Myth #4: Perry is soft on Islam.
Salon.com recently reported that Perry was a “pro-Shariah” candidate, a charge that obviously got heavy traction among conservatives – and with good reason. It’s a serious charge. It’s also dramatically false, as columnist David Stein points out. Perry’s relationship is with a Muslim leader called the Aga Khan, who leads a sect called the Ismailis, which has 15-20 million followers. Aga Khan has been labeled an infidel by both Sunnis and Shias for his support for Israel. Perry worked with Aga Khan to implement an educational element in the Texas curriculum about Islam. Here are some of the elements of that educational program: “Muslims often lack respect for Western traditions and points of view … From its early days, Islam reacted aggressively toward its civilized neighbors the Byzantines and the West …While Westerns studied Islamic culture, Muslims showed almost no interest in Western culture, remaining ignorant of modernity and its impact.” The program also calls Israel “the historic homeland of Jews” and gives details about how Arab states refused to admit Palestinian refugees after 1948. There’s a reason Perry has won the Defender of Jerusalem award from the State of Israel, and it’s not just because Texas is Israel’s fourth largest trading partner.
Quasi-Myth #5: Perry is soft on immigration.
This is the only spot on Perry’s record where he will have some explaining to do. His record on illegal immigration is mixed. He opposed SB 1070 in Arizona, feeling that it placed enforcement obligations in the hands of states that ought to lie with the federal government; he opposed EVerify, a program designed to punish employers who hire illegals; he signed a Texas DREAM Act which allowed in-state tuition for children of illegals. On the other hand, he has taken strong action against sanctuary cities; he has executed a Mexican national who raped and murdered an American; he has called for heavy border security, including drones to monitor activity areas. Unlike the other candidates, he is governor of a border state and routinely works with the Mexican government. He won 39 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2010.
So, is Perry the right man for the job? In the days and weeks to come, we will find out much more about him. There is mudslinging to come, but so far so good.
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