“The law seems to assume that these signs are written in English. Oops.” “Hundreds of Arabic ‘In God We Trust posters to schools in Texas to flood the public school system with IGWT artwork in Arabic.”
Stevens said the project is intended to speak out against Texas Senate Bill 797. He says he has brought in several Middle East-based translators, artists, and linguistics experts to independently validate his work to assist with accurate translations. In God We Trust” in Arabic.
Stevens hopes these efforts will be completed soon. “Once that’s done, we update the artwork, send it to a printer, and ship it to various Texas ISDs,” he said.
“Future artwork will not only include Arabic, but also Hindi, Spanish, Chinese and possibly African dialects,” he told CNN.
When asked if he expected the matter to go to court, Stevens told CNN, “Money makes the law, so this is certainly a challenge with the odds stacked against me. It’s a battle,” he said.
“For me, this is not (…) the State of Texas saying no to me…rather, it’s more of a burgeoning issue of ‘First Amendment-Establishment Clause and diluting everything’.” I think it’s another example. My fight is not just the Lone Star State, but a nationwide call for arms,” Stevens said.
To that end, Stevens expanded his GoFundMe goal to $250,000 and hired a lawyer. As of August 25, the project has raised $11,878.
Kimi Linking, a professor of political science at the University of North Texas who specializes in American politics, including civil rights and freedoms, dispute resolution, judicial adjudication, legislative control of the bureaucracy, and executive decision-making, told CNN that the ostensible Senate Bill 797 does not specify language, “despite the fact that it is specific (and narrow) as to how signs should be constructed.”
“By spelling out the law in English,” King said, “it is possible to assert the plain meaning of the law, and it expresses the intention to make it a government-sponsored speech with the specific message it wants to convey.” can be argued to be ambiguous in that it does not specify that it should not be written in other languages.”
King said the Texas government would likely defend the language as “government speech” if the law itself were challenged.
King said Texas, Tennessee and many other states with similar laws on the books “will be the perfect storm for Supreme Court review.”