When Republicans Collide: Islamaphobe Takes on Tea Partier in Tennessee
Saturday, August 04, 2012
Republican voters in Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District decided this week to keep Tea Partier and Congresswoman Diane Black as their party’s nominee, even though she was accused by her GOP rival of not being anti-Muslim enough.
In the Republican primary for the seat, Black faced off again with Lou Ann Zelenik, who lost to Black in 2010. Zelenik’s campaign was dominated by her fierce opposition to Muslims, whom she claims are bent on imposing Islamic law in the U.S.
Zelenik led the fight to stop a mosque from being built in Murfreesboro, which does not reside in the district she wanted to represent. The Islamaphobe’s attack ads against Black addressing the Islamic center were funded in large part by a wealthy conservative businessman from Nashville.
Black also opposed the building of the mosque. But once the project gained the necessary permits, the congresswoman stepped out of the fight, citing her support for the constitutional right to religious expression.
To Zelenik and other critics, Black’s position on the mosque demonstrated she wasn’t conservative enough to remain the district’s representative in Washington.
Black, however, was rated one of the most conservative members of Congress by the National Journal. Even before she was elected to Congress, Black showed her own streak of Islamaphobia when as a state senator she cosponsored a law designed to keep Islamic law from gaining a toehold in the state.
During her first term in Washington, Black also took the lead in trying to repeal the federal healthcare law.
To Learn More:
The Craziest GOP House Race of the Year (by Tim Murphy, Mother Jones)
Anti-Islam Challenge to Tennessee Lawmaker Fails (by Tim Ghianni, Reuters)
Tea Party Retools as Network of Field Operatives, Keeps Pushing GOP Rightward (by Douglas A. Blackmon, Washington Post)
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