The Council on American-Islamic Relations is asking public officials to protect the civil rights of Tennessee Muslims after recent remarks from Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond.
“They want Tennessee,” Hammond said. “They’re building mosques as fast as they can in Tennessee. For us to sit back and do nothing is wrong.”
Speaking at a Republican luncheon Monday, Hammond said he will advise other Tennessee sheriffs to monitor Muslims throughout the state.
He said Islam is a “state, wrapped in a religion so they can get the tax breaks, so they cannot have government intrusion into their mosques. They are able to use our own system against us.”
CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said in a statement:
“Given Sheriff Hammond’s extremist views and his stated plan to act on and spread those views, it is incumbent on state and federal officials to take appropriate action to protect the civil and legal rights of the state’s Muslim population.”
Hammond also said Muhammad Abdulazeez was motivated by jihad in fatally shooting five service members July 16 in Chattanooga.
“I can stand up here and tell you, as your sheriff, I’m convinced that this was Islamic terrorism,” he said.
Investigators have not released information about the shooter’s motive.
Hammond said his observations come from books he’s read about Islam and time spent in Jordan.
NewsChannel9 has a full video of Hammond’s remarks to the Pachyderm Club.