attendees to be sure
to tell their representatives to support.
Before closing the session, attendee were given time to find out who their
representatives are by logging onto “who represents me” online and
entering their zip code. I really wasn’t surprising to me that they had come
to Austin not even knowing who represents them.
They broke for a “working” lunch, during which time they were going to use
role-play with fellow Muslims to practice talking to a representative. They
were to go in groups of 6 to their legislators offices and afterward were to
gather in a given location to debrief and evaluate the visits. I’d been told
that the legislators leave Austin around noon on Thursday to return to their
districts, I was curious as to whether they would actually talk to anyone at
all; perhaps they would find a few of the staff still in the offices.
Observing at this event was less informative than insightful. What is clear
is that CAIR has discovered that their citizens are not involved in the
legislative process and have created this “ground-level, grassroots” effort at
getting Muslims involved in the legislative process. It appeared that they
there had not been much information given ahead of time, as the attendees
were clearly being “led”. They were instructed as to where to go, what to
do, who to see and what to say! It was obvious that this was a learning
experience for those who attended and an attempt by CAIR to grow the
number of Muslims who understand and are involved in the legislative
process on a state level.
This was only the second Texas Muslim Capitol Day. The turnout was greater than
it was in 2011. I would estimate approximately 300 people attended. I
think the increase could be largely attributed to the fact that the attendees
were bused from Houston and Dallas.
At the news conference and rally, with the same buzz words being tossed
out repeatedly (social justice, collectivism, inter-faith dialogue, peaceful), it
appeared as though the image being put forth for the media that was one
of: patriotic, engaged, diplomatic, non-violent and progressive. There was
a clear agenda with the words used.
At the inside session, the event was not free of blunders and appeared that
it was not very well planned. There were errors and omissions in literature
and oversight in details during the event such as audio issues, timing and
This was my first experience penetrating a thoroughly Muslim event, and I
think that what stood out for me the most, was witnessing how the group of
attendees was guided by those they consider their leaders; leaders who
were instructing them beyond what to do and what to say – but also, what
to think. They were told which bills to support and which not to support.
Outside at “the rally”, the silence was deafening.
There were no shouts of support for speakers. There were no shouts of
agreement of what was being said. There certainly was no “hootin’ and
hollerin’”. They stood by listening, observing, but never uttering a sound
besides the occasional Arabic response to the “welcome” from the speaker.
Sheeple, I thought to myself. These are sheeple.