Rick Womick Says He Was “Approached” By Muslims Demanding Exemption from Constitution

From Rick Womick, State Representative for Tennessee’s 34th District:

Last spring I was approached by several members from the Muslim community who requested, and in some cases demanded, that they be exempt from our U.S. Constitution and Tennessee State Constitution, and fall under the authority of Sharia Law.  Their claim was that Sharia Law comes from the only legitimate god, allah, is universal, and is eternal.  Furthermore, they feel that they must not be “forced” to follow our Constitution and its laws since it is man-made and temporary. I will never agree to such demands.  

I’d like to hear more about this. It’s possible that Womick was accosted by some US equivalent of Anjem Choudary, but I find it difficult to imagine why members of “the Muslim community” would “approach” a right-wing politician to express resentment against the US Constitution. Perhaps some group asked for a form of religious accommodation that Womick thinks is unconstitutional, but it’s impossible to judge from the lack of detail provided.

Womick posted his claim at the end of December, and it forms part of his “rebuttal” to criticism of his call for Muslims to be purged from the US military. Womick made his call in November, at the Tennessee Freedom Coalition’s “Preserving Freedom” anti-Shariah conference in Nashville; as I noted at the time, attendees included Paul Diamond of the UK lobby group Christian Concern, and Diamond used the event to foster links between the two organisations (although there is no indication that Christian Concern shares the TFC’s enthusiasm for the English Defence League).

Womick continues:

I challenge Rep. [Mike] Honda to hold the Muslim community to the same standards he holds the rest of America.  Show us that Islam is not at war with America by requiring that a Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding be signed by those who profess a peaceful Muslim faith before entering the U.S. military.

This call for a special Muslim loyalty oath was probably inspired by Sam Solomon, who was also at the “Preserving Freedom” conference; Solomon’s own “Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding” was launched at the House of Lords in 2007, and his Acknowledgements page thanks Diamond for his “legal expertise”. Solomon’s document also comes with a Foreword from Gerard Batten, a UKIP MEP and conspiracy theorist.