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Nov-12-2011 18:40printcomments

CAIR: Tenn. Legislator Says Remove All Muslims From Military

Muslim civil rights group asks Tennessee General Assembly to rebuke Rick Womick for 'un-American' remarks.

Many U.S. soldiers who are Muslim serve as interpreters in places like Iraq
Many U.S. soldiers who are Muslim serve as interpreters in places like Iraq; their presence is key in communicating, gathering intelligence and negotiating. They keep Americans alive. In some cases U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan stationed with Afghan forces, have converted to Islam. Photo by Tim King

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today called on the Tennessee General Assembly to formally rebuke one of its members who yesterday –- Veterans Day –- called for the removal of all Muslims serving in the military.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said Republican State Rep. Rick Womick made those "un-American" remarks at an "anti-Sharia" conference yesterday at which another speaker said American Mosques should not have First Amendment protections and have no right to exist.

CAIR also called on state and national Republican Party leaders to repudiate Womick's bigoted comments.

[NOTE: Womick was a co-sponsor of a Tennessee bill that, in its original form, would have effectively outlawed basic Islamic principles (Sharia) and made the practice of Islam illegal in that state.]

In a video posted online, Womick said, "Personally, I don't trust one Muslim in our military." "If they truly are a devout Muslim and follow the Quran and the Sunnah, then I feel threatened because they're commanded to kill me." When asked whether Muslims should be removed from the military, Womick answered, "Absolutely, yeah."

Video: Rick Womick Says Devout Muslims Should Be Removed From Military (Tennessean)

On Veterans Day, State Rep. Rick Womick (R-TN) Calls for Purging Muslims From the Military
Former FBI Agent Says Mosques Have No Right to Exist

"The Tennessee General Assembly must formally rebuke Representative Womick for defaming all members of the military –- including the thousands of Muslims who proudly serve our nation -- and for sending a message of hate to the hundreds of thousands of Muslims serving alongside our troops in other nations," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "It was particularly offensive that Womick made his un-American remarks on Veterans Day."

Earlier this year, CAIR called on state and national GOP leaders to repudiate a lengthy rhetorical attack on Islam and the Quran by Womick.

During a hearing of the Tennessee House Judiciary Committee, Womick claimed the proposed Material Support to Designated Entities Act was "not about religion," then launched into a lengthy attack on Islam and its revealed text, ultimately comparing the faith to Nazism and white supremacy.

VIDEO: Rep. Womick Smears Islam (Start at minute 55.)

Womick stated: (1:02:58)"[A Tennessee Muslim leader] says that the Quran does not support violence and that he denounces all violence. I believe him. But he is an exception, because those who truly hold the Quran for every word that it speaks cannot believe that. . .

(1:06:20) "With Islam there is no freedom of religion allowed within or outside of Islam. There is no freedom of speech or thought, no freedom of artistic expression, no freedom of the press, no equality of peoples, because non-Muslims are never equal to Muslims. There is one set of laws for Muslim men and different laws for women and non-Muslims. Under Islam, women are to be beaten. . .

(1:10:54) "It's when you. . .demand that our Constitution take an exception to your beliefs, whether it be Sharia law or Nazism or white supremacy, it doesn't make a difference."

The original form of the legislation was reportedly written with the assistance of David Yerushalmi, head of the anti-Islam hate group Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), who sent a video message to yesterday’s anti-Sharia conference.

On its now password-protected website, SANE offered a policy proposal that would make "adherence to Islam" punishable by 20 years in prison, called for the immediate deportation of all non-citizen Muslims and urged Congress to declare war on the "Muslim Nation," which SANE defined as "all Muslims."

SEE: A SANE Act to Deal with the Islamic Threat to America's National Existence (SADITANE)

Meet the White Supremacist Leading the GOP's Anti-Sharia Crusade

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) recently noted that Yerushalmi has "a record of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-black bigotry."

David Yerushalmi: A Driving Force Behind Anti-Sharia Efforts in the U.S.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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