BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Some of Idaho’s conservative Republicans have raised concerns this year about local Muslim populations and the potential influence of Sharia law in the state.
Those fears prompted local GOP events and a special lawmaker luncheon, while culminating in the decision by some lawmakers to kill a child support enforcement bill. That threatened the state’s ability to enforce more than 150,000 child support payments.
Historians say this isn’t the first time Idaho’s government has focused concern on a specific religious group.
In an effort to disenfranchise Mormon voters, the state’s original 1890 constitution blocked supporters of polygamy from voting. The ban was removed just three decades ago.
Many in Idaho’s substantial Basque population faced restrictive immigration policies during the 1920s. That was part of a larger effort to block Catholic immigration.