Updated at 9:03 a.m. on Feb. 3, 2016
A Republican state representative in New Hampshire on Wednesday submitted testimony to a state House committee hearing arguing that giving public assistance to Muslims amounts to treason.
State Rep. Ken Weyler submitted the testimony for a hearing on a bill he co-sponsored that would prohibit “any member of a foreign terrorist organization from receiving public assistance, medical assistance, or food stamps.”
But Weyler’s testimony went way farther than the bill purports to go.
“Giving public benefits to any person or family that practices Islam is aiding and abetting the enemy. That is treason,” Weyler wrote in his testimony, according to a copy of the testimony submitted by Weyler and provided to TPM by the state House Democrats’ office.
Weyler is one of 400 members in the expansive state House.
In his written testimony, Weyler said that all “terrorist attacks of the last twenty years have been by Muslim fanatics” and referenced the Tsarnaev brothers. He said the Boston Marathon bombers were “raised on public benefits.”
“Then one of them married and put his wife on public benefits. If he had to support his family, he might have had more devotion to his job and not to bomb building and radicalizing his brother,” Weyler continued in his testimony.
The lawmaker acknowledged that there are “Muslims in our community who are working hard to be economically successful.”
“I do not believe that they represent a threat, but if one does not have to be responsible for what all the rest of us do to support ourselves, then ‘The Devil has work for idle hands,” he added.
Weyler then launched into an argument that all Muslims are responsible for terrorism, charging that Islam is not a real religion.
“You may hear from some opposition to this bill, but I must remind you that in the Muslim religion the word ‘taqiyya’ describes how its adherents are expected to lie to non-believers to advance their cause,” he said. “I say cause rather than religion because this is an ideology posing as a religion. Islam is intolerant and deceitful, and its adherents are ordered to overthrow our way of life and to replace it with ‘sharia’ law.”
“Anyone who attends a mosque is expected to contribute. Ten percent of the contributions are labeled ‘zakat’ and are used to fund ‘jihad’ or religious war against us,” Weyler continued in his written testimony.
Rep. Cindy Rosenwald (D) arrived at the House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee hearing on the bill after Weyler read his testimony, but saw the copy of Weyler’s written testimony of the bill when she arrived.
— Cindy Rosenwald (@CindyR4NH) February 3, 2016
Rosenwald told TPM on Wednesday that she was “disturbed” by Weyler’s testimony.
“We are not people who categorize an entire religion as our enemy,” she said, adding that she hopes Weyler’s view don’t represent Republican leadership.
In a Wednesday statement, House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff condemned Weyler’s testimony.
“The outrageous claims made by Representative Weyler, including the false statement that ‘all terrorist attacks’ in the United States have been carried out by Muslims, could be the most outrageous, intolerant, hateful rhetoric that I have heard in over 12 years as a legislator,” Shurtleff said in a statement provided to TPM. “The notion espoused by Representative Weyler that Islam is ‘intolerant and deceitful’ and ‘an ideology posing as religion,’ show that Representative Weyler has no understanding of the Islamic faith and the values of over three million American Muslims.”
Watch the end of Weyler’s testimony at the committee hearing:
Read Shurtleff’s statement and a copy of Weyler’s testimony provided by the New Hampshire House Democrats: