Burch: Tennesseans seem to think Muslims are fair game

Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

Barry West, a Coffee County commissioner, at first didn't seem to understand all the fuss about the Facebook post in which he suggested that the best way to view Muslims is down a shotgun barrel. A day after the media reported on the posting, however, West did offer a "heartfelt, sincere apology" for his post. Whether he will suffer professionally for his indiscretion is questionable, as Muslims seem to be fair game in Tennessee these days. This, despite the fact that the only acts of terrorism involving Tennessee Muslims have been acts of terrorism committed against them by bigoted Christians.

One of the funniest comedy acts I have ever seen is “Tennessee No Evil,” in which Jon Stewart sent Aasif Mandvi, who posed as a Muslim “reporter” sympathetic to terrorists, to investigate opposition to the building of the new Murfreesboro mosque. Mandvi “interviewed” Laurie Cardoza-Moore, a leader of the fervid opposition who babbled about a “mothership” that had spawned a “huge” network of terrorists in Tennessee, centered around the Nashville mosque. When Cardoza-Moore informed Mandvi that there are 35 training camps for terrorists in the United States, he hurriedly grabbed his cell phone and pretended to call and berate “Achmed” the “idiot” for failing to hide the camps better. After Cardoza-Moore informed Mandvi that there was already a mosque in Murfreesboro, with no reported acts of terrorism over more than 20 years, Mandvi went to the existing mosque to confront its Imam (who turned out to be a mom). Mandvi bitterly complained that the mosque “cleverly hidden on a busy street” was not a “sleeper cell” but “comatose.” How long would it take the sleeper cell to start committing acts of terrorism, he complained. As Mandvi wrapped up his “interview” with Cardoza-Moore, he asked her how she knew so much about the “mothership.” She, earnestly and in all seriousness, informed him that “everyone” knows about the mothership, and that she had done Google searches to discover what the CIA and FBI have yet to discover. A moment of high comedy occurred when Cardoza-Moore asked, “Come on, do you think we’re fools?” and Mandvi gave her a quizzical look.

If you want to laugh your fanny off, you can google “Tennessee No Evil.” Unfortunately, the skit is so wildly funny because it is so truthful.

Tennessee bigots are highly selective about the facts they consider, and they pay little attention to cause and effect. The facts are quite simple:

(1) If there is a “huge” network of Muslim terrorists in Tennessee, it must be singularly inept, since it has never managed to commit major (or even minor) acts of terrorism.

(2) If West and Cardoza-Moore were discriminating against Jewish Americans or African-Americans, they would suffer the consequences.

(3) The reasons for the rare acts of terrorism that have been committed by Muslims in the United States have been explained by the terrorists and their conspirators. The attacks are not due to “hatred of American values” or a desire to “take over the world.” When Americans are attacked, it is because the governments of the United States and Israel actions in the Middle East. The result of which has led to massive suffering for millions of innocent women and children. No one should be surprised that such massive suffering spurred some Muslim men to retaliate.

What would American men do, if foreigners caused American women and children to lose their independence, their way of life, their land, their homes, and often their lives? Of course American men would retaliate, using violent force. If we want Middle Easterners to leave us in peace, we need to pay the going price for oil and stop butting into the business of countries half a world away, in a region of the world that we don’t understand. Our government can barely manage its own internal affairs, so we should be very skeptical about its ability to manage the affairs of other nations.


Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

72 Comments on this post:

By: tomba1 on 5/3/13 at 1:36

to the author of:

" (1) If there is a “huge” network of Muslim terrorists in Tennessee, it must be singularly inept, since it has never managed to commit major (or even minor) acts of terrorism."

I would ask that you remove the reference to "Tennessee" and insert the word "Boston" in its place, as an example . Even remove the reference to "muslim" if you dare. But, to me, for you to categorize any of these groups of terrorists regardless of size, wherever they may be living and/or hiding in the U.S. legally or illegally, as "singularly inept" and having "never managed to commit major (or even minor) acts of terrorism" is absolutely the most outrageous and offensive piece of unprofessional journalistic treason I have ever encountered.

Care to join me for lunch with some of our military and first responders? I'm pretty sure they'd be interested in your point of view.

By: BenDover on 5/3/13 at 3:48


By: HoundDog on 5/3/13 at 4:59

If all muslims are to be condemned due to the acts of some radicals in their midst, then all fundamentalist christians must be condemned also, due to the acts of their own radicals (Eric Rudolph, for example).

By: Captain Nemo on 5/3/13 at 5:29

I am waiting to hear from the silly monk's hate fill thoughts on this.

By: Loner on 5/3/13 at 5:54

Great letter, Mike Burch.

Today, for Americans who love to hate, the Muslim is the new Jew. And American Jews are not generally speaking out about this sort of race and faith based scapegoating.

Rather than condemning this hate, American Jews are fomenting and peddling much of this anti-Muslim hate.

The US media tend to fan the flames of Islamophobia.

Most of the major US media outlets are owned and operated by Israel-loving US Jews...people who generally view Arabs and Muslims with deep-seated contempt and hate. The media has become the sales force for the Defense, Israel & Energy master plan.

Our politicians at the federal level are all on the take to the Defense, Israel & Energy special interests....scapegoating the world's Muslims is an integral part of that super lobby's scheme....and the US media gives its imprimatur to the filthy enterprise.

If one researches Nazi propaganda from the 1930's, one can see that the parallels between Jew-baiting and Muslim -baiting are quite obvious and glaring....take out the word, "Jew" and plug in the word, "Muslim" and you have today's talking points.

By: Loner on 5/3/13 at 5:57

Tomba...you are not making any sense...what's your point, other than trying to bully and intimidate the author?

By: Loner on 5/3/13 at 6:11

Did I say, Good morning, Nashville? Good morning and TGIF....the weather here is fantastic, Spring has sprung....I gotta take the big thumper out for a ride....life is GOOD.

By: Rasputin72 on 5/3/13 at 6:15

There is no doubt that Burch has an audience of foreign history in mind.

Diverse culture and opinions have been the arch enemy of human civilization since the beginning of mankind. Wars have have been fought, millions and millions of lives have been lost because of Diversity.

Bigots hate nits.ts, Nits.ts hate Bigots. One could go and on about Diversity amd its effect on civilization.

My guess that if mankind exists 500 years from now diverse culture and opinion will still be the arch enemy.

If mankind does not exist, my bet is on diverse culture and opinion as the catalyst for demise

By: Loner on 5/3/13 at 6:17

Mike Burch mentioned the "cause and effect" relationship....most Americans do not seem understand that we are fighting the effects, not the causes of Muslim antipathy towards the West and the USA in particular...we fight terrorism, but do nothing to eliminate the causes of terrorism....this is a recipe for eternal Holy War.

For those who still cannot understand why so many people hate our guts, so let me reiterate this:

It's Israel, stupid.

Of course, the major media will never tell it like it is....pro-Israeli elements own the US media.

By: BenDover on 5/3/13 at 6:47

It's interesting how Burch uses his supreme value of tolerance to paint with a broad brush the critics of Islam since Islam itself it a religion, world-view, political-movement notable mainly in plan and practice for its intolerance.

By: BenDover on 5/3/13 at 6:49

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend" is how I suppose he will rationalize his ideals when it is he and his ilk first against the wall in the collapse of western civilization.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/3/13 at 6:59

What a simple mind Rasputin must have. His thought go no father than the end of his pointed nose. If what Raspy says would be true, we would still be living in the trees and never leaving out jungle paradise. We would still be picking the parasite off each other and snacking on the tiny morsels.

His second paragraph is a good example of pointed head thinking. Without diversity there would not be any civilization. Without diversity there would be no exchange of ideas and no commerce.

Raspy old boy a monkey has a better grasp of culture and civilization than you do.

By: Rasputin72 on 5/3/13 at 7:15
Diverse culture and opinions have been the arch enemy of human civilization since the beginning of mankind. Wars have have been fought, millions and millions of lives have been lost because of Diversity.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/3/13 at 7:06

Ben my thought is that the enemy of my enemy is a tool, and if friendship should develop from this encounter, then all the better.

By: yogiman on 5/3/13 at 7:15

Unless I read the wrong article on the Muslim faith; if you don't belong to that faith, you deserve to die. So how can Muslims who don't follow that belief be good Muslims?

That "sounds" like Catholic Priests and Nuns being good believers of their faith even though they are participating in sex.

By: yogiman on 5/3/13 at 7:25

So, Loner,

You're stating Israel is the cause of of our enemies? Tell me, would you throw a friend out the door to hope you would gain the friendship with one of your enemies?

Who would want a friend like you?

By: conservarage on 5/3/13 at 7:38

The City Paper is the only place where someone with chronic verbal diarrhea like Burch could become a regular feature.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/3/13 at 7:38

Loner is a good friend. Hoever (sic) that can not be said for you yogi. Your neighbors think you are a mean nasty olf (sic)goat.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/3/13 at 7:41

Speaking of chronic verbal diarrhea….Good morning conservarage. ;-)

By: Mike Burch on 5/3/13 at 7:54


It's always good to hear from you.

You said, "Mike Burch mentioned the 'cause and effect' relationship....most Americans do not seem understand that we are fighting the effects, not the causes of Muslim antipathy towards the West and the USA in particular...we fight terrorism, but do nothing to eliminate the causes of terrorism....this is a recipe for eternal Holy War."

This is an important point. We are pouring fuel on a raging inferno in the Middle East, rather than doing what must be done to start putting the fire out. The path to peace is to require Israel to treat Palestinians like human beings and make them fully equal citizens, or to give them complete independence. But Israel refuses to do either, and keeps stealing the little land the Palestinians have left in the West Bank. Thus, for some Palestinian men, they have nothing to lose and might as well gamble their lives, or forfeit them, to punish Israel. They are in the same position as Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse.

But Israel, the media, and the US government refuse to see and admit the truth. They have invented a fantasy in which Israel and the US are the innocent victims of religious fanatics. But the attacks have little to do with religion, just as McVeigh's attack had little to do with Christianity. The attacks are motivated by what the governments of Israel and the US have done, and continue to do on a daily basis. And that is to ignore the human rights of Palestinians and Muslims in nations that are not doormats for US foreign policy.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/3/13 at 8:04

BTW I did see Tennessee No Evil. It is very funny.

Loner does make a good point.

By: Mike Burch on 5/3/13 at 8:06


It's interesting that your name starts with the word "tomb."

If this statement riles you ...

" (1) If there is a “huge” network of Muslim terrorists in Tennessee, it must be singularly inept, since it has never managed to commit major (or even minor) acts of terrorism."

... then you must not like the truth. Because it is the truth. There have been many acts of violence AGAINST the Muslims of Tennessee, by Christians. If there were Muslim terrorists in Tennessee, surely they would have retaliated by now. There have been mosques in Tennessee for many decades now.

And as I pointed out in my article, even when acts of terrorism by Muslims occur, there are understandable reasons for those attacks. As Loner pointed out, we need to address the reasons for the attacks. The terrorists are not attacking us for religious reasons, or because they hate our values, or because they want to take over the world. Those are bald lies. The reason they are attacking us has been explained over and over again, by the terrorists and their conspirators. They are attacking us because of terrible injustices perpetrated on Muslim women and children by the governments of Israel and the US.

If foreigners did such terrible things to American men, then American men would also retaliate, using violent force. So there is little difference between Muslim resistance fighters and Americans, except that we are a military superpower and they have no military and have to use guerrilla tactics. They are in the position of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, so they use similar methods. Today we know that Sitting Bull was not a "terrorist" but a man trying to defend his women and children from cold-blooded abusers and killers of his women and children. And that is the position of the Palestinians that Americans love to call "terrorists."

Ignoring the truth, or getting angry when someone speaks truthfully, may be the path to an early tomb, as such thinking is pushing us closer and closer to WWIII and a nuclear Armageddon. The path to peace requires accepting the truth and changing the terrible behavior that got us to where we are today.

By: Mike Burch on 5/3/13 at 8:07


I'm glad you got to see "Tennessee No Evil." I laugh my butt off every time I see it. And humor can be enlightening.

By: Mike Burch on 5/3/13 at 8:12


It's interesting that your name contains "conserve" and "rage." If the truth stings, or makes you angry, that says a lot ... but conservatives only listen to what they so firmly believe, which is that the problem is always their other guy and his beliefs. Thus conservatism, as one wise man put it, is an "organized hypocrisy."

I was a Reagan republican, but I never stopped studying facts and thinking, so I came to see that American conservatives are heading in the same direction as Hitler and the Nazis ... and that is blindly down the dark path of racism and fascism (the belief that the stronger people can have their way with weaker people).

Of course the truth stings a bit, but conservatives can ignore the pain and continue to believe convenient lies that allow them to blow up other countries rather than change themselves.

By: Mike Burch on 5/3/13 at 8:18


It's not diversity that starts wars. Right now the main creators of war in the Middle East are anti-diversity forces: Zionism and its best buddy, conservative Christianity. According to right-wing Jews and Christians, they are the "good guys" even when they abuse millions of Palestinian women and children. That is the opposite of diversity, and is the mentality of Hitler and the Nazis toward Jews.

Tolerance for diversity, and justice for all human beings, would end bullying and war. It's people like you who start wars, by insisting that might is right. That is the philosophy of Hitler and the Nazis. So you are on the wrong side of human evolution and civilization.

By: Rasputin72 on 5/3/13 at 8:29

Burch.........No argument...However there will never be tolerance for diverse cultures and opinions. This 16 member forum should be proof enough.

Sorry about your Dad..

By: Mike Burch on 5/3/13 at 9:21


Tolerance for diversity begins with free speech and freedom of dissent. There is quite a bit of diversity in this forum. If there was not considerable tolerance for diversity, the heretics who disagreed with the powers-that-be would be rounded up by the secret police and thrown in prison.

Thanks for your condolences. My dad was a 20-year man in the USAF, so we lived on and around military bases, and I got to see a lot of our nation's problems first-hand.

By: brrrrk on 5/3/13 at 9:26

HoundDog said

"If all muslims are to be condemned due to the acts of some radicals in their midst, then all fundamentalist christians must be condemned also, due to the acts of their own radicals (Eric Rudolph, for example)."

Isn't it ironic that when a white christian shoots or bombs based on "principle"; well he's an outlier, a lone wolf, a crazy, someone who is in no way indicative of the group.... but if it's a brown person, or God forbid, a Muslim... HOLY CRAP!!, they're all out to get us.

By: Mike Burch on 5/3/13 at 9:30


if you think Israel is our "friend" I have some nice swampland to sell you.

If you were to study what Israeli politicians say about the US, and what the conservative rabbis say about ALL non-Jews, including Americans, you would see that supporting Israel is like supporting Nazi Germany and its goons.

Israel only acts like our "friend" in order to get billions of dollars in advanced weapons and aid, and to control our foreign policy in the Middle East, so that Jewish robber barons can continue to steal land and water from Palestinian farmers and their families. The massive suffering caused by the robberies led directly to 9-11 and the subsequent wars.

A friend does not steal from someone else, then let his friend absorb the retaliatory fire. Israel is not our friend. Israel is using American money, weapons and global influence to ethnically cleanse Palestinians and steal their land and water.

By: Mike Burch on 5/3/13 at 9:38


One can say the same thing about our soldiers. When an American soldier kills a Muslim on a Muslim's native soil, the American is a hero, a defender of his country and democracy, and a patriot.

If a young Muslim man tries to defend his country and way of life, he is a "terrorist."

The problem is not confined to terrorists. Our government and the American public refuse to see that the US and Israel are committing far greater acts of terrorism than anything done by radical Islamic groups. Israeli and American acts of terrorism in the Middle East go back to 1948 and the Nakba, in which hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were ethnically cleansed -- most of them completely innocent farmers and their families who lived in mud huts and didn't have weapons, so they couldn't have fought even if they wanted to. But most of them chose to flee the war, only to have their villages bulldozed and the land stolen, after which Israel claimed that it had been a "desert" that Jews brought back to life.

The gullible American public believes whatever lies it is told about Israel and its history. Now our soldiers are committing acts of large-scale terrorism in the Middle East, in the name of "democracy" and a "war on terror" when in reality 9-11 was a response to US and Israeli terrorism against a defenseless people.

By: Loner on 5/3/13 at 10:08

What sort of an ally or friend renames a public square, in their capital city, after a notorious traitor to their closest ally? That's exactly what the Israelis did...they renamed Paris Square in Jerusalem after the convicted traitor, Jonathan Pollard.

This is akin to the British naming a public square, in London, after Benedict Arnold.

Here's a source link on this slap in the face to Uncle Sam:


Headline: Jerusalem Square to be Renamed For Pollard Before Bush Visit


"A key public square in Jerusalem will be renamed in honor of imprisoned American Jew and Israeli citizen Jonathan Pollard – just in time for the arrival of U.S. President George W. Bush.

The Jerusalem City Council has chosen Monday, Jan. 7, 2008, as the date for a ceremony renaming Paris Square (Kikar Paris) - a public square situated midway between the American Consulate and the prime minister's residence - in honor of Jonathan Pollard."

By: tomba1 on 5/3/13 at 11:01

" (1) If there is a “huge” network of Muslim terrorists in Tennessee, it must be singularly inept, since it has never managed to commit major (or even minor) acts of terrorism."

and I suppose you would have us believe that the real reason Tennessee has not experienced a Muslim terrorist act is either (1) they are not amongst us, or (2) they are inept, or (3) we haven't harmed their women and children. I hope you are correct on all three. But I fear that you are wrong on all three and I hope they don't decide to prove you wrong. Whose hands will be bloody then?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 5/3/13 at 11:04

Thomas Jefferson held first White House Ramadan celebration


btw, tomba.....remember when the mosque on 4th Ave. South was vandalized BOTH times? No Muslims became violent or sought revenge.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 5/3/13 at 11:05

Jefferson’s knowledge of Islam likely came from his legal studies of natural law. In 1765, Jefferson purchased a two-volume English translation of the Quran for his personal library, a collection that became, in 1815, the basis of the modern Library of Congress.

By: JRM on 5/3/13 at 11:37

As typical, your article makes the generalization that Tennessean's are all bigots - you and your left wing pals love to tear down a right leaning state when there are both dem and republicans acting like mr west. Why don't you point out how jihadist muslims are the problem in the world right now and stop your love affair with tearing down the majority of good Tennesseans that don't speak, act, or think like Mr West. I'm sure you're getting plenty of hits on your article - controversy sells doesn't it Burch?

By: tomba1 on 5/3/13 at 11:38

nazi -

and they should be commended for exercising restraint deferring to law enforcement and the judicial system. History shows that some other groups might have reacted much differently and irresponsibly resorting to violence in the streets and mass protests accomplishing little or nothing.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 5/3/13 at 11:41

So to make a broad statement that all Muslims are violent and support jihad is simply not correct.

By: dargent7 on 5/3/13 at 11:41

How to weigh on this one...
Tombat...forget the terrorists...
Tenn. is slightly under Missouri as #1 for chyrstal meth labs...also marijuana forrestery.
Not to mention #47th out of 50 states for low academic standings.
Low achievement....et. cet.

By: Mike Burch on 5/3/13 at 11:43


Facts are facts. You many not like facts, but the facts are that there have been Muslims and mosques in Tennessee for decades, and the only acts of terrorism related to the mosques have been acts of violence by Christians.

Before the US government and the government of Israel chose to ignore the rights of Muslims on their native soil, there were no acts of terrorism against Americans at all. The acts of terrorism that do occur, RARELY, are not the result of Muslims being irrational, but because they have few options to use against two military superpowers that refuse to recognize the humanity of Muslim women and children.

In a worst case scenario, which would be another world war, the war was started by the governments of Israel and the US. Who started World War I and II. Germany, when it ignored the rights of its neighbors. Were the Allies "terrorists" because they used force to oppose Germany's injustices? No, of course not. In the same way, if the US and Israel ignore the rights of Muslims, and steal their land and water through collusion, with the US providing Israel with billions of dollars in weapons and financial aid, then it is not really terrorism to oppose those injustices, but merely fighting fire with fire.

If you rob a store and get shot, the store owner is not a terrorist. If your government provides billions of dollars in weapons and aid to a huge army of robber barons, and the people being robbed use force to protect themselves, are they "terrorists"?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 5/3/13 at 11:47

Muslims have lived here since the beginning of the United States. We had no issues until we decided to marry up with Israel and ignore the rights of Muslims. Read the early history of our nation. Read the Treaty of Tripoli.

By: dargent7 on 5/3/13 at 11:49

Muslims have a "jihad" in their DNA. They need to kill, in order of seeing/ meeting/ greeting Al'lah.
Christians believe they will meet their Creator upon their death bed.
They do not belive they need to kill hundreds/ thousands to warrant an acceptance and entrance into a better afterlife.
The difference is 100% diametrical.
Stupid Americans equate the two as simply a, "difference of philosophies".

By: dargent7 on 5/3/13 at 11:57

Before I leave...Muslims are NOT Christian. They no more believe in Jesus Christ than the Man in the Moon.
Mohammed was a ruthless killer, a pedophile, and a sycophant.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 5/3/13 at 12:42

dargent, you are painting with a wide brush. There are fundamentalist extremists in all faiths. There is no "jihad in their DNA." We lived together peacefully before.

By: brrrrk on 5/3/13 at 1:24


If you take into consideration the age of the Islamic religion and then track back to what Christianity was doing at that same age (the 14th century), I think you'll find when making that comparison that there isn't much difference between the two. Are there issues right now with Islamic religious fundamentalists, sure. Christianity, for all it's advances, still has It's own. But rather than attempting to eradicate or convert them, I think we would be better served helping to move them into the current century.

By: yogiman on 5/3/13 at 2:25


I can't remember all of the details, but I read in our nation's beginning, it was about to go broke and a Jew loaned them the money to bail them out of bankruptcy.

He didn't want any recognition but they wanted to recognize him. I believe the way that little "eye" is on the back of a one dollar bill is the way they "honored" that man (sorry, I can't remember his name).

And on the "freedom" of the Muslims. Look into their beliefs, Mike. Their goal is to take the world over because they believe Islam is the "ultimate". The Muslim goal is a side by side race with the communist goal in politics. One world religion and one world masters.

By: bfra on 5/3/13 at 2:42

yogi - Reference, link, proof? Are you just slobbering dumb blabber, again?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 5/3/13 at 2:49

The Eye of Providence has nothing to do with a Jew loaning money to the founding fathers.


Senile old fool.

By: bfra on 5/3/13 at 2:55

Blanket - Thanks! I couldn't find anything that said it did. BTW the old fool also denies saying he edited the Constitution. He is as senile as they come!

By: Captain Nemo on 5/3/13 at 6:40

So much wasted time on an old troll.

By: Loner on 5/3/13 at 6:45

Had a great ride on the big thumper....stopped at the C&s Saloon, in Brockport...the barmaid would not honor my 20 dollar Canadian bill....so I left the bar, as she hurled insults at me for not using American money...the bitch told me to take the 20 dollar bill to a bank and come back...I left without buying anything...the place is owned by an asshole and he hires assholes to tend bar.

When I was in Canada last weekend, my American money was never looked down upon and i was never humiliated like that in a Canadian place of business....I will not patronize the C&S Saloon in Brockport, NY from now on....but right next door, Barber's Grill & Taproom is both welcoming and respectful to its patrons.

BTW, Canadian and US currencies are at par value or nearly so these days....the barmaid just wanted to be an asshole and she succeeded.

By: yogiman on 5/3/13 at 7:53

Damn, Ladies (as I use the term loosely)

I wish I was as smart as you two think you are. If you don't know it, it ain't so. Brilliant.

If you could read, B2, you would have noted I posted I believed, not that I knew. That's a vast difference except for one with you knowledge; or lack thereof.