A Central Texas lawmaker has sent letters to mosques across Texas asking Islamic leaders to answer questions about their support for Sharia law, a move critics decried as a calculated effort to intimidate Muslims who planned to visit the Capitol.
In anticipation of Texas Muslim Capitol Day on Jan. 31, Rep. Kyle Biedermann, a Republican from Fredericksburg, and two ideological organizations that claim to fight Islamic extremism in the U.S. sent a poll that asks mosque leaders to indicate their support for three documents. The letter bears Biedermann's Capitol address, and the words "URGENT REPLY ASAP" are stamped in bright red letters on the envelope.
One of the documents Biedermann seeks support for is a "Declaration of Muslim Reform Movement" that repudiates "institutionalized Sharia" and declares support for secular governance, democracy and liberty. The second is a "Muslim Pledge for Religious Freedom and Safety from Harm for Former Muslims," which renounces persecution of so-called apostates who leave Islam. The third is federal legislation that designates the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization.