Source : CNN Blog
By Moni Basu, CNN
(CNN) – When the nation pauses to remember 9/11 next week, a group of Tennesseans will gather at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Franklin for a commemoration. But it will be more than that.
On the program, called “The Threat in Our Backyard,” is a lecture on Islam in public schools and a short film on Sharia finance.
It’s a program organized by people who feel the American way of life is threatened by Islam – in particular, Sharia, or Islamic law.
Sharia would bring ruin to America, says Greg Johnson, vice president of the 9/12 Project Tennessee, a sponsor of the event that advocates for shifting government back to the intent of the Constitution’s authors.
He says he has nothing against Muslims, but he takes issue with the tenets of Islam.
Sharia, he believes, would mean that practicing homosexuals would be put to death, women would not be educated and would be married off to men chosen by their fathers, and non-Muslims would become kafirs – nonbelievers – relegated to second-class citizenship.
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“And I don’t want that coming to America,” Johnson says.
He’s not alone in his fears.
A tide of anti-Islam sentiment has been swelling across America in recent months, strong enough to prompt one imam to wish for the days immediately after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks when President George W. Bush declared that Muslims were not our enemies; that the war on terror was against a select few who acted upon their hate for America.
“In the 11 years since, we have retreated,” says Abdullah Antepli, the Muslim chaplain at Duke University who likes to call himself the Blue Devil Imam.
Muslims make up less than 1% of the U.S. population. Yet, say Muslim advocates, they are a community besieged.
Hate crimes against Muslims spiked 50% in 2010, the last year for which FBI statistics are available. That was in a year marked by Muslim-bashing speech over the Islamic center near ground zero in Manhattan and Florida Pastor Terry Jones’ threats to burn Qurans.