Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kansas Muslims to Urge Veto of Anti-Sharia Bill
(ST. LOUIS, MO, 5/17/12) - On Friday, May 18, representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Muslim American Society (MAS) will hold a news conference at the Kansas State Capitol Building in Topeka to call on Governor Sam Brownback to veto a bill that critics say is designed to target “Sharia,” or Islamic religious principles.
WHAT: Muslims to Ask Gov. Brownback to Veto Anti-Sharia Bill
WHEN: Friday, May 18, 2 p.m. (Central)
WHERE: Front steps of the Kansas State Capitol Building, 300 Southwest 10th Avenue, Topeka, KS
CONTACT: CAIR-St. Louis Executive Director Faizan Syed, 314-330-2946, 636-207-8882, E-Mail:
The Kansas anti-Sharia bill, which was recently passed by that state’s legislature, is one of more than 25 similar pieces of discriminatory and unconstitutional legislation that have been introduced nationwide. These legislative initiatives are promoted by those who seek to marginalize American Muslims and demonize Islam.
Governor Brownback has not stated whether or not he will sign the bill.
Earlier this week, CAIR issued an action alert asking Muslims and Americans of all faiths to contact Gov. Brownback and urge him to veto the discriminatory bill.
Civil libertarians say the legislation could infringe on constitutionally-protected religious rights, impacting the writing of marriage contracts, implementation of wills or even being buried according to one's religious beliefs. It could also adversely affect the validation of international adoptions and foreign marriages.
Catholic leaders have outlined how a similar bill in Michigan could affect the rights of that faith’s adherents.
A Catholic official told a Michigan media outlet:
“[V]ulnerabilities for the church include questions of hiring, transfer of a pastor, the closing of a parish or decisions by church marriage tribunals. Such matters have been taken to secular courts, which have always deferred to the church. Long said canon law provides avenues of appeal of such matters within the church, with the final step involving the Holy See itself in Rome. He said that under HB 4769, such pronouncements from Rome could be viewed as foreign law.”
Supporters of the Kansas bill have attempted to mask its true intent by endorsing the measure as a women’s rights issue, but their repeated use of Islamophobic rhetoric demonstrates their true intent.
CAIR recently released a community toolkit designed to assist those seeking to preserve America's ideal of religious pluralism in the face of the unconstitutional anti-Sharia campaign.
CAIR’s toolkit includes background on David Yerushalmi, the anti-Islam extremist who authored the template for the anti-Sharia bills.
Yerushalmi is head of the anti-Islam hate group Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), which once offered a policy proposal that would make "adherence to Islam" punishable by 20 years in prison, called for the immediate deportation of all non-citizen Muslims and urged Congress to declare war on the "Muslim Nation," which SANE defined as "all Muslims." The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) named Yerushalmi a member of the "anti-Muslim inner circle."
Links to Background Information on David Yerushalmi:
David Yerushalmi: A Driving Force Behind Anti-Sharia Efforts in the U.S.
Meet the White Supremacist Leading the GOP's Anti-Sharia Crusade The Man Behind the Anti-Shariah Movement (NY Times)
Anti-Islam Activist Yerushalmi Measures Imams' Beards
Profile of Anti-Sharia Extremist David Yerushalmi
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-St. Louis Executive Director Faizan Syed, 314-330-2946, 636-207-8882, E-Mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail:; CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor, 202-384-8857, E-Mail:; CAIR Staff Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425, E-Mail:

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