Texas Representative Under Fire for Staff Instructions on Muslim Visitors
Texas representative Molly White has come under fire after leaving instructions with her staff that all Muslim visitors must declare their allegiance to the United States.
Rep. White was not on hand in Austin for the Texas Muslim Capitol Day, but in her stead she left an Israeli flag on her reception desk and instructions with her staff that any Muslims visitors that day must declare allegiance to America. White also posted on Facebook,
Today is Texas Muslim Capital Day in Austin. The House is in recess until Monday. Most members including myself are back in District. I did leave an Israeli flag on the reception desk in my office with instructions to staff to ask representatives from the Muslim community to renounce Islamic terrorist groups and publicly announce allegiance to America and our laws. We will see how long they stay in my office.
White latter followed up with another comment,
I do not apologize for my comments… If you love America, obey our laws and condemn Islamic terrorism, then I embrace you as a fellow American. If not, then I do not.
The Texas Muslim Capitol Day is organized by the Texas Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations with the intent of giving community members a chance to learn about the political process and how to be an advocate for issues. Attendees are encouraged to visit the offices of state representatives while at the capitol. Attendees were met by protesters holding signs such as "Go Home & Take Obama With You", and one protester, Christine Weick, even crashed the podium to address the Muslims on-hand.
The Texas Democratic Party called White's statement "vile and bigoted" and urged Republican leaders to denounce her statement. Mustafaa Carroll, executive director of the Texas Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, expressed concern over White's statement due to her status at the capitol,
In fact, I’m more concerned with state leaders and what they say than I am about anybody else because they are the lawmakers.
While Governor Abbott has not specifically mentioned White or her comments, he did call for civil discourse,
We must have civil, open debate of hotly contested issues in this state. Texas values are strong enough that we can have a civil discourse about issues like this.
Republican House Speaker Joe Straus also issued a statement, without directly referring to White, saying that legislators have a responsibility to treat all visitors with dignity and respect.