3 years ago

Alabama lawmaker: We keep hearing Islam is peaceful but they keep blowing people up

State Rep. Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City) (Photo: Gary R. Wells)
State Rep. Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City) (Photo: Gary R. Wells)

RAINBOW CITY, Ala. — In the wake of a coordinated ISIS terrorist attack on the Istanbul airport that left dozens dead and hundreds injured, one Alabama lawmaker is expressing his exasperation with the ongoing debate over the role Islam is playing in such violence.

State Rep. Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City) on Wednesday criticized the continued insistence that Islam is a peaceful religion.

“Have you noticed that we keep hearing how Islam is a religion of peace as they blow people up?” He asked rhetorically on social media. “(We’re) living life upside down.”

“Makes you wonder, Mack, how many innocent lives have to be lost before it ceases to be considered this ‘religion of peace,’ added former Shelby County Republican Party Chairman Freddy Ard in a comment. “How many suicide bombers are produced by Christianity? By Judaism? By Hinduism? By Buddhism?”

Rep. Butler was particularly critical of President Obama, whose priorities Butler believes are out of sync with most Americans, especially those living in Alabama.

“This guy is obsessed with killing babies, radical Islam, and men peeing with little girls,” said Butler, referencing the president’s support for abortion and transgender or gender neutral bathrooms. “What has happened that family values are all of a sudden so offensive? The federal government has declared war on the American family. Truly living life upside down. Pray for America.”

Butler’s comments come just days after one Muslim leader delivered a speech in Alabama insisting “there’s a problem in the house of Islam that needs to be addressed.”

RELATED: Muslim leader tells Alabama crowd Islam must declare ‘jihad against jihad’

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, the president of American Islamic Forum for Democracy, said the “disease” of radical Islam must be addressed by Muslims themselves.

“We (need to) start getting the message out that we recognize have a problem and (need to) reform the 13th century ideas that are still stuck and haven’t been addressed,” he said. “Then we can start to treat the disease at its core.”

Jasser said recent terrorist attacks have been executed by individuals whose personalities had been “hijacked” by the “virus” of “radical Islamism and theocratic Islam.”

“Until we Muslims counter that global virus, this will continue to happen over and over,” he insisted. “Until we deal with the core issues we will continue to have these radicals get through as they have in Orlando, Chattanooga, San Bernardino, and Fort Hood.”

“America needs to see [Muslims] leading,” he continued, “declaring war on jihad — that we want to jihad against jihad. There are Muslims being radicalized, lining up to fight for ISIS. Where are the lines of Muslims, not just to fire up press releases in to email and faxes? Where are the Muslims?”

Dr. Jasser’s message may have been refreshing to non-Muslims who have grown frustrated with Islamic leaders’ seeming refusal to take responsibility for eradicating the growth of radicalism within their faith, but some other Muslims did not appreciate what he had to say.

Ashfaq Taufique, President of the Birmingham Islamic Society, said in a statement to WVTM that Dr. Jasser is part of the problem and is doing little more than spreading Islamophobia.

By saying that the house of Islam is creating radical extremists, we are conveniently ignoring the massive ongoing efforts of American and International Islamic scholarship leading the charge against intellectually deconstructing the extremist ideologies being propagated in the guise of Islam…

Using Islamic scripture and sources, Muslim scholars worldwide have thoroughly refuted the ideologies of terrorists that claim to carry out their barbaric acts in the name of Islam… By claiming that Islam needs reform, what Dr. Jasser is effectively doing is conflating the fringe ideologies of radical groups that claim to be Muslim, with the normative Islam practiced by 1.5 billion peaceful Muslims throughout the world. If anything, Islam needs to be properly explained to the youth and uninformed Muslims who are the targets for recruitment by terrorists, so that they know that Islam does not condone terrorism.

Majority of the mosques in the United States follow the Islam of late boxing champion Muhammad Ali, who was a clear example of what American Islam looks like. There was no influence of Saudi Arabia or Iran there. To see how American Muslims practice their faith, a suggestion would be to please visit your local mosque and meet.

7 hours ago

University of North Alabama adopting new tuition plan

The University of North Alabama is switching to a tuition plan that officials say will result in increased costs for some students but not others.

Officials at the school in Florence say they are reducing the total number of student fees from seven to one, and fees will be included in the overall tuition cost.

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A statement says students taking 15 hours will see a maximum increase in expenses of 4.1%.

But some could pay less, and costs will not change for others.

School officials say a lag in state funding is a continuing problem.

North Alabama’s vice president for business, Evan Thornton, says the school has deferred maintenance and capital needs totaling more than $160 million.

The school has an undergraduate enrollment of about 6,200 students.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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7 hours ago

Nathan Lindsay joining governor’s office from BCA

Another high profile staffer from the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) is joining Governor Kay Ivey’s senior level team.

The governor on Monday announced that Nathan Lindsay will join her office as director of appointments effective July 1.

This position is charged with spearheading the meticulous work that goes into Ivey meeting her duty to appoint qualified, representative and appropriate people to positions on the state’s various boards and commissions.

A press release from the governor’s office outlined that Lindsay assumes the role with an extensive background in state government and the private sector, which uniquely qualifies him to advise the governor in this capacity.

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Most recently, through his work in political and governmental affairs at the BCA, Lindsay interacted with members of the business community throughout the Yellowhammer State, which significantly adds to his ability to identify and select candidates for various appointed posts.

Additionally, Lindsay’s early career included time in then-Governor Bob Riley’s office where he served as aide to the governor from 2006 to 2011. Lindsay also worked in the governor’s communications office as deputy press secretary and advised Riley on education policy.

“Nathan brings to our team a wealth of knowledge that I know will serve the state well,” Ivey said in a statement. “In addition to his expertise and insight, Nathan is a man of character. The men and women of my staff must have a strong work ethic, a depth of knowledge and a heart for public service. Nathan certainly embodies all of these characteristics.”

Lindsay earned his bachelor’s degree from Faulkner University. During his time at Faulkner, he served as SGA president and later, in 2018, he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for the College of Arts and Sciences.

“As governor, I have the important responsibility of appointing qualified individuals to serve on the more than 450 boards and commissions in our state. These men and women must not only be highly-qualified, but they should also be a true reflection of our great state,” Ivey added. “I am confident we will continue to find the best people to serve our state, just as I am certain Nathan will serve my Administration exceptionally well in this position. His experience speaks for itself, and he shares my goal of moving Alabama into a better future.”

This comes weeks after Leah Garner departed BCA to become Ivey’s communications director.

Mark Colson also left BCA to become head of the Alabama Trucking Association recently.

Update 5:55 p.m.:

BCA President and CEO Katie Boyd Britt released a statement commending Ivey on the hire of Lindsay.

“Nathan’s background and expertise in political affairs combined with his political acumen uniquely qualify him to serve the governor and the state in this capacity,” Britt said. “I have no doubt Nathan will do an outstanding job, and I commend Governor Kay Ivey on this excellent addition to her staff.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

8 hours ago

Alabama listed as one of the top 20 most patriotic states in America

A WalletHub report released Monday revealed Alabama to be on of the top 20 most patriotic states in America.

Ranked 19 overall on the list, with a score of 47.43, Alabama ranked first for the “Civics Education Requirement.”

The report “compared the 50 states across 13 key indicators of patriotism” and “ranges from share of enlisted military population to share of adults who voted in the 2016 presidential election to AmeriCorps volunteers per capita.”

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With one as “Most Patriotic” and 25 as “Average,” Alabama received the following rankings:

  • 5th – Average Number of Military Enlistees per 1,000 Civilian Adults
  • 30th – Active-Duty Military Personnel per 100,000 Civilian Adults
  • 17th – Veterans per 1,000 Civilian Adults
  • 1st – Civics Education Requirement
  • 12th – Share of Civilian Adult Population in Military Reserves
  • 10th – Share of Adults Who Voted in 2016 Primary Elections

Alabama also ranked eight overall for ‘Military Engagement.’

The report, which compared red states to blue states in terms of patriotism, found that red states were more patriotic. Red states received an average rank of 23.67, while blue states received an average rank of 28.25.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

8 hours ago

Brooks: ‘Really dumb’ for Democrats to elect candidates mainly on ‘skin pigmentation or their chromosomes’

In an interview on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show”on Friday, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) lamented that many Democrats have become more interested in racial and gender identity politics than the welfare of America.

Coming off of her much maligned comments comparing American immigration facilities to “concentration camps,” host Dale Jackson asked the north Alabama congressman if he believes that Democrats in Congress will allow Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to continue to serve as their “de facto face and leader.”

“Yes,” Brooks answered succinctly, promoting a follow-up request for his reasoning.

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“Well, she is where she is,” Brooks explained. “She’s got a lot of political power. She’s got a lot of support — surprisingly.”

“There are large, large numbers of American citizens who have bit off on this socialist stuff, who have bit off on this victimization stuff, who have bit off on thinking that the most important criteria in determining whether to elect someone is their skin pigmentation or their chromosomes — which is really dumb, OK,” he continued. “We oughta be electing people based on their character and based on their public policy positions.”

“But, notwithstanding that, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become the face of the Democratic Party in many different respects, and she does have great influence as evidenced by the presidential candidates on the socialist Democrats’ side who are trying to cultivate her support,” Brooks added. “They want her endorsement.”

Listen, starting at the 8:25 mark:

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

9 hours ago

Democrats hope it’s 2017 all over again, Republicans just want the nightmare to end

In 2017, Roy Moore won a Republican primary run-off against an extremely flawed Luther Strange. Strange wasn’t just a regular candidate — he had the cloud of his appointment, and he was dogged by former Gov. Robert Bentley’s investigation, impeachment and resignation.

Alabama Republicans, outside of U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), were reluctant to criticize Roy Moore because they knew doing so would hand the Senate seat to now-Senator Doug Jones (D-AL).

But this is different.

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State Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) told the Montgomery Advertiser that he blamed the GOP establishment in 2017, but still thinks Moore can’t win in 2020.

He stated, “I do not believe, with the numbers I look at, that Roy Moore at the end of the day can get the nomination.”

State Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) dismissed Moore when asked about the candidates, saying, “If you look at the candidates, you got Roy Moore. I don’t think we need to say more there.”

Later, he all but endorsed U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) by saying Byrne “would do the best job.”

Secretary of State John Merrill, a potential future Moore opponent, believes Moore has an uphill battle against Jones.

“I think it would be extraordinarily difficult for Judge Moore to be successful in a general election campaign against Senator Jones,” Merrill outlined.

He added, “I also think it would be difficult for Judge Moore to secure the Republican nomination.”

Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), who endorsed Moore in 2017, has already endorsed State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) and is on record saying former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions would be a favorite.

“I do believe that Jeff Sessions would clearly be number one in the poll rankings, based on his having been such a great senator on three principle issues: free enterprise versus socialism; deficit and debt; and border security,” he explained.

Say what you will, but you do not usually see these kinds of pronouncements from Republicans in the middle of a primary.

Democrats hope 2017 is going to be repeated in 2020, but there are many different factors that will matter.

Roy Moore is already fatally flawed as 300,000+ Republicans voters abandoned him in 2017 and stayed home. Many of those voters will vote in the primary in 2020, but will not vote for him.

U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-Saks) expressed a similar sentiment on CSPAN last week.

“I personally don’t think Roy Moore is going to be our nominee, but whoever our nominee is will prevail in November because you’ll have the full complement of Republican voters turning out turning out to vote,” he said.

This is not 2017.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.