Two Republican congressional candidates in Tennessee appear to be competing for votes in Thursday’s primary election based on who is more opposed to Islam. Challenger candidate Lou Ann Zelenik is attempting to defeat incumbent Rep. Diane Black by making a campaign issue of the construction of a local mosque.
The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, about 30 miles south of Nashville, has been the center of controversy since its construction began two years ago. Zelenik has been outspoken in her opposition to the mosque and has warned of potential terrorist connections. On her website, Zelenik declares that she “will work to stop the Islamization of our society, and do everything possible to prevent Sharia Law from circumventing our laws and our Constitution.”
Rep. Black has also been vocal in her opposition to the mosque, issuing several statements when controversy first erupted in 2010. She said that communities have the right to protect themselves from Islamic institutions that might aid a “jihadist viewpoint.”
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