Tea Party Defends Rick Womick’s Call For Purging Muslims From Military

Rep. Rick Womick (R-Murfreesboro)

Tennessee state Rep. Rick Womick (R-Murfreesboro) found few defenders after his comments — first reported by ThinkProgress — calling for the purge of Muslims from the U.S. military caused an uproar as Muslim groups in Tennessee and across the country demand an apology. But the Wilson County Tea Party, in a newsletter [PDF] emailed to supporters today, came to Womick’s defense and urged its members to support Womick.

It read:


By now you may have heard the “news” about State Rep. Rick Womick’s statements at the Preserving Freedom Conference. He stated his opinion based on factual information. He is being blasted by the media and many Islamic organizations who are demanding an apology and impeachment by the Tennessee General Assembly.

His email address is:

Indeed, Womick’s remarks were based on “factual information.” Womick’s Veterans Day pronouncement that Muslims should be purged from the military was based on the “fact” that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a Muslim, is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder for his role in the Fort Hood shooting.

But from this fact, Womick concludes that all Muslims should be purged from the military. A position that resulted in calls for the general assembly to condemn his comments and the Murfreesboro Daily Journal to write, “This is discrimination at its worst, no different than what America did to black Americans in treating them as second-class citizens.”

Womick found an ally in the Tea Party, but the group’s own extremist positions — their newsletter also claims that ACORN is behind Occupy Nashville and Obama is “buying the votes of college students” for “less than $8” — provides little cover for Womick’s attacks on Muslim members of the military.

As Womick’s remarks continue to reverberate in Tennessee and across the country, the silence from Tennessee Republicans indicates their fear of openly condemning Womick and defending Muslim members of the military. While the Wilson County Tea Party has come to Womick’s defense, the Murfreesboro Republican’s lack of mainstream defenders should serve as an indication of the public’s discomfort with his discriminatory remarks about all Muslim service men and women.