MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Local Muslims are calling for action against a Tennessee State Representative Rick Womick after he said Muslims shouldn't be allowed to serve in the U.S. military.
In an interview with thinkprogress.org, Womick said, "Personally, I don't trust one Muslim in our military, because they are commanded to lie to us through a term called taqiyya, and if they truly are a devout Muslim and follow the Quoran, then I feel threatened, because they are commanded to kill me."
Those comments came during a conference on conservative activists that focused on the threat of Islamic extremism in America.
Local Muslims say those remarks are out of line. Islamic Center of Tennessee educator Abdul Rahman Chao says Womick's actions will have a harmful resonating effect.
"I think what he says has great implications, and I think he should not only retract what he said but also apologize to all people who are Muslims who are serving the military as well as all Muslims in the United States of America, because that bigotry only leads people to alienation and hate."
A spokesman for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro said Womick should be reminded thousands of Muslims have served and are serving in the US military to preserve the country's freedoms and many have died for it.
"I feel the terrorists who share the same religious faith as I do have kidnapped my religion in order to achieve their own personal agendas," says Staff Sgt. Emir Hazdic, U.S. Marines. "I am charged to defend my faith from people like that. I feel like I'm here not only to defend my nation, but to defend my religion's honor."