Tom Trento, head of the anti-Islam group United West, is in Tallahassee today, where he plans to host a live stream to coincide with events taking place during “Muslim Day” at the Capitol.
On Tuesday morning, Trento was spotted on the 22nd floor of the Capitol, speaking to police. Because he was not “disrupting” the event, however, police allowed him to stay.
“Muslim Day” is being billed as an opportunity for Muslim constituents in the state to be introduced “to the Florida political process, where [they] will have the unique opportunity of speaking directly with [they’re] elected legislators,” according to an announcement for the event.
According to its website, Trento’s United West is “dedicated to defending and advancing Western Civilization against the kinetic and cultural onslaught of Shariah Islam.” The group says it aims to fight “the ever-increasing forces of darkness, whether political, social, or philosophical” which “seek to destroy, subvert or subjugate all that Americans hold to be right and true.”
The events are taking place on the same day that a Senate panel will hear a bill aiming to outlaw the use of “foreign law” in family court cases. The measure, and its past incarnations, have been touted by right-wing activists as an attempt to “stop the spread of Sharia [Islamic law] in Florida.”
The bill was written by anti-Islam leader David Yerushalmi. A similar bill was introduced last session by the same lawmakers behind this year’s version: state Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, and Rep. Larry Metz, R-Eustis.
Florida has been a hotbed of anti-Islam/Sharia activism for years. Last year’s Muslim Day also saw protests from anti-Islam extremists.