About 18 months ago a bit of a fiasco had ensued here in Murfreesboro, TN, over the approval to build a mega-mosque in the midst of the community. Residents had largely been upset over the size and scope of the mosque and the fact that there was little to no notice of meetings that led to its approval. That ‘little to no notice’ almost seemed intentional as residents noted that it was hardly the normal procedure. Any other property of that scope would have had much more time for residents to voice their concerns. This happens all the time, all over the US be it a church, a WalMart, Target or any other big box store. If the residents of the neighborhood don’t want something to be a part of their neighborhood, they will typically rise up against it. Up until this point (for my relatively short time in the town), this had happened at least 3 times, that I could immediately recall, and I’m sure several times since.
Seemingly out of nowhere a man by the name of Eric Allen Bell shows up and is causing quite a bit of a stir. There were many of us who thought he may have been some sort of agent-provocateur being used to stir the pot and get a documentary movie out of the deal. Whether or not this was indeed the case, I don’t know, but he was successful at stirring the pot and getting any voice of the opposition that could be used in a way to make the town look ridiculous the publicity he wanted. He was able (with the help of the local media) to paint Murfreesboro as some sort of religiously bigoted town with the local residents opposed to anything but some sort of fringe evangelical Christianity. Of course, such a picture is ridiculous to anyone who actually lives here but that didn’t matter since the truth was a lot harder to get on the front page of the daily paper.
At one point I had landed in a few comment threads and proceeded to engage Eric in order to determine where he stood and if he could back up what he supposedly believed. The discussion that took place was a a trail of talking points that did nothing but evoke emotion. The constant asserting method he used proved he hadn’t really thought about the issue nor did he care to. In the end, I deemed the viewpoint of Eric to be hypocritical, intolerant and religiously bigoted – the very terms he and most of the crowd he had gathered were so eager to throw around. I decided to post those discussions along with my comments on this site. Since the opposition couldn’t get a proper voice in the matter, I figured I could at least demonstrate that we had one.
Soon enough, Eric had left town, just as quickly has he had showed up. All the sites that he had going were given pointers to his main site. Obviously he had what he needed and everything began to calm down regarding the ICM and their proposed mosque.
Then last week, almost out of the blue, an article shows up on the David Horowitz site titled ‘The High Price of Telling the Truth About Islam’. What then follows is an incredible tale of what took place here in Murfreesboro through the eyes of Eric Allen Bell having somewhat recently changed his position entirely. After reading it I immediately recalled the discussion that I had had with him and the posts I had created regarding them. When I moved this site to a new host, I let the previous site go without backup. The only posts that existed were the ones regarding the discussion with Eric Bell and I felt they had run their course. With the new article he had written I thought it might be worthwhile to look at them again. I am only linking to the web archive for those posts, rather than recreating them here. My intention for doing so is not to demean Eric by any means, I simply want to demonstrate what a change of heart he has seemed to have – it is a far cry from what we were hearing a year and a half ago and one that has come with a price as he notes quite well in the article.
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