A Republican state lawmaker in Texas is sending a message to her Muslim constituents: if they want to come calling at her Capitol office, they better pledge allegiance to the United States.
Newly-minted state Rep. Molly White (R) wrote Thursday in a Facebook post that she’d left an Israeli flag on the reception desk in her Austin office to mark the occasion of Texas Muslim Capitol Day. She said she also instructed her staff to “ask representatives from the Muslim community to renounce Islamic terrorist groups and publicly announce allegiance to America and our laws.”
“We will see how long they stay in my office,” White wrote.
Texas Muslim Capitol Day is organized by the Texas chapters of the Council on American-Islam Relations. The event encourages participants to lobby lawmakers on legislation including a bill that would prohibit courts from interpreting religious law.
White responded to criticism of her Texas Muslim Capitol Day plan in the comments on her Facebook post.
“I do not apologize for my comments above,” she wrote in one comment. “If you love America, obey our laws and condemn Islamic terrorism then I embrace you as a fellow American. If not, then I do not.”
“Isn’t it amazing when you stand for America, our allies and against terrorism how much vile and angry responses you get?” she wrote in another comment. “I will never cow to anti Americanism and extremists.”
Here’s the Israeli flag in Rep Molly White’s office. That’s a staffer’s hand nervously atop it. pic.twitter.com/DqhPzkJjw2
— Todd Wiseman (@Wisemeister) January 29, 2015
Participants in CAIR’s event were also reportedly met by protesters outside the Capitol building who held signs reading “Go home and take Obama with you” and “Radical Islam is the new Nazi.”
As group of Muslims gather for Texas Muslim Capitol Day at #txlege, these protestors are nearby pic.twitter.com/Vs5DnmhBEf
— Alexa Ura (@alexazura) January 29, 2015
White issued a statement Thursday afternoon that welcomed “all of our constituents” to her office, but did not apologize for the comments on her Facebook page:
“I welcome all of my constituents who would like to come and visit our office in the Texas State Capitol. As law abiding American citizens, we all have the privilege and the right to freedom of speech granted to us by the First amendment, and believe fully in the democracy that our nation is founded upon. As a proud Texan and American I fully denounce all terrorist groups or organizations who’s intent is to hurt and destroy the great state of Texas and our Nation.”
This post has been updated.