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Newly-Elected VA Congressman Revealed to be Ally to Anti-Muslim Group


Imagine 2050 Staff • Nov 12, 2013

As a result of last week’s elections, the anti-Muslim grassroots organization ACT! for America now has a potential ally in the Virginia State government. That ally is Virginia Beach City Councilman Bill DeSteph, who was elected to fill the 82nd seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Unfortunately, the newly elected delegate has alarming ties to the anti-Muslim organization.

Bill DeSteph

In a recent story uncovered using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), The Virginian-Pilot revealed a concerning email exchange between DeSteph and Virginia Beach ACT! for America chapter leader, Scott Saunders.  Saunders sent an email to DeSteph containing a draft of a mass email he planned to send around to the group’s constituents. In it, Saunders referred to the councilman as a “true ally for our cause” and called for the group’s members to support him. ACT!’ uses grassroots tactics to enact legislation that combats the fictitious threat of Muslims infiltrating the U.S. government and replacing the Constitution with the Islamic doctrine of Sharia law.

“Indeed, if [DeSteph] wins election to the state legislature we will have an ally in Richmond that we can count on to champion legislation that we need to see passed in our great state such as American Laws for American Courts,” Saunders announced in the email. DeSteph responded to the email saying everything “looks good” to him and suggested touting his background as a 20 year veteran Naval Special Intelligence Officer to gain further support from ACT!’s members.

Saunders seems confident DeSteph will uphold the group’s agenda and work to pass the legislation known as American Laws for American Courts (ALAC), an unnecessary law that aims to ban foreign law (i.e. Sharia) from being applied in U.S. courtrooms. However, ALAC’s true nature is to further dispage Muslims in the U.S. and stop the alleged creeping Islamization of America. Earlier this year, ACT! ambitiously announced 24 potential states they hope to pass ALAC legislation in 2014. With DeSteph’s recent victory, it looks like they have a legislative ally who will work to pass ALAC in Virginia where it has already currently been introduced.

Although DeSteph has never explicitly said he will uphold ACT!’s agenda, his long history and continuing association with the group perhaps says otherwise. According to The Virginian-Pilot, he was a previous member of ACT!, but has since stopped paying dues to the organization. However, he still receives emails from them. In September of this year, DeSteph was the lone councilman to oppose a Virginia Beach mosque after claiming it had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and was a threat to national security. It was later revealed that DeSteph’s decision to oppose the mosque was heavily influenced by a PowerPoint presentation given to him by the local chapter of ACT! for America.

In 2010, it was reported DeSteph wrote a letter to New York City officials objecting the planned Park51 Islamic Cultural Center located near Ground Zero. His letter was said to be almost identical to a then current ACT! letter circulating online also petitioning against the cultural center. Also during this time, DeSteph was currently dating the daughter of the ACT! for America founder and radical Islamophobe, Brigitte Gabriel. It is said Gabriel and ACT! for America Executive Director Guy Rodgers both currently live in Virginia Beach.

DeSteph’s recent victory is concerning when it comes to unfair laws and legislation targeting Muslim communities in the United States. In addition, it  furthers the ongoing partnership between organized bigotry and elected officials as well as adds to the importance of the continuing efforts to expose these alliances. It remains to be seen whether DeSteph will uphold ACT!’s agenda, however given his past associations and continuing ties with the group, it’s looking positive for those who oppose bigotry.

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