Proponent of anti-Muslim legislation now working at the Department of Housing and Urban Development
Former mayor of Irving, Texas, Beth Van Duyne has made a name for herself as an anti-Muslim crusader, using the specter of Shariah law as a tool to spread fear of Muslims. In 2015, Van Duyne gained national attention when she took to social media to berate a Dallas-based Islamic tribunal, accusing it of operating outside of U.S. law and imposing Shariah law. “Shariah Law Court was NOT approved or enacted by the City of Irving,” she wrote in a Facebook post. Since then, she has been honored and lauded by various anti-Muslim organizations and far-right news outlets.
- In 2016, Van Duyne testified alongside various anti-Muslim figures at a Texas state congressional hearing on “Defending Against Radical Islamic Terrorism in Texas” sponsored by state Rep. Kyle Biedermann.
- Van Duyne attended the anti-Muslim grassroots group ACT for America’s 2016 national conference where she was presented with the outfit’s “National Security Patriot Award.” Emails released to the Center for New Community through a public records request show that Van Duyne’s attendance at the conference was facilitated by Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor who also serves on ACT’s advisory board.
- In 2015, Van Duyne was honored by Frank Gaffney’s anti-Muslim think tank the Center for Security Policy during its 2015 Freedom Flame Award ceremony.
- Van Duyne has appeared on Frank Gaffney’s “Secure Freedom Radio” to discuss her support for model anti-Shariah legislation known as American Laws for American Courts.
- In 2015, the Irving City Council voted 5 – 4 to support an anti-Shariah bill making its way through the Texas state legislature at the time.
- Van Duyne defended the 2015 arrest of a Muslim teenager in her town whose homemade clock was mistaken for bomb, saying school and police officials were only following “protocol.”