Regional
3:41 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Anti-Muslim Tennessee Group Wants Lawyer Hired by Governor Fired

A group that has attacked the construction of a mosque in Murfreesboro is now taking aim at a recent hire by Governor Bill Haslam who is Muslim. The Tennessean reports the Center for Security Policy and the 8th District Tea Party Coalition are urging their members to put pressure on the state to dump Samar Ali, an attorney appointed last month as the new international director for the state's Economic and Community Development Office.

The group depicts Ali as an Islamic fundamentalist with close ties to the Obama administraition.

A spokesman for the ECD says the charges are absurd, adding that Ali is "eminently qualified" for the job.

According to The Tennessean, activists are focusing on Ali's experience as a corporate lawyer in helping Muslim-owned companies structure deals so they fit Islam's ban on collecting interest.

The 30-year-old Ali is from Waverly, Tennessee, and has a bachelor's and law degree from Vanderbilt University. She was recommended for her new job by Will Alexander, the son of Republican Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander.