Our VoiceIslamophobia

Co-sponsor of TN anti-Muslim bill misses irony of her new stance on religious tolerance

Imagine2050 Staff • Mar 30, 2015
Rep. Diane Black Anti-Muslim

U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), who co-sponsored a state-level anti-Muslim bill in 2010, stopped by Frank Gaffney’s radio show last week to talk about her new resolution aimed at “promoting religious freedom and tolerance” worldwide.

Black has introduced Resolution 139, which, she says, is meant to address persecution of Christians and other minority faith groups in the Middle East.

“Our country has always stood for the bedrock of the right to religion,” she told Gaffney.

Speaking of the resolution, she added: “We want to condemn the violence, but also need to take action…We want to reaffirm the United States is promoting religious freedom and tolerance around the world as we always have.”

Ironically, Gaffney, a notorious anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist who warns about the perils of Shariah law lurking at every turn, then shifted the conversation to discuss Black’s role in co-sponsoring legislation in Tennessee aimed at fomenting fear of Muslims and Islam.

Gaffney said “Islamic supremacism” is on the rise and “leeching” in the U.S. and in Tennessee.

He added: “I was very heartened by a step taken by your state…to adopt American Laws for American Courts.”

As Tennessee State Senator in 2010, Black co-sponsored “Tennessee Laws for Tennessee Courts,” which is anti-Shariah legislation. The bill’s first draft was authored by David Yerushalmi, the architect behind the anti-Shariah, or American Laws for American Courts (ALAC), movement. The bill’s original draft caused controversy after it conflated Shariah with terrorism and would have made practices like praying and going to a mosque against the law. A modified bill, which omitted any reference to Islam or Shariah, eventually passed.

In defense of the ALAC law, Black told Gaffney “as people come to our country, we acknowledge they’re coming to our country to incorporate into our society. And not that they still can’t practice their own religion, but when it comes to law, our law reigns supreme.”

Later in the interview, Gaffney turned his sights to Tennessee’s refugee resettlement program, stirring up fear that it might be importing “Islamic supremacists” who want to impose Shariah on Tennesseans.

Gaffney claimed such programs are “bringing people into this country on a refugee status who may not be inclined to assimilate, who may actually intend to try to have their own religious beliefs or political systems for that matter.”

He continued to say that the U.S. should consider extending refugee status to more than “just Islamic supremacists who aren’t like us to be part of the program.”

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