Sunday, July 18, 2010

TN Teabaggers' Islamophobic hate march in Murfreesboro

I've always wanted to see a real teabagger in person, and what better chance than to come to their hate march protesting the new Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

The first teabagger I saw was there to photograph the counter demonstrators that out numbered the hate marchers. He smiled and said as he was taking his photo, "Smile for the camera, Islam" in a very heavy southern accent (where "smile" rhymes with "Islam").

I was happy to see huge number of counter protesters standing up for the constitution, freedom, and the law. It almost seemed like a case of "town and gown"... where the educated young people and their professor, clergy, and community faced off against the older redneck farmers, "townies, " and conservative KKKristian zealots. Of course the teabaggers made their kids march with them.

Note the ignorance and fear displayed in their signs. They might as well have been saying, 'the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim.'

This level of ignorance represents the Tennessee Republican Tea Party movement which is led by political candidates Lou Ann Zelenik, and George Erdel.

Erdel, calls himself a "Tea Party Democrat" candidate. No such thing, sorry. I saw him speak at the MTSU forum. He won the distinction of being the most ignorant and least intelligent candidate I've seen in quite some time. Further, he is a theocrat, one of those idiots who proclaim the US a "Christian Nation."

Interesting that a group that touts itself as a proponent of the Constitution would stage such a march. Republicans Jim Tracy and Diane Black sponsored the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the state last year, a bill that established as law, which is now in effect, protection for mosques and other religious buildings from undue government interference. The Constitution only applies to issues they agree with, apparently.

Both Democratic candidates Ben Leming and Brett Carter who have spoken up for the rights of local Muslims, are distinguished vets who have served with Muslims in Muslim countries, and have a great deal of experience with Muslim families and cultures. I wonder how their experience compares with that of Zelenik, Erdel, or these teabaggers?
How many of these people even know a Muslim?

I asked Lou Ann Zelenik, the leader of the hate march, the following questions on her Facebook page. The question remains unanswered:

Lou Ann,
Without demagoguing Muslims and raising the specter of 9/11 and playing upon the fears of residents, could you please explain your personal relationship and experiences with Muslims and Muslim culture that you base your objections on? How many personal Muslim friends do you have? How many professional Muslim associates do you have? How many Muslim countries have you visited? How many community members that are Muslim are involved in your campaign?

We really would like to know more about how your experiences with Muslims compare with those of your opponents, Ben Leming and Brett Carter, because as we know, positions need to be based on personal experience and we need to know how our candidates justify their positions.

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