It’s hard to know where to begin on this one.
Surely the organizers knew that the name itself — Texas Muslim Capitol Day — would bring out anti-Islam demonstrators on January 29, 2015, (and it did).
What wasn’t foreseeable, however, was the astonishing response of Molly White, a Republican legislator from Belton, Texas, who not only planted an Israeli flag on her desk to greet visitors, but also gave “instructions to staff to ask representatives from the Muslim community to renounce Islamic terrorist groups and publicly announce allegiance to America and our laws”. (This message also was posted on Facebook, just in case you missed visiting her office.)
Comments questioned everything about the action, including the Israeli flag. Self-described Muslims, Jews and Christians called her out (typical response: “How dare you use an Israeli flag as a tool in your racist attack on Muslims?”).
Ms. White’s response was definitely unworthy of one sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States.
I will concede that perhaps the organizers erred in labeling the day (when’s Texas Mormon Capitol Day?), but the day’s been celebrated without such a bigoted response from a legislator since 2003.
You can read more about the whole kerfuffle at the Huffington Post, Texas Tribune, Yahoo News and Politico.
The Associated Press reports:
“Joining President Barack Obama for a condolence visit after the death of the King Abdullah, Mrs. Obama stepped off of Air Force One wearing long pants and a long, brightly colored jacket — but no headscarf.”
It’s a sad state of affairs when an uncovered head results in news coverage.
Just in case you missed it, this story is viral on the web:
When Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah visited Queen Elizabeth in 1998 at her Scotland estate, Balmoral, she got behind the wheel of her Land Rover to give him a tour.
One of the stories (this one from PBS):
When Queen Elizabeth took King Abdullah for a drive in her Land Rover
It boggles the mind that women are being prosecuted for the crime of driving in Saudi Arabia — the only country in the world that prohibits distaff drivers.
King Abdullah has died. Whither Saudi Arabia?
As The New York Times put it: “The king’s death adds yet another element of uncertainty in a region already overwhelmed by crises and as Saudi Arabia is itself in a struggle with Iran for regional dominance.”
Some places to read about the transition:
“King Abdullah, Who Nudged Saudi Arabia Forward, Dies at 90″
“Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Dead”
“Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, a wily king who embraced limited reform, dies”
“King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia dies”
What do you think will be the trajectory of the Wahhabi sect of Sunni Islam in the 21st Century?