A controversial resolution is making its way through Pierre. Opponents say the recently amended “Senate Concurrent Resolution 15” discriminates against people who practice the Islamic faith.
On Wednesday, The Senate State Affairs Committee voted 6-to-3 to amend SCR 15.
A part of the legislation now reads “A Concurrent resolution, commending President Donald J. Trump in his commitment to keeping the country safe from radical Islamic terrorism.” It’s that very wording that’s not sitting well with some people.
“Associating Islam with terrorism is an outright racist attack on Muslims worldwide,” Taneeza Islam, community activist, said.
More than 50 community members crowd the Islamic Center of Sioux Falls. Most are standing in solidarity against Senate Concurrent Resolution 15.
Community activists and a couple of lawmakers are encouraging opponents to keep fighting.
“Persist. We’re at a time in this country where we all need to better understand one another,” Senator Reynold Nesiba, (D-Sioux Falls), said.
That holds true Migdad Mustafa. As a war veteran, he feels he shouldn’t be branded with the label “radical terrorist.”
“I went out there and fought for this country. I didn’t look at it to fight Islam or Christianity. No! I went out there because I’m an American,” Migdad Mustafa said.
He’s taken his concerns to Pierre several times this legislative session.
“Something is wrong here, and these people need to understand a little bit about how we’re going about this,” Mustafa said.
State Senator Blake Curd came with a differing opinion. He doesn’t believe discrimination is the intent of the newly-amended legislation.
“I am only speaking personally, but I saw the way of the phrase as a very narrow description of an element of terrorism that we don’t want in the United States. No country wants it,” Curd said.
Still, he hasn’t decided whether he’ll vote in favor of SCR 15 or not.
“We may have been indelicate in the phraseology that was used and the drafting of the resolution and that’s what I’m going to have to spend some time thinking on,” Curd said.
SCR 15 will be up for vote on the Senate Floor Tuesday. We should note, this is a resolution, which is more of a declaration. If it passes, it doesn’t become state law.