Thursday, November 04, 2010

Oklahoma Voters Overwhelmingly
Say “NO” to Sharia Law

The “Power of the Gavel” changes in Washington

A Post-Election Analysis by Guy Rodgers,
Executive Director, ACT! for America

Dear Douglas,

Largely unnoticed amid last night’s story of the Republicans winning back the U.S. House and making significant gains in the Senate was the Oklahoma vote on State Question 755.

SQ 755 was a state constitutional amendment that will prohibit Oklahoma courts from using sharia law in deciding cases. It passed overwhelmingly last night with 70% support!

But this outcome was by no means a foregone conclusion. On October 7th, a poll was released with these results on SQ 755: 45% in favor, 25% opposed, 30% undecided.

Two major newspapers editorialized against it. The CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) affiliate in Oklahoma spoke out repeatedly against it in the media with its shop-worn “Islamophobia” propaganda.

We here at ACT! for America surmised that the high undecided percentage reflected voter misunderstanding of the issue AND confusion as to which way to vote on the initiative. And when voters are confused on a ballot initiative like this, they tend to either not vote on it or vote against it.

On October 18th ACT! for America launched a two-week statewide radio ad in support of SQ 755. Then, on October 21st, 26th, and November 1st we dropped a total of 600,000 automated calls to Oklahoma voters with a message urging support of SQ 755 from James Woolsey, former director of the CIA.

Additionally, we placed an editorial in one of the state’s major newspapers, sent multiple emails to our members, and conducted several radio and print media interviews.

The 70% support demonstrates that our efforts to educate the voters and clear up any confusion were immensely successful.

This 70% victory was significant because this was the first time voters had a chance to vote in a statewide election on the issue of sharia law. The overwhelming margin sends an unequivocal message to Islamic organizations and Muslims, such as Ground Zero Mosque Imam Rauf, who advocate sharia law for America—sharia law is not welcome here!

As for the other election results, from the ACT! for America perspective the most important consequence is that “the power of the gavel” will switch in the U.S. House of Representatives.

By this I mean key committees, such as the Homeland Security Committee, will likely be chaired by Members of Congress who truly understand the threat radical Islam poses to our national security and who will have a different list of priorities regarding what bills to consider and hearings to hold.

The legislative calendar, controlled by the Speaker of the House, will also reflect different priorities regarding what bills to bring to a vote before the full House.

This is a MAJOR step forward in our legislative efforts on Capitol Hill. Bills we supported this year that didn’t even get a committee hearing will receive the serious and thoughtful consideration they deserve. Prospects for House passage during the next two years of some of our legislative priorities have improved dramatically as a result of last night’s election results.

Without question, most voters were making their decisions based on concerns about the economy, jobs, federal spending and ballooning deficits, and what became known as “ObamaCare.”

But as exits polls I saw revealed, voter concerns about national security were lurking just beneath the surface. Americans are aware of the increase in homegrown jihadism and there is a growing consciousness about the threat of sharia law.

These election results not only bode well for progress in the Congress on our legislative agenda, they also bode well for increased pressure on the Obama administration to adjust the way it is defining and addressing the threat of radical Islam.

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