Tennessee Muslims gather at state Capitol for hearing on anti-sharia bill

Hundreds of Muslims thronged the state Capitol Tuesday morning for a hearing on a bill that once targeted adherents to Islamic law.

Muslims from across the state packed a committee room and corridors to hear testimony a bill that supporters say would help Tennessee law enforcement stop terrorist plots but opponents believe targets Muslims by targeting their beliefs. The bill has since been amended to remove any references to Islam and Shariah, the basic set of Muslim religious laws that covers everything from the rules of warfare to inheritance.

But opponents said in brief testimony that the bill is inherently flawed because it was written by an Arizona organization that has been described as a hate group. They urged the House Judiciary Committee and the measure’s sponsors, House Speaker Pro Tempore Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma, and state Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, to withdraw the bill.

“If a bill was written by the KKK, would you consider it even if it was amended?” said Sabina Mohyuddin, a youth coordinator at a Nashville mosque, who testified. “The intent of the bill remains the same.”

The Tennessean, 19 April 2011