Recently, TN State Rep Rick Womick, at a conference contrasting Sharia Law and the Constitution, said Muslims should not serve in the US military because they could not be trusted. Some in the Muslim community are calling for Womick to be impeached for his remarks.

I find it fascinating that, in the context of a conference on the Constitution, Womick spoke because he believes evidence exists that Muslims represent an internal threat while Muslims responded because they don’t like what Womick said. Seems an interesting clash between Muslims and the 1st Amendment.

Absent from the Muslim response is any discussion of any merit to Womick’s remark. I was present at the conference and have a few observations in that regard.

Conference presenter Frank Gaffney spoke about the Team B II report, a portion of which was entered into evidence in a trial, and which reveals a 5 phase plan by Muslims to overthrow the US government and seize power. These are not accusations. These are their own words from their own documents. If true, it seems a compelling argument for not trusting Muslims in any government sector, including the military. I have to ask the Muslim community if the report is true? If so, are you, too, in favor of replacing the Constitution with Sharia Law and the theocracy it mandates? Should this not impact the way Representative Womick’s comment is viewed?

Then there is the 1300 year old Muslim practice of taqiyya which permits Muslims to deny their faith and intentions when dealing with enemies, Muslim or non-Muslim. They may even denounce Islam and Mohammed and convert to Christianity externally while remaining loyal to Islam and Mohammed in their hearts. Such outer deception and inner loyalty may be maintained as long as is necessary. Given recent history, it is not unreasonable to conclude some Muslims consider the US an enemy and subject to taqiyya. I have to ask the Muslim community, is taqiyya a well established practice in Islam? If so, do you support it? If so, how might non-Muslims believe any oath or allegiance to the US and its Constitution which you might swear? Should this not impact the way Representative Womick’s comment is viewed?

Another presenter referred to Yasir Arafat’s appeal to “Hudaybiya” when challenged as to why he signed peace treaties with Israel. Arafat was referring to a treaty between Mohammed and the residents of Mecca and his later conquest of Mecca. A state of war, or at least open conflict, existed between Mohammed and Mecca. The treaty ended the conflict. Later, following a minor violation of the treaty by Meccan allies, Mohammed returned with a force of 10,000 to Mecca which surrendered without a fight. The treaty is seen by many to have been a ruse giving Mohammed time to get stronger before conquering Mecca. That understanding is consistent with Arafat’s comments. Muslims reject that view, insisting Meccans broke the treaty which justified Mohammed’s actions. I ask the Muslim community, is Hudaybiyah an example of Muslim deception? If not, how should I understand Arafat’s appeal? If so, do you support such tactics? Should this not impact the way Representative Womick’s comment is viewed?

None of these concerns were addressed by Womick’s detractors. Responding to remarks made in the context of a discussion of the relationship between Sharia Law and the Constitution by calling for sanctions against a man exercising those Rights would seem unwise. Especially when the one making them is tasked with representing the public’s interests.

The issues raised are not new. However, to my knowledge they have either not been addressed at all, or not addressed well enough to dispel legitimate questions about the intentions of both Islam and individual Muslims. Womick’s comment is outrageous only if it is founded in hate and bigotry. If it has a reasonable foundation in the nature of Islam and Muslim behavior as revealed in the Koran and the example of Mohammed himself, not only is it not outrageous, it demands investigation by media and citizen alike. At a minimum, Womick should be able to voice his opinions without fear of calls for his impeachment.

I’m curious how the Muslim community would argue for being seen as good Americans, loyal to our Constitution and the Rights of everyman recognized in it, while behaving as a good Muslim at the same time. Failing that, they should gear up for more questions about being Muslims in America. In the meantime, methinks the Muslims doth protest Rep. Womick too much …