When the Texas Legislature finally ended the session on Wednesday, a little bit of sanity won out and a Texas-size rebuke was handed to far-right lawmaker state Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler.
Berman, perhaps the Legislature’s top inciter of anti-Muslim hysteria, attempted during the regular and special legislative sessions to pass a measure banning Sharia law (which is already barred, along with other religious laws, by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution). He failed not once or twice, but four times. The law could not gain approval as a stand-alone bill, and each of the three times Rep. Berman succeeded in amending it on to other bills, reasonable heads prevailed and stripped it out of the legislation later.
Other states have attempted — some successfully — to pass similar measures. The bills are based on a hysterical notion that there’s an active Muslim plot to destroy the U.S. Constitution by injecting Sharia law into the court system. Some, like Berman, have claimed that Sharia law is already pervasive in some parts of the country, a claim that is mostly based on unsourced chain emails and YouTube videos and pushed by faux news websites like WorldNetDaily.
Rep. Berman’s bill took it to a whole new level of silliness because of what it would have done: made the U.S. Constitution the highest law of the land. In other words: Duh, it already is.
The goal of people like Rep. Berman in trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist is casting all American Muslims as America-hatin’ radicals out to destroy the country. Now that the final gavel has fallen on the Legislature, we’re happy to report that Rep. Berman didn’t succeed.
So when your out-of-state friends give you grief for all the right-wing politicking that takes place in Texas, you can tell them: “Not on this one. We took a pass on enshrining anti-Muslim hysteria in law.”