The Brief: After controversial survey, lawmaker hosts summit on 'radical Islamic terrorism'
A state representative is holding a "Homeland Security Forum" at the state Capitol today, but a controversial survey the lawmaker sent out to "Islamic Leaders" polling their beliefs may overshadow the event.
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What you need to know
State Rep. Kyle Biedermann, R-New Braunfels, is holding a "homeland security summit" this morning at the Capitol "to thoroughly understand the critical threat of radical Islamic terrorism in Texas.” But a controversial survey the lawmaker sent out to "Islamic Leaders" polling their beliefs may overshadow the event.
- The letter to mosque leaders and Muslim student associations asked if they support the “Declaration of Muslim Reform Movement,” among other things. Biedermann said in a statement the survey was sent to gather responses ahead of his forum.
- But Texas chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called it Islamophobic, suggesting it was intended to limit participation in next week's Texas Muslim Capitol Day.
- This isn't the first time a lawmaker has caused controversy around Texas Muslim Capitol Day. In 2015, a different state lawmaker instructed her staff to ask Muslim visitors to declare allegiance to the United States.
- The forum begins at 8:30 a.m. and the press conference at 9 a.m. Follow Texas Tribune reporters Sanya Mansoor and Alexa Ura for updates.
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Quote to note
"If we continue to deny the problem, we will never be able to marshal the energy and resources needed to create a solution. Without an A-F system like this, we won’t know if more money in the system is actually making a difference."
— Tom Torkelson, CEO of IDEA Public Schools about the A-F grading system for public schools via TribTalk
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