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A Texas legislator who says she asks U.S. Muslims if they renounce terrorism prompted a viral firestorm online with a Facebook post. She followed that up with an explanation, saying the organization behind Texas Muslim Capitol Day in Austin had been labeled a terrorist group.
In her Feb. 3, 2015, web post, "My Response to the Critics," state Rep. Molly White, R-Belton, said her Facebook statement posted Jan. 29, 2015 as Muslims came to the Capitol was misconstrued "into something intolerant, bigoted and anti-American."
White wrote: "As a legislator who has the responsibility to look out for and protect the safety as well as liberties of my constituents and all Texans, it remains my duty to stay vigilant and inform the public about maintaining our rule of law and protecting our 1st Amendment freedoms."
"First," she wrote, "the genesis of my statement occurred when the organization CAIR was brought to my attention. CAIR, Council on American-Islamic Relations, started Muslim Day at the Texas Capitol in 2003." Sarwat Husain, a council leader from San Antonio, told us by email the day at the Capitol was started by Texas Muslim groups including the council, which took charge of the gathering starting in 2011.
"Second," White’s response said, "it is worth noting that CAIR was recently listed as one of 82 organizations designated as a terrorist group by the United Arab Emirates. That’s right, an Islamic country listed the organization that hosts Muslim Day in Texas as one of 82 terrorist organizations."
That designation occurred, we found, though White failed to note the U.S. government shortly said it doesn’t consider the council a terrorist group. For our part, too, we found no independent indicator the council merits identification as a terrorist organization.
Half True. (Read our full check here.)