Bill before the Tenn. General Assembly targets "no-go zones"
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) -- A bill currently under consideration in the Tennessee Legislature is being called an attempt to “demonize Islam” by the nation’s largest Muslim public interest group.
The Council for American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, says a bill introduced by Mt. Juliet Republican Rep. Susan Lynn is an attempt to “marginalize the American Muslim community.”
Lynn’s bill refers to “no-go zones” and requires the State Attorney General to “take all necessary steps to eliminate” such zones.
During the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, a commentator on Fox News stated there were now “no-go zones” throughout Europe; Muslim communities where other citizens can no longer safely go. Fox News later repudiated the comments and apologized.
Lynn says she wrote the bill based on concerns expressed by constituents. She also says that State Senator Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro, who is sponsoring the companion bill in the Senate, told her he had witnessed no-go zones first hand in Europe.
“He told me that he was in Great Britain, and that was it. He said he was very surprised at the activity that was going on.”
The Senator declined to speak to WMOT, citing the press of business and ongoing health issues.
Rep. Lynn was adamant that her bill is not an attack on Muslims, and likened her measure to Civil Rights Era legislation.
“Whether it’s organized crime activity, or whether it’s gang activity, whether it is racial discrimination, that kind of activity is wrong and we’ve never really had an official mechanism to have it investigated with a name.”
Ibrahim Hooper is a spokesman for CAIR. He says this isn’t the first time such a bill has been introduced in Tennessee.
“The latest anti-Muslim hot-button term is so-called no-go zones, which is a completely bogus concept. It’s been proven to be non-existent. But that doesn’t stop this cottage industry of Muslim bashers from promoting this kind of nonsense.”
WMOT News contacted the Tennessee Department of Homeland Security. DHS says it isn’t aware of any such no-go zones in the state. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says there isn’t any community where its agents can’t go.
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