TN Tea Partiers freak out on TV reporter for covering their effort to block Muslim cemetery
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 14:15 EDT
Tempers flared in a confrontation between anti-Islamic activists and proponents of a plan to build an Islamic cemetery adjacent to a mosque in Murfreesboro, TN.
WSMV Channel 4 reported that supporters of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro asked the judge presiding over the hearing to recuse himself from today’s hearing about an injunction to stop the ICM’s expansion. The motion was granted, infuriating opponents to the cemetery plan.
Supporters of the Islamic Center said that Judge William Corlew lll ruled against them in the initial fight over whether to allow the mosque to be built at all in 2010. Federal judges overruled Corlew and construction proceeded.
The Islamic Center and its attorney John Green didn’t believe it could get an impartial ruling from Corlew in the matter and he recused himself from the hearing.
“We’ll go to another judge because the Islamic center didn’t think Judge Corlew could give them a fair trial. I think it was sad today for all the people took off work to be here,” said Lou Ann Zelenik, a local Tea Party official and longtime opponent of the Islamic Center.
Green said that the “degree of hyperbole and misinformation” in the case has reached a point of true “absurdity.”
In the hallway outside the meeting room, mosque opponents turned nasty, jostling and shoving, then insulting a mosque supporter and ordering him not to film them.
One elder gentleman accompanying Zelenik said that Islam is “not a religion” and told ICM supporters, “You’re the ones that’s lying.”
The Murfreesboro Post reported that Zelenik’s group even turned on Channel 4 reporter Larry Flowers — who is African-American — barking at him, “Who are you?” and attempting to manhandle him.
“I don’t have a dog in this fight, so you do not touch me,” said Flowers angrily as one Tea Partier shoved him. “You hear me?”
Zelenik ran to represent Tennessee in Congress, challenging freshman Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) in 2012 and losing. Zelenik’s stridently anti-Islamic campaign rhetoric earned the contest the sobriquet “the craziest GOP House Race of the year” as each woman tried to prove that she was more staunchly anti-Muslim than her opponent.
The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro was just the beginning of a sweeping plan for an Islamic takeover of Tennessee and the imposition of “Sharia law,” Zelenik said. She endorsed two conservative legislators to attempt to ban the practice of Islam in Tennessee as a form of treason.