After his state representative asked a local Muslim leader—whose mosque had been attacked by arsonists—to denounce terrorism, Murfreesboro, Tennessee second-grade teacher Aaron Nuell decided he’d had enough. The ensuing email correspondence between Nuell and State Rep. Rick Womick is fascinating. A sample:
"I was raised a faithful Jew by a prominent Jewish father, and I now have a devout Muslims roommate with no issues/problems/terrorism/constitution-usurping in my household. He wakes up at 5AM to pray (before going back to sleep), and I want you to know that he is a moral and righteous person. No alcohol, no funny business. My question is this: Which Muslims are trying to usurp our constitution with Sharia law? Is it the family here in town who a small business selling cars? Is it the man who owns the independent, all-natural grocery store? Tell me who is fighting for this, and I will stand corrected, however if this is just the word-of-mouth from those highly-paid out-of-town Sharia law speakers, then I am forced to conclude that such a statement is based in paranoia and lies."
"I was just like, ‘Look, Bro, if you’re going to propose this bill again next year, this is just a waste of our time.’ This guy has forgotten he’s an elected official.’ I got up to leave and I said, ‘You don’t have job security and you will not be back again next year.’"
— Knoxville tea partier William Coley, explaining to MoJo's Tim Murphy why he was asked to leave the office of Tennessee State Rep. Judd Matheny last week. Coley, who is Muslim, fears the state's anti-Sharia legislation could be used to target tea party groups as well.
GOP Lawmakers in North Carolina, Missouri, Georgia, Alabama, Alaska, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Oklahoma have all recently sponsored bills to ban Islamic law in America. And when asked, they’ve all had trouble explaining what sharia law is, what it does, or why it needs to be barred in the US.
A couple major developments on the bogeyman beat this week. First, a paranormal investigator says the blood-sucking Chupacabra isn’t real, which is really kind of the opposite of what paranormal investigators are supposed to say. To fill that void, the Rev. Franklin Graham and a handful of GOP-endorsed right-wingers have found a new imaginary threat for you. Read the full story here.
Actually, all those new anti-Muslim state laws started with a single white supremacist in Arizona. (Not that guy in the “Ground Zero Mosque” picture above, in case you were wondering.) MJ's Tim Murphy tells the whole story.