Immigrants-turned-advocates talk about “Nashville for all of us” but instead choose to live in enclaves. They complain about being treated as “the other,” but through self-segregation, guard against assimilating into and adapting to American culture.
When they self-segregate its called preserving their culture. When native-born Tennesseans self-segregate, TIRRC and its allied organizations call it racism, bigotry and xenophobia.
Lacking facts, but banking big money, TIRRC’s venomous and hate-filled propaganda relies on innuendo, and unfounded accusations of bigotry. TIRRC claims it can look into the hearts and minds of Tennessee citizens and know that they are motivated by an “underlying intention to persecute newcomers.”
TIRRC self-righteously claims that any advocacy or legislative action consistent with the Constitution or intended to uphold laws passed by Congress, is xenophobic, racist, or targeting Muslims and/or refugees.
TIRRC’s moral blinders also ignore the indelible effect of 9-11, the Carlos Bledsoe, Chattanooga, San Bernadino, Garland Texas, and Boston jihad attacks, the Obama administration’s unconstitutional unilateral amnesties, Metro Nashville’s support for illegal immigration, and the recent confirmation by U.S. intelligence agencies about security gaps in the federal refugee resettlement program.
TIRRC’s campaign has always been to cast immigrants as victims. Whether they are illegal immigrants from our Southern border trying to “reunite their families,” or legally admitted as refugees, that suffer “backlash” from contemptible white nativists.
TIRRC and their allied groups shamelessly tried to co-opt the Chattanooga murders away from the actual victims and their families claiming that “immigrant communities of all faiths and backgrounds” share the same American values.
Speaking through CAIR, TIRRC’s allied groups ACO and AMAC said they were fearful of a backlash, and claimed that the Chattanooga murders put their safety at risk. These claims were never substantiated by either national or state hate crime reports. Predictably, there was no backlash. Instead, interfaith groups stepped up and formed a firewall around Tennessee’s Muslims.
Business as usual.
Truth and accuracy are relative concepts for TIRRC
Our state legislation addressed in TIRRC’s report may be its most ironic section. By TIRRC’s own account, legislators have actively engaged with the very communities TIRRC alleges were or are being “persecuted.” Isn’t this the civic engagement TIRRC claims that makes newcomers feel welcomed?
TIRRC’s self-congratulatory claims are way overblown. Legislators responding to constituency groups is what regularly occurs during the process when bills are shaped and amended. All manner of constituency concerns are accounted for – even when that constituency distorts the truth and accuracy of information provided.
Testimony by national intelligence and security experts and Constitutional scholars repeatedly confirm that Tennessee’s legislators have led appropriately on the issues about which TIRRC and its allied organizations complain.
For example, after the devastating jihad attack of 9-11, almost every state passed anti-terrorism legislation because the federal government would not always prosecute, and because a state can often legislate more severe punishments than the federal government.
Because state governments have a broad fiduciary duty to protect its citizens, the case of Memphis jihadi Carlos Bledsoe, aka, Abdulhakim Mohammed, the first African-American born citizen to commit a successful terrorist act on U.S. soil, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 2010, (upholding the constitutionality of the federal material support statute), the expansion of Tennessee’s criminal code provisions on terrorism, was both sound and rational legislative leadership.
The Material Support to Designated Entities Act of 2011
In 2009, Memphis native Carlos Bledsoe, who was radicalized both in and outside of Nashville, shot and killed a solider at the Little Rock Army recruiting center. The federal government declined to prosecute him. Arkansas started his trial in 2011, the same year the Tennessee legislature passed, by an overwhelming majority of votes, the anti-terrorism Material Support to Designated Entities Act.
The Tennessean wrote a sensationalistic and factually inaccurate article about the bill, taking snippets of bill language out of context. The Tennessean reported that the anti-terrorism Material Support bill made following sharia law, a felony. The paper never accurately reported the actual language or intent of the bill in context. This article is cited by TIRRC in a footnote to support their narrative of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant persecution.
What did the Material Support to Designated Entities Act of 2011 actually say?
Predictably, opponents of the bill deliberately avoided the bill’s original and very specific language which only applied to individuals deliberately supporting the commission of a terrorist act. The bill specifically stated that it did not apply to:
“the peaceful practice of any religion. Rather, this part only prohibits the knowing provision of material support or resources … to designated terrorist entities, with the intent of furthering prohibited behavior.”
The defined the term “sharia,” precisely the way jihadist terrorists defined it because this was a bill to prevent terrorist acts by cutting off sources of support. The bill, now a state law, prohibits using religious justification as a defense. This is the very same argument made by peaceful followers of Islam, to wit, that terrorist acts committed by ISIS jihadists or others in the name of their religion, does not represent Islam and that these terrorists are not true followers of the religion.
And yet, in keeping with standard leftist hypocrisy, TIRRC and their allied organizations continue to try and smear legislators who tried to insulate peaceful religious observers from being lumped in with violent religious extremists.