LEAGUE CITY — Public attention that last month was focused on a controversial City Council immigration resolution has mostly shifted elsewhere, but not for everyone.
Last week, a handful of League City’s Muslim residents took to the microphone asking council members to reconsider part of the resolution that singles out “radical Islamist terror groups.” Each pledged to return for every council meeting until that clause is removed.
“I fear for my family and all of the Muslims in this community because of backlash,” Luxie Mohammed told council members.
Mohammed said she worried even about a simple requirement of giving her home address before she spoke at the meeting.
“Just giving my exact address, I feel like I am going to be targeted,” she said. “This is unfair, because I am a law-abiding citizen. I pay my taxes and I feel like I am a great contributor to this society.”
Last month, in response to news about government efforts to move undocumented immigrant children from crowded border detention centers, the council passed a resolution prohibiting city departments from cooperating with federal directives or requests to process or house undocumented immigrants.
None who spoke at Tuesday’s meeting called on the council to rescind the resolution, just the part that referred to “radical Islamist terror groups.”
Councilwoman Heidi Thiess, who championed the resolution, originally wrote “Islamic terror groups.” She said she changed it to read “Islamist,” because she was advised that term referred not to Islam, but to those who use the religion as a basis to carry out terrorist acts.
“Despite the organized efforts and threats of the Council on American Islamic Relations members, I will not remove the reference to radical Islamist terror groups working with drug cartels to infiltrate our border because the statement is 100 percent factual and accurate,” Thiess said.
“I am all too familiar with the intimidation tactics of CAIR, which is indisputably linked with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and I will continue to do everything I can to inform people as to the facts of CAIR’s disreputable history and intentions.”
Thiess’ explanation for the wording still doesn’t sit well with those who oppose to the phrasing.
Abdul Alsahli, who on Thursday launched a campaign for the City Council, in large part, because of the resolution, said singling out a specific group as terrorist was a disgrace to the city.
Any radical, no matter his faith association, is a terrorist, he said. He said he worries what the resolution portrays.
“The funny part: If I grow a beard, I am looked at as a terrorist or a criminal,” Alsahli said. “If he grows a beard he is a ‘Duck Dynasty,’” he said, pointing to a white man in the audience.
Others see the resolution as an attack on their way of life.
“I am feeling ostracized,” Ajaz Shah said. “Islam is my way of life. When I see a reference to ‘Islamist,’ ‘Islamic,’ that’s me.”
Shah chastised the council for not seeking “the real source of information” about Islam and encouraged council members to reach out to those in the city’s Muslim community.
“A terrorist is a terrorist,” Shah said. “Please, don’t touch my faith. I’m a peace-loving person and so is my faith.”
Mayor Tim Paulissen, who was one of the six council members to vote for the resolution, said there’s no expectation any changes would be made.
“At this point, I won’t be sponsoring an agenda item on this,” he said.
Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or email@example.com.