السبت، 3 يوليو، 2010
Roughly 70 community members gathered at Walter Hill church Thursday burst into occasional applause as a presenter detailed how Sharia Law threatens them.
Bill Warner, who has been a university professor and businessman and touts himself as director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam, conducted the seminar at Heartland Baptist Church.
During his presentation, Warner spoke directly about Sharia Law as a doctrine and not how it is practiced in the United States or elsewhere. Sharia Law is the Islamic canonical law based on the teachings of the Koran, which prescribes both religious and secular duties and sometimes penalties for lawbreaking, according to one definition.
Warner also incorporated historical accounts and statistics of Muslims versus Jews and Christians.
"There is no golden rule on Islam," he said. "There is a golden rule, but it only applies to Muslims. It's a disappointing insight, but it is powerful."
Warner spoke of Mohammed and how he "was not only a perfect man, but insisted that everybody did everything exactly like him."
The presentation followed two weeks of unrest and debate in Rutherford County surrounding a new mosque to be built by the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro on Veals Road, off Bradyville Pike.
Hundreds of residents packed a County Commission meeting last month to protest the center. Residents' concerns ranged from a lack of notice about the agenda item at a planning commission meeting to a lack of study as to how the mosque could affect traffic in the area to fears that the mosque would be used as a terrorist training center for Muslims.
The debate has raised national attention and criticism of religious intolerance.
Sixth District congressional candidates Lou Ann Zelenik and George Erdel have joined criticism of the mosque, while Democrat Ben Leming has defended the center's rights as established in the Constitution.
Erdel, who helped organize Thursday's seminar, helped field questions from the crowd for Warner to address.
"The law mentions you," Warner told the audience. "This is about you and me — it's personal. The part about us isn't very big, but ... nothing in Islam agrees with us. The more you know about it, the more you would object it."
He continued, "The purpose of Sharia Law is to replace our laws. The Imam says he's here to live by your laws. He' a leader, but he's also a politician. He's right for today; come tomorrow, things will change."
Warner's comments elicited occasional applause, but during the question portion of the event his words were questioned by an attendee.
"I think that we should acknowledge practice as well as doctrine," the attendee noted.
In response, Wagner emphasized that he speaks only about doctrine and not about how it is applied by practicing Muslims.
Another attendee pointed to recent killings in Uzbekistan, saying that Muslims, not Christians, are fighting the government.
While several attendees neglected to comment on the record or offer their names, Murfreesboro resident Steffron James said, "I think education is always good. The more opportunity people have to get educated, the better for them."