Travis County GOP Promotes Video Calling for Muslims To Be Discharged From American Military

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The deep critical thinkers over at the Travis County Republican Party tweeted out a video of Republican Tennessee State Representative Rick Womick (not “Steve Womick,” as the video calls him) urging the mandatory discharge of all Muslims from the US Military today:

The video is from 2011. And no, of course the Travis GOP's tweet didn't condemn Womick. Let's face it: the only reason the folks at the Travis County GOP shared the video is to tacitly condone the views it contains. So much for the Travis County GOP supporting the 1st Amendment or a strong American military!

Read more about the extreme anti-Muslim views promulgated by the Travis County Republican Party below the jump. First off, some context. Womick was recorded in November, 2011 at a conference in Tennessee — an anti-Muslim conference held on Veterans' Day, as a matter of fact. The story received lots of attention via ThinkProgress, who originally uploaded the video that was evidently reshared on the account of the user that the Travis County GOP shared.

The views expressed in the video are hateful, bigoted, and wrong. Sharing those views without an extremely clear condemnation of them is tacitly promoting the bigotry therein. People of all faiths (or no religious practice at all) who want to serve in our military should have the full opportunity to do so, as they currently do.

Why would the Travis County GOP tweet the video — which, BTW, I screenshot and uploaded here, just in case — of a Tennessee state representative if they didn't want to promote and advance those views in our community? If it was a mistake, why is it still up 4 hours later, after the account has tweeted out several other links?

Frankly, this seems like a profile in cowardly bigotry. Rather than full-on call for the expulsion of Muslims from the military, Travis GOP chair Rosemary Edwards (whom I presume tweeted the video) is likely shielding herself from direct criticism by simply “passing these ideas along.” Except this kind of blatant religious bigotry has no place even being shared without the strongest of condemnations. And even if it was an accidental share, I guess we know what kind of old YouTube videos Rosemary Edwards or someone at the Travis County GOP likes to watch in their spare time, eh?

Womick's video includes some extreme examples of anti-religious-freedom hate-speech (and don't get me started on the comments on the YouTube video, yeeeesh). One of the most egregious comments from Womick — clearly stated in the video promulgated and shared by the Travis County GOP — is easily the following:

“I don't trust one Muslim in the military because they're commanded to lie to us. … I feel threatened because they're commanded to kill.”

Womick, clearly a deeply learned scholar on world religion, explains that “The Muslim faith is not necessarily a religion,” then follows up with “you cannot separate religion from Islam.”

Does Travis County GOP Chair Rosemary Edwards share these extreme anti-Muslim views? Does she not believe Islam is a religion, and does she want Muslims to be expelled from the American armed forces?

(Also, could she not find any more recent anti-Muslim hysteria to share on social media, or was this just her personal favorite?)

I tried to reach the Travis County GOP for answers to these questions, but per their website, the office is closed for the month of July.  

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About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Central Texas. She is also a fan of UCONN women's basketball and breakfast tacos.

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