Congressional candidate targeted after speaking out against mosque - WKRN News 2

Congressional candidate targeted after speaking out against mosque

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Republican Lou Ann Zelenik Republican Lou Ann Zelenik
All the vandalized signs have since been removed. All the vandalized signs have since been removed.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Political signs for congressional candidate Lou Ann Zelenik have been vandalized, and she suspects her stance on a proposed Islamic center made her the target.

Zelenik, a Republican, has been outspoken against the center planned for Murfreesboro.

The center was approved by the Rutherford County Planning commission last month.

She has questioned the funding for the project, raising a red flag that it may have terrorist ties.

Her campaign stated Monday, "It's time for community leaders to demand answers to how this proposed center is being financed, who is doing the financing and what ties exist between its board members and terrorist organizations."

Zelenik told News 2 she started receiving threatening phone calls, locally and from out-of-state, after she made statements opposing the center.

The vandalized signs were in the front yards of her supporters' home, marked with swastikas or the words "butcher" or "fascist."

They have since been removed.

The campaign has filed a report with the Murfreesboro Police Department.

Zelenik talked to News 2 Tuesday night about her position on the Islamic Center.

She said, "This has nothing to do with freedom [of] religion, but you know, it's the implications of a radical political agenda, of radical Islam, and countering the Muslims who want to do the right thing, love the religion and love their life here as Americans."

She said after reporting the threatening phone calls, she has not received any more.

She hopes the vandalism will stop, too, adding she just wants the campaign to focus on the issues.

Zelenik is one of many candidates vying for the 6th Congressional District seat vacated by the retirement of Democrat Congressman Bart Gordon at the end of the current term.

Almost a dozen candidates participated in a public forum Tuesday night at Middle Tennessee State University.

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