The Great Tennessee Muslim Cemetery Battle drags on, and here’s what happened when Noor Tagouri, a journalism student at the University of Maryland, tried to cover yet another hearing aimed at preventing the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro from opening a cemetery on its grounds. The permit was approved back in January, but brave patriots are trying to block it in the courts, since burning down a cemetery is much much harder than burning down a mosque. And so, following Monday’s hearing, Ms. Tagouri found herself being yelled at by the good Christians who oppose the mosque, including terminal angerbag Lou Ann Zelenick, who has been a leader in the neverending fight against the Murfreesboro mosque. Ms. Zelenick is the nice lady yelling at a different journalist — presumably the unseen man with an accent — to “take your microphone and go” — she objects to being recorded by a woman in a hijab, since she’s “had death threats” and “been on Iranian news. It’s very frightening what y’all have done.” This only makes sense, due to the well-known fact that recording devices held by Muslims send Jihad Rays to the middle east.
We also like the nice finger-pointy man saying “You’re the one who’s lying. It’s [Islam] not a religion. It’s a political ideology.” He read that on the internet, so it’s true. Also fun, the crowd turning on WSMV reporter Larry Flowers, pushing him and getting in his face. So it’s not like the mob was only harassing Muslims — they were also harassing Flowers, a local black man, so it’s not Islamophobia, OK? After finger-pointy man grabbed Flowers and he objected to that, you can see an unidentified woman moving forward and shoving her finger in Flowers’s face. And then Zelenick, who clearly got top marks in Race-Baiting 101, yells at Flowers, “Please don’t hurt her! Stop trying to hurt her!” And then she asks Flowers, “Who are you with?” and demands to see his ID. Fun times! Enjoy the same scene from Flowers’ perspective:
But Zelenick’s real ire was aimed at Ms. Tagouri, the dangerous girl journalist in the hijab, who Zelenick accused of secretly recording her (although Tagouri was standing with other journalists and holding a rather visible digital camera). When Tagouri identifies herself as a student journalist from the University of Maryland, Zelenick tells her “I don’t want to be on Al-Jazeera” and when Tagouri offers a copy of her class assignment, she also demands Tagouri’s identification: “I want to know who you are, because I want to know where you’re gonna cut and paste it.” Lord knows, she wouldn’t want to be unfairly portrayed in an unflattering light.
And then Zelenick gives the student from Maryland a lecture about how equality works in America:
I don’t understand why you all don’t want to be treated equally. I don’t understand that. It’s a real concern. Because we’re tired of having to be put at the back of the bus. We don’t like it.
It’s a bravura performance by Ms. Zelenick. We can see she learned a lot about on-camera freakouts when she ran for Congress in 2010 and 2012 — how on earth did she lose?