- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A former Muslim turned Christian pastor warned a crowd at a northern Idaho Republican Party event about the threat of Muslims coming into Idaho, the most recent in a string of concerns over radical Islam that have surfaced among lawmakers and political groups this year in this conservative state.

Shahram Hadian spoke to the Bonner County Republican Women on Tuesday, saying that Muslims who support Sharia law and aim to kill anyone who doesn’t agree with their interpretation of Islam are trying to move to the United States - and to Idaho.

The event comes less than two weeks after a House panel killed a child support enforcement bill by one vote, potentially dismantling Idaho’s child support enforcement system after Idahoans testified the state could potentially be bound to enforce Sharia Law under the act.

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter is expected to call the Legislature back for a special session of in order to remedy the noncompliance before the June 12 deadline.

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare officials say the state won’t be able to collect and distribute out-of-state child support payments if lawmakers don’t pass the Uniform Interstate Family Security Act.

All states are required to pass the act by the end of their legislative sessions this year or they will lose the federal funds used to track and collect payments from parents who live in one jurisdiction but owe child support in another. This update would have brought the U.S. into compliance with the 2007 Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support - an international treaty designed to enforce child support rulings across borders in 80 countries.

The child support flap wasn’t the first time concerns over Islam had surfaced in the statehouse.

Mr. Hadian met with more than a dozen lawmakers in the Capitol in late March, when he explained what he saw as the threat of Muslims moving to Idaho. The pastor called for limiting Islamic immigration and blocking refugees from settling in the state after alleging they intend to change Idaho’s society.

More concerns have emerged on the local level.

A Bonneville County Republican Central Committee newsletter article warned Idahoans that Muslims are “infiltrating” the state and would “be ready to rise up and kill” non-Muslims. The article’s author, Becky Prestwich, later apologized.

And a northern Idaho Republican organization considered - but voted down - a measure that would have tried to designate Idaho as a Christian state.

Judy Cross from the Interfaith Alliance of Idaho said that it’s important to distinguish between radical militants in the news and everyday Muslims in Idaho.

“People have heard some of the myths about Islam - the violence in the Koran and the buzzwords of jihad - that set them off because they don’t understand what Muslims really believe,” she said. “ISIS is fighting for radical political issues. The religion that is Islam is a very peaceful religion and a very loving religion.”

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