Arlington State Rep. Bill Zedler is Fighting Against Sharia Law, Other Imaginary Threats

Categories: Politics

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During the 2011 session of the Texas Legislature, after hearing a report on the radio indicating that judges in Dearborn, Michigan, now embrace Islamic jurisprudence, state Representative Leo Berman, a Republican from Tyler, filed a bill to keep Texas courtrooms free of sharia law. The proposal was referred to committee, where it died a quiet death. With Berman's defeat in this past May's Republican primary, that seemed like it might be the end of the Legislature's quixotic fight against sharia law.

Not on Bill Zedler's watch. Fresh off his victory against uteri everywhere, Zedler filed a bill seeking to outlaw sharia law in Texas. The bill refers generally to "foreign or international law or doctrine" and doesn't specifically mention Sharia, so hypothetically he could just as well be attacking the Canadian justice system.

If that were indeed the case, it would fly in the face of everything we know about Zedler, who has made his reputation championing the causes of the rightward fringe. And the bill is a repeat; the one he filed in 2011 was simply overshadowed by Berman's.

Texas Monthly thought enough of Zedler to include him on the magazine's 2011 worst-legislators list, marveling that he managed to pass only three bills through a Legislature dominated by very conservative Republicans. His "agenda remained too kooky" even for them.

Then there was the fact that Zedler, well, wasn't very collegial.

When the House was meeting, Zedler spent much of his time at his desk talking on his Blue­tooth or heckling whichever Democrat was at the front mike, smiling his odd little mortician's smile. You'd think that someone who launched his political career in a group called Decency for Arlington would try a little harder to spread some of that decency in Austin.

Zedler's aiming to win a spot on the list again. Among other repeat bills he's filed for the 2013 session are a pair seeking to defang the already toothless Texas Medical Board and one that would bar discrimination against professors who teach intelligent design or "other alternate theories of the origination and development of organisms." (You can read his laughable defense of the latter in a 2011 interview with Mother Jones.)

New this year is a measure that would give the attorney general more power to investigate election fraud. And we all know where the attorney general stands on that.

We left a message for Zedler to talk about his legislative agenda and are waiting for, but not expecting, a call back.

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It seems to me that the GOP has embraced a Christian form of Sharia law.   It is kind of like the old saying of the pot calling the kettle black.   I see no difference between the GOP, Perry, Zedler, Dan Patrick et. al. and the Taliban.  They are the Taliban-Republicans


Does this mean I can buy hard liquor on Sunday now?

mavdog topcommenter

If Zedler's bill is passed, would that also prohibit the Bible as well?

after all, it too is a "foreign doctrine" as none of the book was written or took place in the United States.

hmm, maybe we SHOULD be supporting this bill......

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Doesn't this gentleman understand that the only way that Sharia law can be considered by our state courts in making a decision on a case, either criminal or civil, is for him and his fellow legislators to pass a bill that incorporates Sharia Law into Vernon's Annotated Statutes and/or the Texas Administrative Code?

observist topcommenter

What's amusing to me is that the mindset of anti-sharia activists almost precisely mirrors the reactionary, xenophobic mindset of sharia practitioners.  Takes one to know one I guess.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

This person is an obvious whack job.  What is scary is that the people of Arlington put him in office.


Nice to see we have a replacement for the (R-Crazy Pants) seat in the Lege vacated by Berman.

Montemalone topcommenter

Does he sniff the embalming fluid of just inject it directly into his head?

Montemalone topcommenter

@observist Sort of like matter and antimatter, except they're both really doesn'tmatter, but if you put them in a room together would they annihilate each other?


@Montemalone I recall a dear Abby article once.   A lady married a mortician who had excellent manors-a real gentleman.  On the wedding night he wanted her to take a cold bath and lay in bed perfectly still.   She locked herself in the bathroom until the next day when she had the marriage annulled.  


Speak for yourself ...(Dallas seems to be the epicenter of  Metroplex dysfunction  by your own snarky accounts) Incidentally Zedler's district is largely south Arlington and MANSFIELD if you would ever care to actually get your facts in line.  Many professionals appreciate Zedler's looking at the inexplicable corruption of the inept (also by your own  DO accounts) TMB and the industries (corporate medicine, Health Insurers) which dictate the activites of the Governor Perry appointees who (de)compose the TMB.  Maybe instead of beating up on Zedler, you might actually identify some of the real kooks, regardless of party who occupy the legislature. (but that may take some actual research bad)

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