2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
February 15, 2017 - Introduced by Senators C. Larson, Carpenter, Johnson,
Shilling, Vinehout and L. Taylor, cosponsored by Representatives Brostoff,
Sinicki, Bowen, Anderson, Berceau, Billings, Crowley, Goyke, Hebl,
Hesselbein, Kessler, Mason, Milroy, Ohnstad, Pope, Riemer, Sargent,
Spreitzer, C. Taylor, Wachs, Zamarripa, Zepnick and Fields. Referred to
Committee on Senate Organization.
1Relating to: condemning violence and hate speech and expressing solidarity with
2Muslims and all those targeted for their ethnicity, race, or religion.
Whereas, the United States was founded by immigrants, many fleeing religious 4
persecution, who enshrined freedom of religion as one of our nation's fundamental 5
legal and ethical principles; and
Whereas, the history of Islam in the United States began even before its 7
founding when African Muslims were enslaved and brought to the Americas, where 8
they later helped in numerous ways to build this country, including sacrificing their 9
lives on the line in every major war from the Revolutionary War on; and
Whereas, there are more than 3 million Muslims living in the United States 11
today and over 15,000 living in the state of Wisconsin, making invaluable 12
contributions to our economy, our social and political life, and our culture; and
Whereas, there has been an unprecedented backlash since 9/11 in the form of 14
hate crimes and employment discrimination toward Arab and Muslim Americans 15
and those perceived as Muslims; and
Whereas, Arab and Muslim Americans, and those perceived as Muslims, are 2
often subject to Islamophobia and are frequently the targets of abusive and 3
discriminatory police practices sanctioned by the state, including surveillance in 4
their neighborhoods and places of worship; and
Whereas, we are saddened and outraged at the recent escalation of hateful 6
rhetoric against Muslims, those perceived to be Muslims, immigrants, and all people 7
of color, and we are particularly concerned to see political figures and elected 8
government officials leading this escalation and using it in order to gain power; and
Whereas, in the face of extreme bigotry and violence, Muslim communities and 10
their leaders are using the language and teachings of Islam to promote peace, justice, 11
and service, and their institutions are continuing to play an essential societal role 12
providing charitable and humanitarian services to those in need; and
Whereas, we, as elected representatives of the people, have a special 14
responsibility not to stay silent in the face of hate, violence, and discrimination 15
against any of our constituents or countrymen; now, therefore, be it
16Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That
the Wisconsin 17
(1) Condemns Islamophobia and all hateful speech and violent action directed 19
at Muslims, those perceived to be Muslims, immigrants, and people of color.
(2) Categorically rejects political tactics that use fear to manipulate voters or 21
to gain power or influence.
(3) Commits to pursuing a policy agenda that affirms civil and human rights 23
and ensures that those targeted on the basis of race, religion, or immigration status 24
can turn to their government without fear of recrimination.
(4) Reaffirms the value of a pluralistic society, the beauty of a culture composed 2
of multiple cultures, and the inalienable right of every person to live and practice his 3
or her faith without fear.