Maryland Delegate David Vogt, a veteran of a combat unit within the U.S. Marine Corps, will be introducing a bill targeting the tax-exempt status of radical mosques while the Maryland General Assembly is in session on Tuesday, Breitbart News has learned.
His bill, The Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, was drafted to “restrict and revoke” the tax-exempt status of any “mosque or organization that is found, through cooperation with [Department of Homeland Security], to have direct or indirect ties to terrorism,” Vogt’s office said.
The Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act will target the “prohibition on exemptions and credits for organizations having known ties to terrorism,” a draft of the bill obtained by Breitbart News reads. The bill covers not only religious institutions, but also any other 501(c)(3) organization, according to its text.
The Maryland Delegate’s coming announcement is timed to precede President Obama’s Wednesday visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore, a mosque that was led for eighteen years by an Imam who condoned suicide bombings and had associations to radical groups.
“The President’s visit to a mosque with a history of promoting terrorism is a disgrace, and this bill ensures that Maryland’s taxpayers aren’t subsidizing special treatment for terrorist sympathizers,” the Maryland delegate commented on Obama’s coming visit to the Baltimore mosque. “If a preacher stands in a pulpit and endorses a candidate, that church, by law, loses its tax-exempt status. It is insane that the endorsement of terrorism is not treated the same way.”
“This is a common-sense piece of legislation – if you endorse acts of terrorism, you don’t get special treatment from the government,” Vogt told Breitbart News regarding the bill.
Vogt is a decorated combat veteran who served in Afghanistan, and received the 2010 Marine of the Year award from the Military Times. He is a candidate for Congress in Maryland’s 6th District.
“It is painfully obvious that it is time to get serious and proactive about combating terrorism right here in America. Maybe when tax dollars become involved, the government will begin to care a little more,” he concluded.
While the United States government has allowed for radical mosques to continue operations unimpeded, countries such as France have started to crackdown on the institutions preaching jihadi terror. In December, the French government announced it would close up to 160 mosques in the coming months.
“I don’t think we should be indiscriminately closing mosques, but I also don’t think we should be blind to the fact that there have been mosques that have been a nexus for promoting jihad,” Cruz said in December.
In November, Trump said the U.S. would have “absolutely no choice” but to shut down jihad-advocating mosques because “some bad things are happening” within their walls.
The Clarion Project has identified some 80 mosques in America that publicly preach radical ideals.