Houston Chronicle runs CAIR-TX op-ed

Saturday letters: Language that hurts

Copyright 2014: Houston Chronicle

July 25, 2014 | Updated: July 25, 2014 10:26pm


Regarding “League City bans undocumented children” (Page B2, July 9), while we are concerned about the humanitarian crisis prompted by thousands of unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors flooding into Texas, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR-TX, is especially concerned with language in the resolution that seems to single out Muslims as a threat to border security, an idea for which there is no basis.

The resolution contains a clause stating 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.

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. The documents that the League City Council attached to the meeting agenda do not support the claim that there is a significant risk of religiously based terrorists infiltrating the U.S. through the border.

CAIR-TX appreciates that the council 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.

Over the next few months we will see how 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, spokesperson, CAIR-TX, Houston

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