The proposal asked the Pentagon to identify those Islamic leaders who teach a peaceful version of Islam and those who command extremist views.
The House rejected a Republican proposal on July 14 which called for studying Islamic religious doctrines and schools of thought. Opponents decried the bill saying it is unconstitutional. They also believe that adoption of this measure will lead to targeting Muslims. Democrats were joined by 20 GOP centrists to defeat the amendment. The bill’s vote was 208 for and 217 against.
Representative Trent Franks, a Republican elected from Arizona, drafted the controversial bill. The proposal asked the Pentagon to identify those Islamic leaders who teach a peaceful version of Islam and those who command extremist views. Democrats heavily criticized the bill saying the draft is un-American and bigoted. They said the bill stigmatizes a full religious group even if only a few radicals are engaged in terrorism. Democrats believe such a bill would disrupt US national security.
Representative Franks has earlier warned the elected members of Sharia influence in the United States. He has commented publicly that President Barack Obama was a Christian administering the country through Muslim law.
Franks, on the floor of the House, said the study would save a number of lives all around the world from the supposed dangers of Islam. His words clearly demonstrated that he regards the religion as a major source of international terrorism. To support his conjecture, the Republican said many US allies, including Muslim countries, have started to study and thus comprehend the particular ideology which foments Islamic terrorism. If these are done, then the violent forces can be repelled at an ideological level. Franks continued on to say if the United States does not solve this problem on a strategic level, the underlying ideology which catalyzes the scourge of jihadist terrorism all over the world will continue to take its victims.
Representative Keith Ellison, a Democrat and a Muslim elected from Minnesota was specifically angry about Franks’ proposal. He said if Representative Franks’ bill was passed, then Congress is breaking the US Constitution as it curbs a certain religion’s practices.