The no-go zones garbage is spreading into legislative action.
CAIRO – A new proposed legislation, banning nonexistent Muslim “No-Go Zones”, has been furiously rejected by Tennessean Muslim community, saying it is motivated by Islamophobic allegations spread by Fox news.
“The whole fantastical notion of a no-go zone, which has been disproven by even Fox News, is almost gospel on the right wing of the political spectrum now,” Ibrahim Hooper, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), told The Huffington Post after likening the zones to unicorns.
“It’s just utter nonsense but, [as] with so much in the Islamophobia industry in the United States … it passes for statesmanship in the current climate.”
The whole problem erupted last January when a pundit on Fox News claimed that there were neighborhoods in France and the United Kingdom that had been taken over by Muslims and were off-limits to others.
The claim, which turned out to be false, forced the network to apologize.
Yet, the line was taken last month by Tennessee state Rep. Susan Lynn (R) and state Sen. Bill Ketron (R) introduced legislation in the House and Senate aimed at ridding the state of no-go zones.
The claimed zones are described in the bills as, “contiguous geographical area[s] consisting of public space or privately owned public space where community organizing efforts systematically intimidate or exclude the general public or public workers from entering or being present within the area.”
Reacting to the bill, Robert McCaw, CAIR’s government affairs manager, recently wrote a letter to leading lawmakers in the Tennessee General Assembly, asking them to abandon the legislation.
Though the bill does not explicitly target or single out any particular group, Lynn claimed that some constituents have expressed feelings of discomfort when in areas they consider sketchy.
“And as you know, when there’s activity happening where people sort of feel intimidated, there’s not exactly a sign up on the wall,” Lynn told The Tennessean. “But it’s just an overall feeling of intimidation.”
Muslim leaders rejected Republican representatives’ claims as absurd.
“It’s all just a smoke screen for anti-Muslim bigotry,” Hooper said.
“It’s all part of the Islamophobia machine’s campaign to demonize Islam and marginalize American Muslims. And anything that contributes to that marginalization is okay with them — no matter how fantastical it is.”
Hedy Weinberg, executive director of Tennessee’s American Civil Liberties Union, shared a similar opinion.
He said the new bill was a mere attempt to subject the state’s Muslim population to unwarranted discrimination.