3/17/2023: Massachusetts Bill Privileges Muslims in State Government

Massachusetts Bill Privileges Muslims in State Government

Focus on Western Islamism

By Dexter Van Zile
March 15, 2023

The Massachusetts state legislature is considering a bill that would promote and privilege the participation of Muslims in state politics. The bill (“An Act promoting the civil rights and inclusion of American Muslims in the commonwealth”), put forth by lawmakers from central and north Massachusetts in January, would establish a commission charged with promoting the participation of Muslims in the governance of the state. In particular, the commission would “identify and recommend qualified American Muslims for appointive positions at all levels of government, including boards and commissions, as the commission considers necessary and appropriate.”

The bill is “an unprecedented and unconstitutional effort to promote one religion, Islam, over all others, said Steve Resnicoff, director of DePaul College of Law Center for Jewish Law and Judaic Studies. “It would clearly violate the principle of separation of church and state.”

It would be one thing if the proposed commission were intended to combat discrimination against Muslims, Resnicoff said, but that’s not the case with this bill. “Instead, it calls for the creation of a government entity that would broadly endeavor to benefit the interests of Muslims,” he said.

In addition to identifying and recommending Muslims to serve in appointive positions in the state government, the commission would also advocate for the community. Such advocacy would target leaders in the fields of business, education, health care and state and local governments. It would also “serve as a liaison between government and private interest groups” on matters of interest to the state’s Muslim community.

Members of the commission — who would serve three-year terms — would be appointed by officials including the state governor, the attorney general, and members of the state legislature. In addition to state funding, the 11-member commission would be authorized to solicit donations to cover the cost of its operations, which would include the hiring of a paid executive director, staffers, and volunteers.

A sheet promoting the bill’s passage says a commission is necessary because the perspective and experiences of American Muslims “are often absent in policy conversations on issues that directly impact the community.”

The proponents of the bill, Senator James B. Eldridge (D-Middlesex and Worcester) and Representative Vanna Howard (D-17th Middlesex), have not responded to repeated requests for comment — including a personal visit to the Statehouse — but it appears the bill was filed with input from the Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

In February, Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, CAIR-MA’s executive director and chief legal officer, posted a celebratory tweet about the introduction of the bill. It shows Eldridge standing alongside Amatul-Wadud, an astonishing scene, given Amatul-Wadud’s professional background.

Writing in The American Spectator in 2017, Orwin Litwin reported that Amatul-Wadud, was “deeply enmeshed in one of the most dangerous extremist groups in the United States.” In addition to serving as a lawyer for the group in question, Muslims of America (MOA), which has sent its members to Pakistan for extremist indoctrination and military training, Amatul-Wadud has promoted the conspiracy theories put forth by MOA’s founder, Pakistani cleric Mubarak Ali Gilani. Litwin reports that in 2015, Amatul-Wadud “shared a Facebook post from MOA of a long and unhinged 2014 article by Sheikh Gilani himself.”

Litwin reports that in the article Amatul-Wadud retweeted, “Gilani claims that the terror group ISIS (and indeed, Wahhabism itself) is a creation of British intelligence, that 9/11 was an inside job, that WTC-7 was destroyed by controlled demolition, and that America was manipulated into fighting Nazi Germany and Saddam Hussein for the benefit of the Jews.”

The article Amatul-Wadud promoted on Facebook declares, among other things, that “there was no need for America to go to war against Hitler. Hitler was not the enemy of America or the American people. There was a mutual animosity between Hitler and the Jews. So, the American people paid a very heavy price for fighting someone else’s war.”

CAIR-MA has not responded to repeated requests for comment on the bill from FWI.

“The proposed legislation seeking to aid Islam is unconstitutional on its face,” said Karen Hurvitz, a Massachusetts attorney who serves as legal counsel for Education Without Indoctrination, a group that fights against anti-American and anti-Israel propaganda in K-12 schools. In particular, it flies in the face of 1947 Supreme Court ruling, Everson v. Bd. Of Education which states, “The ‘establishment of religion’ clause in the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can … pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another.”

This ruling, Hurvitz reports, recounted how oppressive religious practices, which early settlers fled Europe to escape, were ironically transplanted to the colonies in North America. “The colonists reached the conviction that individual religious liberty could be achieved best under a government which was stripped of all power to support, or otherwise to assist any or all religions,” Hurvitz told FWI.

“Perhaps the proponents of this legislation are unaware of the First Amendment or its history. Perhaps they are used to the 26 countries where Islam is the official religion and where practice of other religions is not permitted,” she said. “That is not the United States.”

Charles Jacobs, founder of the Boston-based Americans for Peace and Tolerance a prominent counter-Islamist group in Massachusetts said, “This bill is a naked attempt to establish a beachhead for CAIR in Massachusetts state government,” he said, adding the assertion that Muslim voices haven’t been given a robust hearing in the state is “laughable.”

“The Islamic Society of Boston was able to purchase land from the city for a discount in 2003,” Jacobs said. “What are they talking about – not being heard? The past governor and other elected officials regularly visit the ISB all the time.”

Noting that the commission would be allowed to solicit funds from non-taxpayer sources, to cover its expenses, Jacobs indicates donors could have an outsized impact on its messaging.

“We already have enough problems with government agencies being vulnerable to capture by outside interests,” he said. “Saudi Arabia funded the construction of a mosque in Boston. Could Qatar end up funding this commission?”

Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and co-founder of the Muslim reform movement warns that the bill is part of a campaign to promote the influence of Islamism in the state under the guise of identity politics.

“This Islamist commission in Massachusetts is un-American and will only serve to feed Islamist separatist ideas and radicalization,” Jasser said. “It is rather incredible that any non-Muslims have joined the supremacist intent behind this commission.”

The Establishment Clause, Jasser said, is the primary firewall against theocracy and Islamism in America’s liberal democracy. “Without it, Islamists use identity politics where they are a minority and [majoritarian politics] where they are a majority to smother the voices of other dissenting anti-Islamist Muslims and certainly the voices of other faiths or citizens of no chosen faith,” he said.

Thomas Sheedy, president of the New York-based Atheists for Liberty warns that the act could be used “as a Trojan Horse to violate the Establishment Clause and ultimately the religious neutrality guaranteed to all Bay Staters.”

For most of its early history, public officials in Protestant-ruled Massachusetts were required to swear a public oath affirming their Christian faith before taking office. These requirements, enshrined in the state’s constitution — enacted in 1789 — were operative until 1833 when the state disestablished its churches. This bill, Sheedy warns, flies in the face of a nearly 200-year-old policy of disestablishment.

“With efforts to theocratize Islam throughout governments at home and abroad, by allowing this bill to pass, a dangerous precedent could emerge where secular governance can be halted, causing the demise of any real diversity and inclusion, he


The bill has a long road to go before it’s enacted, said Rep. Steve Howitt (R-4th Bristol).

“There are over 6,000 bills introduced into the legislature every year,” he said. “Very few of them get signed by the governor.”

Efforts to elicit a response from the American Civil Liberties Union, which regularly inveighs against the influence of conservative Christians on government policy in the United States, were unsuccessful.

The Great Coverup: The Murder of Mahsa Amini

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M. Zuhdi Jasser is president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy based in Phoenix and the co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement. He is a former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander and former Vice-Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. He is the author of the book, “A Battle for the Soul of Islam.”



Asra Nomani is an American author and former Georgetown University professor. She is also a co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement. She is co-director of the Pearl Project and the author of “Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam”.



Raheel Raza is President of The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, founding member of The Muslim Reform Movement, Director of Forum for Learning, award-winning journalist, public speaker, and advocate for human rights, gender equality, and dignity in diversity



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About MRM
The Muslim Reform Movement is a dedicated coalition of diverse western Muslim leaders founded in December 4, 2015. The MRM focuses on opposing a very real interpretation of Islam that espouses violence, social injustice, and political Islam.

About AIFD
The American Islamic Forum for Democracy is a non-profit organization based in Phoenix, Ariz. dedicated to providing an American Muslim voice advocating genuine Muslim reform against Islamism and the ideologies which fuel global Muslim radicalization. AIFD’s mission is to advocate for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty, and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state. In December 2015, AIFD convened and helped launch the Muslim Reform Movement, a coalition of over 12 Muslim organizations and leaders dedicated to reform for values of peace, human rights, and secular governance.

11/17/2015 Wage Political War On Radical Islam

Source: The Daily Caller


Using his trademark subterfuge, President Obama on Monday said there must be no “religious test” for refugees coming to America. What he meant was that asylum seekers like the Paris suicide bomber who posed as a Syrian refugee probably won’t be asked about their views on radical Islam, much less disqualified for subscribing to the Islamist political ideology. Unfortunately, by refusing even to name the force that animates our enemies, we ensure that we will never fully defeat them. Worse still, this refusal prevents us from even beginning what is most necessary to turn the tide on radical Islam: political warfare.

In statecraft, political warfare is the reverse of espionage.  Whereas spying involves the “pull” of information our enemies don’t want us to have, political warfare is the “push” of ideas, information, people, and events with which our enemies would rather not contend. During the Cold War, the West had great political warfare victories, ranging from support for Eastern Bloc dissident groups like Polish Solidarity to aiding the underground “samizdat” press and other media efforts that weakened the Soviet Union. CIA operations helped the Christian Democrats beat the communists in Italy and funded intellectuals in Europe who were left-leaning but anti-Soviet.

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9/12/13 Pledge of Allegiance skipped, Muslim poem read at Boston school on 9/11

Source: The Washington Times

The principal of Concord Carlisle High School in Boston issued an apology Wednesday after a Muslim poem was recited over the intercom on the 12th anniversary of 9/11, and the Pledge of Allegiance was not.

According to principal Peter Badalament, a “small number” of people were outraged at the poem, which was meant to promote “cross-cultural understanding,” Boston.com reported. Apparently, the Pledge of Allegiance was not read because of some confusion.

“Yesterday was the first Wednesday of the school year; we were unaware that our student Pledge reader had an internship commitment on this day,” Mr. Badalament said in the statement. “This was our responsibility to know. We humbly apologize that this oversight and communication gap occurred.”

Mohja Kahf’s “My Grandmother Washes Her Feet in the Sink of the Bathroom at Sears,” tells a granddaughter’s account of watching her grandmother adhere to the religious Muslim custom of washing her feet five times a day, Boston.com reported.

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9/11/13 Largest U.S. Muslim group shuns controversial 9/11 march

Source: Al Arabiya

The rally is “exploitative,” seeking to take advantage of the Sept. 11 attacks to “blame America for their so-called complaints of Islamophobia,” said Zuhdi Jasser, a prominent Islamic scholar and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, who frequently writes for theHuffington Post.

“It’s put together by groups that are proven ‘truthers’ who deny that 9/11 was committed by al-Qaeda,” and who are “profoundly anti-Semitic,” he added.

AMPAC’s hard-line ideas are “a symptom of the deeper problem of the continuous threat of radical Islam and political Islam domestically and globally in radicalizing Muslim populations,” said Jasser.

“If Muslims have grievances they want heard, pick any other day but 9/11,” which was “about America being attacked by a radical Islamist group, al-Qaeda, that continues to threaten us,” he added.

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9/10/13 Eyewitness Places ICNA Official at Bangladesh Mass Killings

Source: The Investigative Project on Terrorism

A survivor of a 1971 Islamist killing spree in Bangladesh tearfully told a war crimes tribunal Monday that he saw a man who would go on to lead the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) giving orders during the kidnapping, torture and murder of intellectuals.

Delwar Hossain, 70, provided a dramatic eyewitness account against Ashrafuzzaman Khan, who remains on the executive board of ICNA’s New York chapter and is a leader of the North American Imams Federation.

Prosecutors allege that Khan was the “chief executor” of a killing squad loyal to the Pakistani army during the closing days of Bangladesh’s war of independence. It targeted intellectuals to rob the newly-liberated nation of leadership. Khan andprominent U.K. imam Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin are being tried in absentia. Court-appointed defense attorneys are cross examining witnesses.


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9/10/13 Obama Judge: Hijab Ban Violates Muslim Civil Rights

Source: Judicial Watch

An Obama-appointed federal judge has handed the administration a major victory, ruling that a Muslim woman’s civil rights were violated by an American clothing retailer that didn’t allow her to wear a head scarf as required by her religion.

The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency that enforces the nation’s workplace discrimination laws. In 2011 the agency sued the retail giant, Abercrombie & Fitch, accusing it of religious discrimination for firing 19-year-old Umme-Hani Khan for wearing a hijab at a northern California store. The company, which focuses on hip casual wear for consumers aged 18 to 22, has a policy against head covers of any kind for its employees.

In the case of this Muslim woman it amounts to discrimination based on religion, according to the EEOC, and that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employers are required to accommodate the sincere religious beliefs or practices of employees, the agency says, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on business.

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8/6/13 Fort Hood accused opens defense with ‘War is an ugly thing’

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) – Accused Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan said on Tuesday that war is an ugly thing with death and devastation on both sides, in a brief opening statement at his long-awaited trial for killing 13 U.S. soldiers in 2009.

Hasan is representing himself at the trial on the Texas Army base where he opened fire just days before he was to be deployed to Afghanistan, killing 13 people and wounding 32.

Hasan, 42, an American-born Muslim, has said he shot the soldiers to try to stop what he has called a U.S. war on the Muslim religion.

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8/6/13 Army won’t suspend contracts with Al Qaeda-tied companies, citing ‘due process rights’

Source: Fox News

The U.S. Army is refusing to suspend contracts with dozens of companies and individuals tied to Al Qaeda and other extremist groups out of concern for their “due process rights,” despite repeated pleas from the chief watchdog for Afghanistan reconstruction.

In a scathing passage of his latest report to Congress, Special Inspector General John Sopko said his office has urged the Army to suspend or debar 43 contractors over concerns about ties to the Afghanistan insurgency, “including supporters of the Taliban, the Haqqani network and al Qaeda.”

Sopko wrote that the Army “rejected” every single case.
Read more: 

8/6/13 Fort Hood witness on Hasan: ‘His punishment will come’

Source: CNN

(CNN) — [Breaking news update at 10:14 a.m. Tuesday]

The court-martial of U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan began Tuesady morning at Fort Hood, Texas. Hasan is accused of opening fire on his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood in 2009, killing 13 people and wounding dozens more.

[Original story, posted at 8:24 a.m. Tuesday]

Fort Hood witness on Hasan: ‘His punishment will come’

(CNN) — Chief Warrant Officer Christopher Royal survived the 2009 massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, with two bullet wounds to his back.

The slugs left him with nerve damage that numbs his left arm and leg and sends streaking pains “shooting up and down my back.” And it’s left invisible scars as well — post-traumatic stress that has hurt his ability to perform his duties as a computer specialist and left him unable to feel safe in his own country.

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