1. Update
  2. Immigrants & Refugees

House Rejects Islamophobic Proposal

By Yasmine Taeb, July 14, 2017


The U.S. House of Representatives today delivered a strong rebuke to lawmakers seeking to expand the Trump administration’s religious profiling and Islamophobic policies.

Our FCNL community thanks the 217 members of Congress who voted to oppose this discriminatory and unconstitutional amendment that would have provided the Trump administration with an additional mechanism to profile individuals because of their religious faith.

The proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 2810), introduced by Rep. Trent Franks, was rejected 208-217. If passed, it would have required the Secretary of Defense to “conduct strategic assessments of the use of violent or unorthodox Islamic religious doctrine to support extremist or terrorist messaging.”

By subjecting the speech of Muslims to a higher level of scrutiny, thereby encouraging profiling and unjustified surveillance, this measure would have introduced an additional element of religious discrimination into our government’s approach to counterterrorism. While we acknowledge that monitoring and assessing terrorist threats is a valid use of government resources, this amendment would have tied officials’ hands without strengthening U.S. counterterrorism efforts in any way.

In the early history of the United States, the Quaker community was subjected to horrible religious persecution. FCNL believes this amendment was both bad policy and a threat to the religious freedom of millions of American Muslims. We are glad to see it defeated and urge members of Congress to continue to resist Islamophobic proposals whenever they are put forward.

It is our hope that the Trump administration will recognize this vote as a rebuke to the many statement from administration officials that have appeared to support banning Muslims from entering this country or establishing religious tests for any Americans.

We also encourage our constituents to find out how your member of Congress voted and let them know what you think about their vote.

Special thanks to:

Justin Amash (R-MI)

Vern Buchanan (R-FL)

Chris Collins (R-NY)

Barbara Comstock (R-VA)

Ryan Costello (R-PA)

Carlos Curbelo (R-FL)

Charlie Dent (R-PA)

John Faso (R-NY)

Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)

French Hill (R-AR)

David Joyce (R-OH)

John Katko (R-NY)

Jason Lewis (R-MN)

Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ)

Pat Meehan (R-PA)

Dan Newhouse (R-WA)

Erik Paulsen (R-MN)

Dave Reichert (R-WA)

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)

Steve Russell (R-OK)

Mark Sanford (R-SC)

Steve Stivers (R-OH)

David Trott (R-MI)

Mike Turner (R-OH)

Fred Upton (R-MI)

Greg Walden (R-OR)

Don Young (R-AK)

Yasmine Taeb

  • Legislative Representative for Human Rights and Civil Liberties

Yasmine directs FCNL’s work on a number of human rights and civil liberties issues, including lobbying for increased resettlement of Syrian refugees, more transparency and oversight of the U.S. lethal drones program, calling for the closure of Guantanamo, and for the repeal of the 2001 AUMF, among other issues.