State tea partiers focus anti-Islamic sentiment on highly accomplishedKookogey claimed that the Haslam administration has continually defended Ali's experience with Shariah finance by saying that for the state to be in business ...
This well-written article from the City Paper is a summary of the issues surrounding the hiring of Waverly Tennessee native Samar Ali who is Muslim, and the resulting criticism of Governor Haslam by the anti-Sharia movement. It includes comments by Williamson County GOP chairman Kevin Kookogey who has taken a leadership role in attacking the Haslam administration and the response from Client Brewer of the Haslam Administration. The role this controversy is playing in the race between incumbent Senator Mark Norris of Shelby County and challenger Woody Degan is examined.
New in this article is more information about Samar Ali. Below is an excerpt from the article reporting comments made by Samar Ali at Vanderbilt's “Come Together” service following 9-11:
“I was asked to speak to you all today as an Arab-American Muslim,” she said. “All I know to do is to tell you something from my heart, and my heart is filled with pride to be a student of this amazing Vanderbilt community. Look at us; we are a family. I am proud to be an American and to feel the patriotism right here, right now.”
As a Muslim, she said, she was upset and wondered how anyone could carry out such horrors in the name of her religion. She said she had received more than 40 phone calls on the day of the attacks, from “Arab Americans, Palestinians, and people in Syria and Jordan.” She concluded by looking to the future.
“We cannot let these terrorists succeed and fill our hearts with hatred,” she said. “We cannot allow them to split us apart as Americans. We must come together; we have come so far. We must not fight hate with hate.”
She continued, “The people who did this are a disgrace to mankind. While they claim to be fundamentalist Muslims, they are of no religion at all. I know of no true religion that celebrates a loss of lives. Islam condemns these acts. The people who did this do not represent any true religion or any ethnic group. These are individual attacks, and they are horrific and absolutely terrifying and must be prevented.”