The Eagle Forum is a conservative political advocacy group. The group’s website says it “supports American identity”, but many of their positions insinuate that Muslims are not a part of that identity.
In a 2012 newsletter the Forum told its supporters, “Sharia law is becoming part of the American landscape as Christianity is being systematically removed. Christian students are being told they cannot pray at school activities or even pray in front of American institutions, while public school students adopt Muslim names, pray on prayer rugs and celebrate Ramadan under a state-mandated curriculum.”
The Tennessee chapter of the Eagle Forum drafted a bill to limit the number of legal immigrants a charter school can hire. The Putting Tennessee First Act “comes amid worries from some groups about the involvement of Islamic organizations in running charter schools elsewhere in the country, although there are no such schools in Tennessee.”
In the April 2012 edition of their monthly newspaper, Education Reporter, the Eagle Forum reprinted inner core group ACT! For America’s list of reasons that “textbooks promote Islamist agenda[s]”. The list included fearmongered claims about Islam’s reference in school textbooks, such as:
- “The doctrine of jihad is omitted, incorrectly defined, inaccurately described, or understated.”
- “Faulty description of women’s rights under Islam: The oppressive and discriminatory nature of Sharia law with respect to women is omitted, mischaracterized, or understated.”
- “Treatment of Islamism as though it has no origins within classical Islam and Islam’s Holy Books.”
- “Omission of the fact that Islamic Jihadists target Americans not only for their support of Israel but also for what they consider the ‘decadent nature’ of Western way of life that threatens the spread of Islam throughout the world.”
The Eagle Forum and their allies at ACT! For America demand that school textbooks be revised for accuracy, insisting on less accurate and more Islamophobic classroom materials.
While speaking at a Texas Patriots Tea Party meeting in April 2014, then Texas Eagle Forum President Cathie Adams said “If a Muslim is telling you something, you really don’t know if it’s the truth or a lie.” During the speech, Adams also indicated Muslims were required by their religion to be hospitable, but “walk out of their home and you can be shot in the back.” In 2013, Adams gave a speech alleging that anti-tax activist Grover Norquist is a stealth Muslim. “As you see,” Adams told the audience, “he has a beard and he is showing signs of converting to Islam, himself. He has married a Muslim woman.”
Eagle Forum Environmental Chairman Pat Carlson testified in support of and endorsed Texas’s anti-Islam bill. Carlson calls Sharia and Islam “a threat to America”. Tennessee Eagle Forum President Bobbie Patray gave Tennessee’s anti-sharia bill to legislators, which would make adherence to sharia punishable by fifteen years, and handed that bill off to legislators who then introduced it.