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Tennessee sheriffs make controversial statements about Muslims

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  For the second time in as many weeks a Tennessee sheriff has made controversial remarks regarding Muslims and the Islamic faith.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond is defending comments he made Monday. Hammond told a meeting of local civic group that “Islam is communism with a God.” He also said he is encouraging police departments around the state to keep a close watch on Muslims living in their communities.

Ibrahim Hooper speaks for the Council on American Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy group. He says suggesting citizens be investigated without cause borders on the criminal.

“When it’s stated openly that you’re going to encourage the monitoring of law abiding citizens in your state based solely on religious affiliation I think it approaches illegality even.”

Comments made this past week by Sevier County Sheriff Ron Seals are also being questioned. The Sevierville Mountain Press says Seals told a Tea Party Group that his officers are monitoring local Muslims and went on to say he’s convinced President Obama is a member of the radical Muslim Brotherhood.