Virgina General Assembly’s Commendation of 9/11 Mosque

by Lisa Piraneo,Director of Government Relations

As we informed you last month, the Virginia General Assembly shockingly passed a resolution commending the Falls Church Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center – an organization that has a long history of ties to multiple known and convicted terrorists – including the perpetrators of 9/11.

Since the vote was tallied by “voice” – which means legislators simply say “aye” or “nay” en masse when the vote is called – there is no official notation of how each legislator voted on the resolution – no matter what he or she may tell their angry constituents after the fact.

The response by ACT! for America’s membership was swift and severe. Thank you for taking action.

Over the course of 24 hours, 28,000 e-mails were sent to the 8 members of the House and Senate leadership. These individuals were targeted as they were ultimately responsible for allowing the vote on the resolution to go forward.

In addition, I travelled to Richmond to hand deliver an ACT! for America Open Letter, signed by 1,000 Virginians, in opposition to the passage of the resolution.

The uproar by ACT! for America’s grassroots members has been a wake-up call to Virginia officials and politicians. Whereas many had been previously unaware and unwelcome to efforts to educate them on important national security issues, your actions have caused a large chunk of Virginia legislators (including leadership) to start seeing the light. For example:

  • Members of leadership have indicated an interest in becoming more educated about Dar Al-Hijrah and the insidious characters that have darkened the Islamic Center’s doorway, as well as about other threats, such as the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • House of Delegates Republican Caucus Chair, Tim Hugo, stated, “in hindsight, it is clear that the House should have handled HJ 484 differently,” adding that the bill “should not have been brought forward for a vote by our chamber, nor should Dar Al-Hijrah have been awarded a commendation by the Virginia General Assembly. I, as a member of House leadership, deeply regret that this resolution passed.”
  • Delegate Hugo has also assured ACT! for America that House leadership is discussing changes to the current procedures for commending resolutions. I will continue to stay in touch with them about this, so I can report back to you when the policy modifications are made.
  • Shortly after ACT! for America’s powerful response to the commendation resolution, Alphonso Lopez, the sponsor of the resolution, decided to drop his candidacy for Virginia’s 8th congressional district race.
  • There has been a marked increase in the interest of becoming educated about radical Islam’s threat to our national security – not only by existing Virginia legislators, but Virginia candidates as well. I see this as very important, because education is the best first step toward deterrence (especially when an already educated constituency is watching).

In the end, the Virginia legislature knows that ACT! for America is watching what they do and that we will hold them accountable.

Again, thank you for takiong action, Together, we ARE making a difference.


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