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Stephen Jerkins

Issues related to Islam have resurfaced in the Tennessee General Assembly. Last week, it was outcry over a GOP lawmaker's month-old Facebook post suggesting Western people need their own lobbying group to compete with Muslim groups. There's also pending legislation to break up concentrations of immigrants and a bill that Islamic activists believe could lead to the seizure of mosques.

IsraelinUSA via Flickr

When the Israeli prime minister gives a controversial speech to Congress next week, only one of Tennessee’s two Democratic representatives will be there.

The controversy comes from House speaker John Boehner inviting Benjamin Netanyahu to talk to Congress about Iran’s nuclear program — without consulting the president. 

Tenn. House of Representatives

Black lawmakers in Tennessee are calling for Rep. Sheila Butt to lose her leadership post in the state House of Representatives.

The plea comes after Butt took to the House floor Thursday to defend a Facebook post that many are calling offensive. But, so far, Republican leaders are standing by the Columbia lawmaker.

TN Photo Services / Flickr

State Rep. Sheila Butt defended her Facebook comment calling for the creation of organizations to represent Christians and people of European descent in a speech this morning from the floor of the Tennessee House of Representatives.

Butt (R-Columbia) said the comment was meant to be "inclusive," that she would stand for hers and other lawmakers' First Amendment rights, that she believes the nation is stronger when it stands for Christian values and that others were trying to make her comment seem divisive.

Courtesy of the Council on American-Islamic Relations

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is criticizing a Middle Tennessee lawmaker for comments she made on Facebook about ethnicity and religion.

Flynn23 via Flickr

A pair of Middle Tennessee lawmakers has filed a bill to let state officials seize property they believe has been used for terrorism.

That has a group that represents Muslims concerned their houses of worship could be targeted.


David Wright Smith

Candidate Bill Freeman says it has been an "eye-opener" how alike Nashville's mayoral hopefuls sound. He says they've avoided taking strong positions — so he's stirring the pot.

"It seems as if the candidates are being so cautious that they have just decided not to take a position on anything," Freeman's campaign wrote in prepared remarks, though the candidate never delivered that line to a group gathered at E-Spaces in Belle Meade on Wednesday morning.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Jihadists? Radical Islamists? Violent extremists?

A raucous debate in Washington over how to refer to Middle Eastern terrorist organizations has particular resonance in Middle Tennessee.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Tennessee legislators will spend at least a little time in the coming weeks considering whether the state could use an official book, vaping regulations and paychecks for college athletes.

While lawmakers didn't get much done last week because of the ice and snow, the deadline for filing bills has come and gone.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Updated June 1, 2015, to add former state Sen. John Ford

Nearly a decade after they were punished for bribery, two former Tennessee lawmakers continue to receive health benefits from the state, placing them among the dozens of ex-lawmakers with coverage.

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