The House on Friday rejected a controversial GOP proposal identifying “Islamic religious doctrines, concepts or schools of thought” that could be used by terrorist groups — something opponents say is unconstitutional and will lead to the targeting of Muslims.
More than 20 centrist Republicans joined with Democrats to defeated the amendment, 208 to 217. Drafted by conservative Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), the proposal called for the Pentagon to identify Islamic leaders who preach peaceful beliefs versus those who espouse extremist views.
The proposal has drawn heavy criticism from Muslim lawmakers serving in Congress, Muslim interest groups and the American Civil Liberties Union, who say the proposal would unfairly target Muslims. They don’t trust the Trump administration to conduct the analysis.
“If you have an amendment that says we’re going to study one religion and only one, we’re going to look at their leaders and put them on a list — only them — and you are going to talk about what’s orthodox practice and what’s unorthodox, then you are putting extra scrutiny on that religion,” said Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who is Muslim.