Jerry Gordon (Iconoclast)
“There’s an effort to step on free speech â€” any speech that’s contrary to Islam,”Â Miller told Fox News. “It seems like our federal government is going down that path.” —Andy Miller of TFC
Â Â Â Â
Fox News Radio commentator, Todd Starnes hasÂ an update on the controversy about tonight’s American Muslim Advisory Council of Tennessee event at the Manchester Tennessee Coffee County Conference Center featuring US Attorney for Eastern Tennessee Bill Killian and Kenneth Moore, FBI Special Agent in theÂ Knoxsville office,Â “DOJ Warns Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Could Violate Law”.Â Killian tries to rebut critics of the event as somehow not about Sharia but about Muslim civil rights. Andy Miller of the Tennessee freedom Coalition lays it on the line about the US DOJ pushing erosion of protected free speech in the US, starting in the Buckle of the Bible Belt.
Note Killian’s comments in opposition to vocal critics like Miller and others:
“It has nothing to do with Sharia law,” Killian told Fox News. “It has to do with the United States Constitution and federal statutes. You have a right under the First Amendment to hate Muslims. You can hate all Muslims if you want to.”
But he added a caveat â€” “as long as it does not rise to the level of violating federal civil rights laws.”
“It’s an open forum to discuss the First Amendment â€” to discuss its application to all religions and to Muslim religions,” he said. “And to discuss federal civil rights statutes which we’ve done at other times and other places.”
(Kilian talks Islamic lingo Â here. “Muslim religions?” There is but one and its called Islam.)
Killian said the federal government has participated in at least a dozen similar Muslim education meetings across the state.
Miller, disagrees about what the USDOJ’s agenda is all about with this latest episode in Tennessee:
But Andy Miller, of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition, believes the federal government is using those meetings to silence and intimidate critics of Islam.
“There’s an effort to step on free speech â€” any speech that’s contrary to Islam,” Miller told Fox News. “It seems like our federal government is going down that path.”
Miller said Tennessee has become a battleground over what he called a crackdown on anti-Muslim speech.
“This is the Bible Belt,” he told Fox News. “There’s an effort to prove that if they can do it here, they can do it anywhere.”
Killian said the supposition that the federal government would prosecute people for exercising their constitutional rights is “ridiculous.”
“We don’t prosecute people for the First Amendment,” he said. “In fact, this event is promoting the First Amendment for all people – not only to exercise their religion, but to express their freedom of speech regardless of what it is.”
But the big question is where free speech might cross the line and violate federal civil rights laws.
“Could an Internet posting or letter in the mail or a phone call or a personal confrontation constitute a violation of those statutes,” he asked, citing 18 US Code 241 and 18 US Code 245. “Yes, it could.”
So what about the lawmaker who posted the photograph of the shotgun? Would that be a violation of federal law?
“I don’t know whether it does or not,” Killian told Fox News. “We’re treating that as if it were offensive conduct and trying to use this event as we have on many other occasions in the district â€” utilize events of this nature to have people understand the Muslim religion and the Arab and Muslim people.”
Miller isn’t buying Killian’s arguments:
“It doesn’t make anybody here locally feel any better,” he told Fox News. “It seems as though they are creating a sacred group here that consistently gets attention from the federal government.”
“It’s interesting the Department of Justice and Homeland Security really seem to take up the banner for the Muslim population,” Miller said. “Why aren’t they having one for the Baptists? Why aren’t they having one for the Methodists? Why aren’t they having one for Jews?”
We are with Andy Miller on this. Killian and the USDOJ is perpetuating the line that by former Assistant Attorney General for civil rights,Thomas Perez, currently engaged in a tough confirmation fightÂ in the US Senate to become Secretary of Labor.
In our NER expose on AMACTN’s relationships with the Tennesssee Department of Safety and Homeland Security and the US Attorney for Nashville’s counterterrorism programs,Does Muslim Blasphemy Trump Free Speech in America?Â we notedÂ this about Perez::
On October 7, 2010, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Thomas E. Perez, paid a visit to the US Attorney Nashville office and met with local Muslim groups including members of the board of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro (ICM).Â Â PerezÂ toldÂ the group that included the Imams the both the ICM and Nashville mosques that “his office has their back if it turns out that opponents aren’t as interested in zoning esoteric as they are in sidelining the practice of Islam in Murfreesboro.”
“Basically, what we’re being told is that if there’s any civil violation of the rights of the Muslim community here, they’ll step in,” says Abdou Kattih, vice president of the ICM, who also met with government officials.
Killian appears to be following the doctrine that Perez laid down while in charge of civil rights matters at the USDOJ.Â In the conclusion of our NER artilce from June 2012 we noted:
On the national level it is clear that the USDOJ is theÂ prima partesÂ agent for furthering the banner of “Muslim civil rights” as exemplified by the pronouncements of Attorney General Holder and the direct actions of Assistant Attorney General Perez. The latter are poised to impose Shariah blasphemy codes under international human rights resolutions in violation our First Amendment guaranteeing the right to criticize a religion, any religion. . . . Arousing the American public about Muslim blasphemy trumping free speech should be a concern for all citizens who believe in the First Amendment of our Constitution.