Thursday, October 10, 2013

The People and Groups Behind Anti-Islam Legislation

David Yerushalmi, is an attorney with U.S. Islamophobia network inner core groups the Center for Security Policy and the American Freedom Law Center. He is confident in his hatred of Islam. Writing in the American Spectator in 2006 Yerushaml asserted, “Our greatest enemy today is Islam. The only Islam appearing in any formal way around the world is one that seeks a world Caliphate through murder, terror and fear.” Yerushalmi is also a founder of the Society of Americans for National Existence, a group that once advanced a policy advocated incarceration for “adherence to Islam.”
Outside of his anti-Islam activism Yerushalmi is notable for writing, "There is a reason the founding fathers did not give women or black slaves the right to vote." According to an article in New York Jewish Week in 2007, Yerushalmi also says he finds truth in the view that Jews destroy their host nations like a fatal parasite.
He is also the author of American Laws for American Courts (ALAC), the template for many anti-Islam bills introduced across the nation.
He wrote the bill for the American Public Policy Alliance (APPA). While the organization has a professional-looking website, its Washington, D.C. address is a UPS Store. APPA has a minor Facebook presence, with less than 100 friends as of early 2013.
Yerushalmi’s bill is then pushed at the state-level by groups like ACT! for America, the Eagle Forum and to a lesser extent Pamela Geller’s Stop the Islamization of America.
In its 2011 IRS filings, ACT! for America includes among the organization’s accomplishments a total membership of 175,000 people, 635 chapters, and 40,000 Facebook fans. The group also celebrates its role in the passage of anti-Islam bills in Arizona and Tennessee. Also among its accomplishments ACT! lists the distribution of thousands of “Sharia Law for Non-Muslim” [sic] pamphlets and the hosting of multiple events at which participants were inaccurately taught “how the Islamic doctrine of abrogation, which is the annulling of contradictory passages in the Koran, has annulled up to 124 peaceful and superseded them with violent and jihadist verses aimed at non-Muslims.”
In 2008, ACT! for America founder Brigitte Gabriel told the Australian Jewish News: "Every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim." Speaking at the Intelligence Summit in Washington, D.C. on February 19, 2006, Gabriel told the audience, “America and the West are doomed to failure in this war unless they stand up and identify the real enemy. Islam.”
In a newsletter the Eagle Forum told its supporters, “Sharia law is becoming part of the American landscape as Christianity is being systematically removed. Christian students are being told they cannot pray at school activities or even pray in front of American institutions, while public school students adopt Muslim names, pray on prayer rugs and celebrate Ramadan under a state-mandated curriculum," according to the Houston Chronicle. Tennessee’s anti-Islam bill was given to legislators by Tennessee Eagle Forum President Bobbie Patray. Texas Eagle Forum president Pat Carlson testified in favor of that state’s anti-Islam bill.
In December 2012, an Alaska ethics panel recommended that Karen Sawyer, former chief of staff to state Rep. Carl Gatto, be fired after it found “she used state resources to help an anti-Islamic group.” The panel also recommended that Sawyer never be allowed to work for the legislature again. Sawyer resigned before she could be fired. According to the panel’s findings, Sawyer allowed David Heckert of Stop Islamization of America to “use the Wasilla legislative information office and equipment for work related to his organization.” It also found that Sawyer used state equipment to help plan activities related to a 2011 group conference, and that she failed to file a timely disclosure showing she was a member of the group's board in 2011 and 2012.” The Associated Press also noted that the panel found that SIOA’s "main mission appeared to be promoting their organization and its mission with HB88 [Alaska’s anti-Islam bill] as a validation point."
Summed up, one man with a history of anti-Islam prejudice writes a bill for a group that appears to exist only on the internet which is then pushed by organizations committed to spreading fear and prejudice about Islam.

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