SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Sept. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) today expressed concern over Michigan State Representative Dave Agema's (R-Grandville) endorsement of speakers who expressed xenophobic and anti-Muslim views at a hearing and rally at the Michigan State Capital Building today in Lansing.
Agema, who sponsored Michigan House Bill No. 4026 Occupational Code Bill, promoted views and statistics on immigration by the Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has designated a "hate group" for its ties to White Supremacists.
FAIR: Crossing the Rubicon of Hate (SPLC)
Also testifying at the hearing and later speaking at the rally was controversial, self-proclaimed ex-terrorist Kamal Saleem, who has been connected to "ex-terrorist" Walid Shoebat.
CNN recently aired a two-part series exposing Shoebat as an anti-Islam fraud.
SEE ALSO: USAF Pays Fake 'Terrorism Experts' Speakers to Bash Islam?
Fake 'Ex-Terrorist' Wants Sharia Banned in Missouri (Loonwatch)
Saleem today asserted without empirical evidence that undocumented immigrants are a threat to national security and that sleeper cells are in Michigan, an Islamophobic claim similarly made by Agema in the context of immigration enforcement.
SEE: Is Farmworkers' Challenge For Legislators Supporting Strict Immigration Reform to 'Take Our Jobs' Bogus? (Grand Rapids Press)
Also speaking at the rally was Oakland County Commissioner Jim Runestad (R-Waterford), who is the founding board member of FAIR in Michigan.
Supporters during the hearing made racist statements that immigrants bring diseases such as "tuberculosis" and "bed bugs" into Michigan, reflecting past statements of Agema relating to immigrants and disease.
CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid offered testimony at today's hearing regarding the need for comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level as well as pointing out to committee members the bias motives behind Agema's FAIR-driven legislation.
"Instead of introducing bills that will unite us as a state and attract investments, Agema is introducing controversial and xenophobic legislation," said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid. "We call on Agema's colleagues within the state house to disassociate themselves from bias-driven legislation and from those who promote such bizarre bills."
Walid also noted that Agema is the sponsor of Michigan House Bill Ho. 4679 also called an "anti-Sharia bill," which has been resolutely condemned by civil rights organizations such as the ACLU and NAACP.
SEE: Detroit Legislators, Civil Rights Groups Speak Out Against 'anti-Sharia' Bill (Mlive.com)
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations