Census Estimated Arab American Population: 91,567
Source: 2005-2009 American Community Survey Rolling 5-Year Average – U.S. Census Bureau
Key Election Dates:
Voter registration deadline - Primary Election: February 6, 2012
Primary Election: March 6, 2012
Voter registration deadline - General Election: October 9, 2012
Organizations to Know*:
Texas Governor Rick Perry’s Presidential campaign was full of anti-Muslim rhetoric, despite his having had a close and positive relationship with Muslim American communities in Texas. Perry supported education on Islam in Texas schools and universities, and forged strong ties with Muslim community leaders, but began to distance himself as soon as he began the race for the Presidency, highlighting the strong pressure for Republican candidates to conform to growing Islamophobia.
Texas state Representative Leo Berman sponsored anti-sharia legislation in April 2011, in line with a growing Islamophobic trend across the country. Berman had little in the way of proof of sharia law’s existence in the United States, but said he had “heard it on the radio” that sharia law was being implemented in Dearborn, Michigan “because of a large population of Middle Easterners.”
In August 2011, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and ACLU Texas hosted the “Family, Faith and Freedom” celebration in protest of state funding of a Christian prayer event. ACLU Texas requested that Governor Rick Perry make public the amount of government money used to fund the event, because of the event’s religious nature and its exclusion of other faiths.
Representative Lamar Smith
Texas Representative Lamar Smith introduced H. R. 1932, or the “Keep our Communities Safe Act of 2011.” The legislation gives the Department of Homeland Security greater power to detain undocumented immigrants for long periods of time, and also makes it much more difficult to challenge such detentions.
Source: The Arab American Institute’s 2011 Congressional Scorecard
*Want your organization listed? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org