ISLAMOPHOBIC INDIVIDUALS: Dave Agema

Dave Agema

Introduction

Dave Agema is a former Michigan state representative who served as majority caucus chair as a Republican party member. Agema was elected as the national committeeman from Michigan to the Republican National Committee (RNC) in May 2012. In early 2015, the RNC’s executive committee censured Agema and asked Michigan Republicans “to investigate a means to have the state party remove him.”

In early 2014, Agema made anti-Muslim comments on his Facebook account: “Have you ever seen a Muslim do anything that contributes positively to the American way of life?”

In response to these and other anti-minority comments Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and state party Chairman Bobby Schostak both called on Agema to resign.

While in the Michigan legislature, Agema introduced legislation targeting Islam for unequal treatment in relation to other faiths. The bill’s text was patterned on Islamophobe David Yerushalmi’s American Laws for American Courts. In explaining why he felt his bill was important, he told the Grand Rapids Press, “They [Muslims] want specific laws applied to their specific groups … They do not want to be under our law.”

Agema brought Kamal Saleem to testify in support of the legislation. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation reported in 2008 that Saleem worked for Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network for 16 years and in 2006 launched Koome Ministries with the mission to “expose the true agenda of [Muslims] who would deceive our nation and the free nations of the world.” His bizarre claim that “in my family was the Grand Wazir of Islam” promoted Calvin College history professor Douglas Howard to investigate Saleem’s background. [NOTE: The title “Grand Wazir of Islam” has never existed.] “I concluded this person is a fraud,” said Howard after his investigation into Saleem’s claims.

Agema believes, “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but just about every terrorist is a Muslim. I disagree that Islam is a religion of peace.”Agema has also claimed that Obama is a secret Muslim.

In comments he made regarding legislation addressing undocumented workers, Agema stated, “We have the largest concentration of Muslims in the state in the Dearborn area. I know we have (sleeper) cells there. That is what I really want to get at.”

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