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CAIR Applauds Missouri Gov’s Veto of Anti-Islam Bill

MO-Gov-Jay-NixonST. LOUIS, MO, 6/3/2013) — The St. Louis chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-St. Louis) today applauded Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's decision to veto an anti-Islam bill (SB 267) passed by that state's legislature.

ACTION REQUESTED: Contact Gov. Nixon to thank him for vetoing SB 267. NOTE: This alert will only work for Missouri residents — non-Missouri residents, please email your thanks to media@mo.gov and cc info@cair.com.

In a statement today announcing the veto, Gov. Nixon said: “This legislation seeks to solve a problem that does not exist, while creating the very real problem of jeopardizing Missouri's families' ability to adopt children from foreign countries. Here in Missouri, we believe in strengthening families and encouraging adoption. By placing additional barriers between couples who want to adopt and children who need loving homes, Senate Bill 267 is quite simply out of step with these basic values.”

Read the governor's full statement.

“We applaud Governor Nixon for taking this courageous and principled stance in defense of Missouri families and of the Constitution,” said CAIR-St. Louis Executive Director Faizan Syed. “The Missouri Muslim community and its interfaith and civil rights partners also deserve thanks for helping demonstrate the power of positive civic engagement on this issue.”

Syed noted that dozens of similar discriminatory and unconstitutional bills have been introduced in state legislatures nationwide.

In 2011, the American Bar Association (ABA) passed a resolution opposing legislation like SB 267, noting that it is “duplicative of safeguards that are already enshrined in federal and state law,” and saying, “Initiatives that target an entire religion or stigmatize an entire religious community, such as those explicitly aimed at 'Sharia law,' are inconsistent with some of the core principles and ideals of American jurisprudence.”

In 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upheld a lower court's decision to block implementation of an Oklahoma state constitutional amendment that would have prohibited courts from applying — or even considering — “Sharia law” and “international law.”

The lower court blocked implementation of the “Save Our State Amendment” based on arguments that it would unconstitutionally disfavor an entire faith and deny Oklahoma's Muslims access to the judicial system on the same terms as every other citizen.

CAIR: Court Upholds Stay of Oklahoma Ban on Islamic Law (AP)
CAIR: Judge Blocks Oklahoma's Ban on Using Sharia Law in Court (NY Times)

Last year, CAIR released a community toolkit designed to assist those seeking to preserve America's ideal of religious pluralism in the face of the unconstitutional anti-Islam 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:

CAIR Islamophobe Profile: 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, 636-207-8882, 314-330-2946, fsyed@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

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