Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas, is moving on to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development under Secretary Ben Carson. At a recent luncheon, Van Duyne told listeners at Momentous Institute in Oak Cliff that an announcement is coming soon. Last week, Carson was in both Dallas and Fort Worth as part of his national listening tour.
 
“I keep saying next week because I’ve been told the paperwork is going to be done next week,” Van Duyne told about 300 people at the Momentous Institute in north Oak Cliff. “But next week, I’ll actually be able to make an announcement.” In the weeks after Trump’s electoral victory, Van Duyne was seen visiting Trump Tower in Manhattan, presumably to discuss a role in the administration. Having served as mayor since 2011, she had already announced that she would not be serving a third term.
 
Van Duyne endorsed Trump’s presidential campaign, being one of the few mayors of a large city to do so. Long interested in federal government reform, Van Duyne has also been notable for opposing the influx of shariah law in civil affairs, and for her strong position on illegal immigration. For example, this year she asked members of the Texas Homeland Security Forum to investigate the legality of an Muslim tribunal in the northern part of the state. 
 
Van Duyne gained national interest because of a lawsuit filed on behalf of Ahmed Mohamed, a.k.a. “Clock Boy”, against her, as well as media mogul Glenn Beck and Fox News. Mohamed earned a visit to the White House and Barack Obama, as well as grants of money from corporations, after he was arrested at his middle school for a homemade clock that closely resembled a bomb. In January, the lawsuit was finally dismissed. 
 
On March 30, Van Duyne told lawmakers at the Texas Homeland Security Forum "I haven't seen any action at all. I am asking you as mayor, help me.I need to get to the bottom and find out, are there people in my community whose rights are not being observed?" GOP Rep. Kyle Biedermann of Fredericksburg hosted the forum, which sought determine strategies for "defending against radical Islamic terrorism in Texas." Van Duyne was referring to her opposition of the Islamic Tribunal, a group of Muslim leaders in Dallas. She gained national attention in  February 2015 for her opposition to the groups, accusing it of bypassing American courts by offering, for a fee, to mediate disputes among Muslims according to shariah.
 
Van Duyne has expressed concern over the unequal treatment meted out by shariah to men and women. "When you have a law or legal basis where women are not treated to the same respects or same rights as men, when you have women whose testimony is equal to half that of a man's, how can you defend that if that is happening in our country?" Van Duyne said. "And I couldn't, and I spoke out."


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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