Controversial lecture on Sharia Law goes on at West Knox Co. chu

Controversial lecture on Sharia Law goes on at West Knox Co. church

Posted:
It was a town hall meeting of sorts Thursday evening that almost didn't happen. It was a town hall meeting of sorts Thursday evening that almost didn't happen.
Knoxville, Tenn - By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A controversial lecture, that some call anti-Islam, went on Thursday night despite opposition from the Muslim community.

We first brought you this story earlier this month, it started with a tweet we saw. The chaplain for the University of Tennessee Muslim Community tweeted "As an educator and community member disappointed that hate groups are allowed in Knoxville schools."

After, we reached out to Knox County Schools, Superintendent Jim McIntyre decided to withdraw approval for the group ACT! For America to host the lecture at Farragut High School. The group moved the event to a West Knox County Church.

Thursday night we asked the pastor from Union Cumberland Presbyterian Church, who allowed this meeting to be held at the church, to speak with us and he simply said "No comment." We also tried reaching out to UT's Muslim chaplain but weren't able to get ahold of him either.

It was a town hall meeting of sorts Thursday evening that almost didn't happen.

"It's a great victory that the church opened their doors in such a close time frame," said ACT! For America Director John Peach.

A flyer from the group advertising the event is what grabbed the Knoxville Muslim community's attention raising concerns.

"If they were here tonight they would be able to see that we were reaching out to them in love, that we're not haters, that we want to share the love that God has for us and for them, and we respect their religion," added Peach.

Organizers say the event was simply to inform the community about Sharia Law. "I don't know very much about Sharia Law and I've heard a little bit about it on TV and read a little bit about it. But I really just wanted to know more, know what was going on," said Gwen Watkins.

Essentially Sharia Law, which comes from the Quran, outlines the practice of Islam, people at Thursday's event worry this could affect them.

"I think it's very critical because Sharia Law wants to be a precedent over the constitution and we need to make sure the constitution doesn't get violated," said Peach.

Pews were filled as some asked questions, while others took notes. "In fact I said that I didn't want to go because I'm like the rest of America and I don't want to know but I'm glad I did come," said Watkins.

When we last spoke with the Muslim community they said they may not agree with discussions at this event but they were not against the event happening.
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