Michele Bachmann joins board of Ann Arbor-based Christian activists
By Niraj Warikoo (Freep.com)
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., was named Thursday to the citizens advisory board of an Ann Arbor-based legal center that fights for conservative Christian causes.
The appointment of Bachmann, who dropped out of the presidential primary in January, brings another high-profile conservative to the Thomas More Law Center, which increasingly has focused on Islam in recent years. In May, the center named U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., whose views also have sparked controversy, to the advisory board.
“I am pleased to join forces with the Thomas More Law Center,” Bachmann said Thursday. “They are in the courts aggressively fighting the internal threat to America posed by radical Islam.”
Richard Thompson, the center’s president and chief counsel, said that Bachmann “puts country before politics.”
“She understands the threat of radical Islam,” Thompson said. “We share her concerns regarding the stealth jihad that’s being perpetrated against the United States.”
Thompson was referring to what he and some other conservatives say are quiet ways in which some Islamic organizations are trying to take control in the West. Last month, Bachmann sent an open letter asking whether officials in the U.S. government — including Huma Abedin, a Muslim born in Kalamazoo who is a close aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton — have ties to Islamic extremist groups.
Bachmann’s letter, signed by several other Republicans, was criticized by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and others who praised Abedin. Bachmann defended the letter, saying there are legitimate concerns about Abedin’s family ties.
Established in 1998 by Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan, a conservative Catholic, the Thomas More Law Center has filed suits in a number of cases involving the rights of conservative Christians. It supported the right of a school in Pennsylvania to teach creationism, fought gay rights ordinances and opposes the contraception mandate announced by the Obama administration this year.
It has actively defended Christian missionary groups that have been involved in conflicts at the annual Arab Festival in Dearborn, held in June.
Dawud Walid, director of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said that Bachmann is a “perfect fit” for the board.
“Since Michigan has been a target of nationwide of anti-Islam campaigns, it makes sense that Bachmann would join a Michigan-based group … openly hostile to the Islamic faith.”