Andrew Miller chairman of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition is funding Lou Ann Zelenik’s campaign against Diane Black. Zelenik also happens to be president of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition.
If you will recall both Miller and Zelenik hosted Geert Wilders at the Cornerstone Church in Nashville where he spewed hateful anti-Muslim/Islam rants to a cheering crowd.
Miller said at the time,
“What is happening in the Muslim community is wrong, and it won’t go on much longer. We will shine the light of truth on them, you will see a change in their leadership, pretty soon, I am pretty sure, and they know who we are. I don’t care.”
In a case of worse vs. worst, Black and Zelenik are trying to out do themselves in how much they hate “Islam.”:
Freshman Republican Representative Diane Black is challenged by Lou Ann Zelenik, who lost to Black in a primary to represent the rural district two years ago by less than 300 votes.
The heart of the struggle is over the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Nashville, which has been controversial since construction began two years ago.
Zelenik, who vigorously opposed the mosque and warned of potential terrorist connections, said Black was not forceful enough in her opposition.
“I will work to stop the Is lamination of our society, and do everything possible to prevent Sharia law from circumventing our laws and our Constitution,” Zelenik said.
Some states dominated by Republicans have passed laws to prevent Islamic or Sharia law from applying in US court cases.
The United States legal system is founded in the US Constitution.
Black did oppose the mosque in statements issued in 2010.
She said communities have a right to be vigilant in ensuring that Islamic institutions in this country do not aid the “jihadist viewpoint.”
“The mosque was rushed through the local process, and people were mad about it … This isn’t about religion, this is about people staying vigilant,” Black said.
A judge ruled last month that the mosque could be occupied by its congregation in time for the fasting month of Ramadan if it passed an inspection. But the inspection showed that some additional work needed to be done before it could be used.
The argument is not even over a mosque in their own congressional district because the redrawing of election maps after the 2010 census put the facility in another district.
But a wealthy conservative donor, Nashville health care investor Andrew Miller, has weighed in on the side of Zelenik, contributing $105100 to a new group called Citizens 4 Ethics in Government, according to the latest reports the group had submitted to the Federal Election Commission as of July 20.
The group has spent nearly $188000 on media and automated telephone calls with the goal to unseat Black.
Miller is also chairman and executive director of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition, a conservative non-profit which lists as the top issue on its website: “Educate citizens on the realities of Sharia and stop the growth of Radical Islam.”
Repeated attempts made by Reuters to contact Miller for comment were unsuccessful. Zelenik’s campaign also did not return numerous phone calls requesting comment.
“No one is more opposed to Sharia law, radical Islam and terrorism than Diane Black, but unlike her opponent, Diane Black respects our Constitution,” her campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Coxe-Baker said.
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based Muslim Civil Rights and advocacy group, says people like Zelenik “live in their own bubble of anti-Islam hate.”
“All you can do is rely on the goodwill and the tolerance of the members of the rest of society who don’t hold these extremist, bizarre views and trust in the common sense of the American people and the people of Tennessee,” he said.
The race is one of several Tennessee congressional primaries on Thursday to determine party nominees for the election in November.
As you can see Gabriel is up to her usual gimmick, fear-mongering about the deadly and dire “Islamization of the USA,” which is supposedly happening right under the patriotic noses of: good, wholesome, real Americans! According to her the Muslims are being aided in this anti-American endeavor by the liberals who wish nothing more than to see America destroyed!
She says at the 6:00 minute mark about the “Liberal-Islamic axis of evil”:
They’re doing exactly what Hitler did. What did Hitler say, what did Hitler do? “Give me the children and I’ll change society in ten years.”
Really? The Hitler card? Isn’t that played out by now?
Cornerstone Church has a history of giving a platform to this sort of anti-Islam and anti-Muslim propaganda. I won’t be surprised if one of its congregants believes he/she has to take out the Muslims before they take over, or perhaps a la cultural-Christian-Templar-Knight-Terrorist Anders Breivik, take out the liberals who are facilitating the so-called “demise of the USA.”
While Brigitte Gabriel’s reputation has been severely discredited and she is unable to get the kind of access that she was accustomed to in the past she is still able to weasel her way at times into the mainstream.
Such was the case recently in an article written by Frida Ghatis for McClatchy Newspapers and which was picked up by the Miami Herald, Sacramento Bee and several other papers. Ghatis’ article was titled, Truly Revolutionary: Arabs Speaking Well of Israel.
The piece is pro-Israel propaganda through-and-through and while maintaining a veneer of objectivity it degrades the successes of the Arab Spring and revolves around the not-so-hidden thesis that a real revolution in the Arab world would be one in which Arabs “speak well of Israel.” No explanation is given of why many Arabs are anti-Israel (i.e. occupation, apartheid, discrimination, war crimes, the bombing of Arab countries, etc.).
Instead the focus is: will Arabs finally love Israel and say nice things about it. All pretense to objectivity is dropped when we come to this sentence:
Pro-Israel Arabs, Muslims, and former Muslims who use their real names are usually people living safely in the West, such as Lebanon’s Brigitte Gabriel, Somalia’s Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Egypt’s Tawfik Hamid, or Canada’s Irshad Manji.
We have covered all of the loons mentioned above by Ghatis. If Ghatis was willing to do a basic search on Gabriel she would realize that Gabriel doesn’t even consider herself an Arab! In fact, Gabriel believes Arabs have no soul!:
The difference, my friends, between Israel and the Arab world is the difference between civilization and barbarism. It’s the difference between good and evil [applause]…. this is what we’re witnessing in the Arabic world, They have no SOUL!, they are dead set on killing and destruction. And in the name of something they call “Allah” which is very different from the God we believe….[applause] because our God is the God of love.
One can see why Ghatis would be so enthusiastic about Gabriel, she really speaks so“well” of Israel.
MURFREESBORO — Former congressional candidate Lou Ann Zelenik said Monday she has found a place to hold a freedom conference after getting turned down by 20 hotels.
Cornerstone Church in the Madison community on Nashville’s northeast side agreed to hold the event, “The Constitution or Sharia Conference.” The event will be held at 10 a.m. Nov. 11.
“There was no room in the inn for freedom, but pastor Maury Davis of Cornerstone Church opened his doors for free speech,” said Zelenik, who lost the 2010 Republican primary to U.S. Rep. Diane Black of Gallatin.
However, headliner Pamela Geller, who runs the Atlas Shrugs anti-Islam blog, has bowed out because the event is no longer at a secular venue.
“While I have nothing against speaking in a church per se, I refuse to have my message driven from the public square,” she wrote in an email.
Geller and Zelenik referred to Hutton Hotel’s decision last week to cancel booking for the event in Nashville, citing safety concerns.
“It was a poor decision by Hutton Hotel when they changed their story three times from what they initially told me,” Zelenik said. “Our goal is to expose and disclose the differences between Constitutional and Shariah law. Our conference recognizes the freedoms of all Americans, including Muslim women, because they have equal protection under our Constitutional law. I reject Islamic Shariah for any woman.”
Zelenik also criticized Islamic Center of Murfreesboro member Saleh Sbenaty, who described the conference as “hate speech.”
“Hate speech for what?” she said. “Does he hate our Constitution or does he hate Shariah law? I wonder how he would feel in Saudi Arabia or Egypt or Iran with constitutional law competing with Shariah? Anyone who would try to bring in constitutional law in these countries would be imprisoned and/or put to death.”
Sbenaty, who works as a 19-year professor at MTSU in the Engineering Technology Department, said he referred to the gathering as a hate group because he’s concerned with the reputations of the speakers Zelenik has invited.
“I’d like to ask her does she want to associate herself with those who inspired Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 93 people in Norway?” Sbenaty asked. “In his manifesto of more than 1,5,00 pages, he was inspired by the people she invited to this conference. He mentioned Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. Why would we need these people who are coming here to town to preach hate?”
Events such as these can hurt tourism, Sbenaty added.
“Why would you want to bring in people who would damage the reputation of Nashville and Murfreesboro?” he asked. “It’s ironic that she is damaging our community in the name of freedom.”
Sbenaty said there’s always a small sect in any religious group that’s dangerous and can commit tragic acts in the name of their religion.
“Extremists can interpret any religion they way they want,” said Sbenaty, noting that he grew up in Damascus, Syria, with Christian and Jewish friends before becoming a U.S. citizen after moving to Tennessee in 1982. “This is my country. This is where I want to live. This is a country that is founded on freedom, and it’s founded on equality. It’s not founded on bigotry.”
The Rev. Maury Davis of Cornerstone said he agreed to host the conference because he wants to learn more about Shariah law and its impact on American culture. Earlier this year, the church hosted a speech by Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician who is highly critical of Islam.
He said speakers will not be allowed to promote hatred toward Muslims.
“I am not going to have any hate speech,” Davis said. “And I define hate speech as inciting people to hurt people or mistreat people.”
Tickets to the conference are $20 and can be purchased at shariafreeusa.com.
Geert Wilders in Nashville at the Cornerstone Church
The Southern United States and the Midwest have been ravaged by violent forces of nature in the past few weeks; massive flooding has threatened to erase whole communities from Tennessee to Alabama, and over the past few days behemoth-like tornadoes, whipping in fury and frenzy swallowed and spit out whole towns.
The cataclysmic events of the Rapture predicted by Christian radio broadcaster Harold Camping may not have come to pass but these tragedies have altered lives forever, and our thoughts and prayers should be with those affected. I encourage everyone to contribute in whatever way they can to relief and support efforts in those regions.
“Heartland USA” as this region is otherwise known is too often ignored, some forget that beyond the confines of our large urban cities there is a whole other America that is rural, conservative and vibrant.
It is here that another force has taken hold and is setting up the perfect storm of intolerance, bigotry, racism, xenophobia and hatred.
This force is a product of the wedding of Islamophobia across the Atlantic, between right-leaning populist politicians and Christian and Israeli/Jewish Zionists that has led to a feverous increase in anti-Democracy and anti-Muslim activity.
This is the real monster that should worry us, not some eight-headed dragon beast that might emerge from the sea and usher in the Second Coming of Christ.
Extremism on our Shores
On May 12, 2011 in Madison, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville, Geert Wilders readily accepted an invitation from the Tennessee Freedom Coalition to speak at Cornerstone Church, a mega church with regular attendance exceeding 3,900 weekly. LW received exclusive video from Rob, a fan of LoonWatch who attended the event and taped the speeches of Wilders, Lou Ann Zelenik and Andy Miller. He was so upset by what he saw that he immediately sent us the footage he captured.
Wilders speech was a diatribe against Islam and Muslims in which all the familiar talking points were rehashed but with a little extra venom, undoubtedly playing to the sentiments of the crowd.
LW Exclusive: Shocking Video of Geert Wilders Hate Speech on US Soil Part 1:
Geert Wilders: “Its Islam Stupid (raucous applause). We must stop the Islamization of our countries, more Islam means less freedom”…”And now, now Europe is looking slowly but gradually like Arabia”…”It was the land of our fathers, it is our land now, it is our values, our values are based on Christianity, Judaism and Humanism and not Islam, it is that simple (applause)”…”and I have a message for all those people who want to rob us from our freedoms, and my message is stay in your own country (loud applause)”…”we are not going to allow Islam to steal our country from us (applause)”…”if Jerusalem falls, Athens, Rome, Amsterdam and Nashville will fall therefore my point is we all are Israel (applause)”…”the only place where Christians are safe in the Middle East is that beautiful country called Israel (loud applause)”…”Make no mistake, please make no mistake, Islam is also coming to America, in fact Islam already is in America. America is facing a stealth jihad, the Islamic attempt to introduce Sharia’ law bit by bit”…”what we need my friends, what we need to turn the tide is a spirit of resistance, what we need I repeat it again is a spirit of resistance”…”we must repeat it over and over again, especially to our children, our Western values and culture based on Christianity and Judaism is better and superior to the Islamic culture (applause), and leaders who talk about immigration without mentioning Islam are blind (applause)”…”we must stop the immigration from non-Western countries and we must forbid the construction of new hate palaces called mosques (applause)”…”the press calls it an Arab spring, I call it unfortunately an Arab winter (applause), Islam and freedom, Islam and democracy are incompatible (applause)”…”the so called Prophet Muhammad was a terrorist worse than Bin Laden ever was (applause)”…”neutrality my friends, neutrality in the face of evil is evil itself (applause).”
Why is a mega-church, an institution that professes to follow the teachings of Christ hosting such a hate-mongerer in the heartland of the USA? What is the Tennessee Freedom Coalition and why is it paying an extremist foreign politician who undermines “freedom” to speak at a Church? What are the ramifications for the rest of the West, the USA in particular when such an extremist is given a platform to incite hate?
This mega-church is a bit like a franchise corporation. It has two locations: one in Bowling Green, Kentucky and the other in Madison, Tennessee. It is led by Senior Pastor Maury Davis,
Pastor Maury Davis was arrested at age eighteen for the crime of first-degree murder. Following his trial and conviction, he served eight and one-half years in the Texas Department of Corrections. During his incarceration, Pastor Davis found his Savior in Jesus Christ and led a revival among his fellow prisoners.
Can anyone imagine what would happen if say Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf had a rap sheet similar to Pastor Davis? Pamela Geller would be doing back flips through Manhattan.
Aside from boasting about its large attendance, the Church also has a Starbucks-esque Coffee shop and other amenities for the Faith-full shopper. It successfully marries capitalism and religion and also adds an ultra-extra helping of Nationalism.
When nearing the Church, the first thing one notices is the strikingly gargantuan American flag in front of the Church:
Inside the Church the backdrop is red, white and blue and the colors surround a white modern looking Cross that reminds one more of the lapel pin worn by Captain Kirk on Star Trek than a cross. I guess they really want you to know they are patriots.
The Church’s philosophy is based on a literal belief in the Bible. They are certainly evangelical and reaffirm the theology of the “millennial reign of Christ,” i.e. the Rapture or the-floating-into-the-sky version of the End Times.
They believe that the Bible, “both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:21).”
The Tennessee Freedom Coalition, led by Lou Ann Zelenik and Andy Miller is a right-wing organization that can be considered a part of the Tea Party Movement, the base of the GOP. The addition of the TFC to the long list of GOP organizations can be considered one more dark stain in the history of the Tennessee GOP. It was not long ago that their members were making racist remarks about the president:
On top of the racism, homophobia isn’t far behind, the Republican governor of Tennessee has until June 1st to consider an “anti-Gay bill that would prohibit the passage of anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBT individuals.”
Tennessee also happens to be the state where we have seen a rise in hate against Muslims (in fact it is quickly becoming the center of anti-Muslim hate). Courts have been considering whether Islam is a religion, lawmakers are likely to pass a “Ban Sharia’ law” bill inspired by a documented racist and extremist Zionist named David Yerushalmi. It is scene to the Murfreesboro mosque struggle which made headlines this past summer. A year ago Pamela Geller was a headline speaker for the Tennessee Tea Party convention, talk about insane.
For its part the Tennessee Freedom Coalition was passing out this pamphlet at the Church:
How do you promote tolerance by “fighting” a religion? What they really mean to say in light of Wilders speech is, “Promote Religious Tolerance by Working to Stop the Growth of Islam,” which is like saying “promote tolerance by being intolerant.” Obviously this puts Muslims, you know, those who practice Islam in quite the bind.
LW Exclusive: Shocking Video of Geert Wilders Hate Speech on US Soil Part 2:
This is not the first time Geert Wilders has spoken at the pulpit, previously he spoke at Synagogues and at Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller’s SIOA 9/11 hate rally. However his presence amongst 3,000 admiring followers on US soil is not only reprehensible, it is a development that bodes ill for all of us.
It will only increase the radicalization of the anti-Muslim movement which seeks at its fundamental level to curtail freedom of religion and expression, first the rights of Muslims (soft target) and then anyone else they disagree with.
A word must also be said about Wilders obsessive citation of Israel. It is a country which he boasts about visiting over “forty times” and which he cites as a paragon of virtue, freedom, liberty, justice and light. He cites the security of Israel as one of the reasons that the West must fight Islam.
Lets forget the war crimes, human rights violations and apartheid policies in Israel for a second and really look at the hate that is emerging in its name. Individuals and organizations with deep connections to Israel, both network-wise and theologically are calling for the destruction of Islam which they regard as evil incarnate.
Aubrey Chernick (one of the leading funders of Islamophobia), Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, Geert Wilders, David Horowitz, Brigitte Gabriel, Allen West, the BNP, EDL, SIOE, SIOA, BPE, JDL, large numbers of Christian and Jewish Zionists and others believe that as long as you are fervently pro-Israel you can be as anti-Islam/Muslim as you want without suffering any consequences. Such a position at the end of the day only harms Jewish moral interests, and this much has been expressed by brave voices such as Not in Our Name, Jews without Borders, Muzzlewatch, Richard Silverstein, Max Blumenthal, our very own loonwatcher Gefilte, Glenn Greenwald and others.
The spectacle of a racist, anti-Muslim Dutch politician arriving on our shores to warn us about Islam is quite ironic, but what is most disturbing is the reception he received from a large audience of Americans. It may seem far-fetched now but one day Geert Wilders or someone like him (Allen West?) may move on from addressing thousands of Church goers to addressing Congress–the question is will he receive as many applauses as Benjamin Netanyahu?
Geert Wilders in Nashville at the Cornerstone Church
Geert “ban the Quran” Wilders has been on a recent North American tour. Bringing his hateful anti-Muslim rhetoric to our shores. Just a few days ago we received exclusive footage of Wilders’ speech at Cornerstone Church, a mega church in Tennessee. (hat tip: Rob)
In the following shocking footage Geert Wilders reveals where he grabs his “facts” from. Enjoy!:
We will be following up this video with an exclusive feature piece on Geert Wilders’ maniacal anti-Muslim diatribe and the crazy response from a massive zealous Christian crowd applauding his anti-Freedom agenda.
It makes you wonder who the real enemies are to our Constitution, values and principles?