Tuesday, the League City City Council passed a resolution which simultaneously closed its city doors to unaccompanied illegal immigrant children and unfairly characterized Muslims as terrorists.
The resolution bans the use of League City public facilities for housing of unaccompanied children entering this country illegally.
While we are concerned about the humanitarian crisis prompted by thousands of unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors flooding into Texas, CAIR-TX is especially concerned with language used in the resolution which seems to single out Muslims as a threat to border security, an idea for which there is no basis.
The resolution contains a clause which states that “members of dangerous transnational criminal organizations and radical Islamic terror groups continue to exploit the situation to infiltrate the United States for the purpose of establishing criminal activity, terror cells, and training operations within our homeland.”
Specifically identifying “radical Islamic terror groups” gives the false and unfair impression that Muslims constitute a particular threat.
The “transnational criminal organizations” named in the clause were not described as members of any particular religion or nationality.
Why is Islam singled out?
The resolution bolsters the false perception that all Muslims are a threat to this country.
It is an unfortunate fact that multiple ideological terror groups exist in Central and North America, including the drug cartels whose wanton violence is well known and in fact constitutes terrorism.
Even the documents which the League City City Council attached to last night’s agenda do not support the claim that there is a significant risk of religiously-based terrorists infiltrating the US through the border.
Neither of these reports — “Texas Public Safety Threat Overview 2013,” produced by the Texas Department of Public Safety, and “Texas Border Security: A Strategic Military Assessment” by Barry R. McCaffrey and Robert H. Scales — presents meaningful data regarding the risk of terrorism committed by Muslims.
CAIR-TX appreciates that the council responded to community complaints and made an effort to modify the resolution’s language, but, unfortunately, substituting the word “Islamic” with “Islamist” didn’t erase the implication that Islam is specifically associated with terrorism.
“Islamist” is a troubling term, which has no concrete definition but serves to associate the religion of Islam with political ideologies.
During the next few months, we will see how the municipal, state and federal governments address the surge of unaccompanied minors illegally entering this country.
League City has laid out its approach.
Whatever the merits of the resolution, we ask that legislators be cautious and fair in their characterization of terror threats and the language they use to describe them.
Ruth Nasrullah is communications coordinator for CAIR-TX.