States lead counterjihad efforts where federal authorities fail

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Counterjihad efforts may be stalled at the federal level, but are very active in the states. Legislators from Idaho to the Carolinas successfully passed 20 pieces of legislation in 2019 aimed responding to – and preventing – both violent and civilization jihad.

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Counterjihad efforts may be stalled at the federal level, but are very active in the states. Legislators from Idaho to the Carolinas successfully passed 20 pieces of legislation in 2019 aimed at responding to – and preventing – both violent and civilization jihad.

The focus on civilization jihad is an important development. With the federal government focused on “countering violent extremism,” states are dealing with Islamist threats that are not presently violent.

Leading jihadist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood refer to this type of warfare as “civilization jihad,” or a long-term attack “to destroy Western civilization from within,” usually within the bounds of the law, to advance jihadist strategic goals.

The Center for Security Policy actively worked with state lawmakers and attorneys general from across the country, educating them and providing research to empower states in waging counterjihad.

Passage of the first terrorist offender registry

Louisiana set national precedent with the nation’s first Terrorist Offender Registry. After a three-year fight, Rep. Stephanie Hilferty, working closely with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, authored the law, effective June 4, to establish a terrorist registry in the state. This landmark passage should serve as an icebreaker, proving that the concept is viable and setting the state for passage elsewhere in America. 

This registry is modeled after the highly successful sex offender registries nationwide. It became law after CAIR- and ACLU-led lawsuits attacked the federal terror watchlist, potentially putting its utility in jeopardy.

In terrorist incident after terrorist incident – from Garland, Texas, to Chattannoga, Little Rock, Orlando, Boston, and San Bernardino – state and local law enforcement have been the first responders and primary investigators. Most of the jihadists were “known wolves,” at least to federal authorities. But there was no before-the-fact registry.  

It is in view of that fact, and due to an above average level of jihadi activity in-state, legislative leaders in Alabama, led by Sen. Gerald Allen, continue to work for the passage of “Andy’s Law” counterterrorism legislation. Andy’s Law, inspired by the movie “Losing Our Sons,” provides state and local law enforcement with key tools and empowers victims of terrorism and their families to pursue civilly those who provide material support for terrorism.

In South Carolina, a Material Support for Terrorism bill passed the House overwhelmingly in the spring and now heads to the Senate in 2020. The need for this legislation stems from the US Justice Department’s refusal to prosecute a 15-year old ISIS jihadi who lived in the state. At the time, South Carolina had no state counterterrorism laws. As such, the jihadi was released from juvenile detention after just over a year and was later arrested on terrorism charges as a member of ISIS while attempting to board a plane for Syria.

Twenty-five states currently have such laws.

Counterterrorism efforts will likely continue to play a leading role in the Center for Security Policy’s state level counterjihad efforts in 2020.

Exposing CAIR 

Arkansas became the latest state to pass resolutions in the House and Senate calling on law enforcement to refuse to conduct outreach with the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

The resolution, authored by Rep. Brandt Smith and Senator Jason Rapert, was based on CAIR’s longstanding and troubling ties to terrorist organizations and particularly the multiple CAIR members, employees and officers who have been convicted of terrorism and terrorism-related crimes. One goal of such resolutions is to conduct education and outreach on the truth about CAIR and civilization jihad.

Initiatives against civilization jihad

Just as threatening to American freedom, culture and sovereignty as violent jihad is to our safety and security, civilization jihad continues to be waged from coast to coast.

State legislators have been involved in numerous efforts on the state level to prevent the infiltration of sharia law and its tenets in American courts and in other areas that most people would not suspect.

Largely due to the striking down of the federal law prohibiting female genital  mutilation (FGM), the states have assumed responsibility for stopping the generally Islamist practice. This year marked huge victories for the Center in promoting anti-FGM legislation across the country. With the Center’s active help, bipartisan majorities enacted new laws banning FGM in the following states:

  • Arkansas
  • Tennessee
  • South Carolina
  • Utah
  • Idaho
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • North Carolina
  • Illinois

Some of these laws improved existing statutes and some outlawed this sharia-mandated practice for the first time.

Stopping child marriage in America

Another counter-sharia initiative that is emerging is the issue of child marriage. A broad coalition of organizations from the left and right have various reasons for prohibiting child marriage. Counterjihad legislators’ involvement has been based on the fact that shariah allows for child marriage.

Prohibitions against child marriage passed in the following states in 2019:

  • Louisiana
  • Georgia
  • Arkansas
  • Utah
  • Nevada
  • Pennsylvania

One of the key fundamental constitutional rights in America that must be defended against sharia is freedom of speech.

In Idaho, Rep. Barbara Ehardt authored the passage of that state’s Free Speech Defense Act to protect authors, journalists, bloggers and publishers from the practice of libel tourism in which plaintiffs seek judgments by suing in foreign courts and then try to have those foreign decisions enforced in US state courts.

In North Dakota, Rep. Kim Koppelman, authored successful legislation to protect free speech on college campuses—an increasingly endangered practice due to assaults on free speech from the political Left and its Islamist allies.

Anti-BDS Legislation

State legislators continued their opposition to anti-Semitic activities when Louisiana became the latest state, with the Center’s help, to pass anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) legislation in 2019.

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