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Protesters disrupt Tenn. Muslim group's meeting

11:40 PM, Jun 5, 2013   |    comments
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Speakers and guests found themselves shouted down at an event organized to promote religious tolerance and free speech.

Tuesday night, the American Muslim Advisory Council held a meeting in Manchester, Tenn. that was quickly derailed by hecklers.

U.S District Attorney Bill Killian and FBI Special Agent in Charge Kenneth Moore were invited to speak at the event. Moore said he was not surprised by the reaction.

He told 10News some people likely learned something from the event.

"The First Amendment speaks more than just about freedom of speech, it also covers the freedom to worship freely as well," he said.

Gary Johnston, of the Roane County Tea Party, attended the event as well.

He said he figured many of the meeting's 1,000+ attendees were there to show their anger at the federal government.

"This is a microcosm of what this country is feeling and experiencing."

He added some people at the event were also just uncomfortable with Islam. However, he said some of the words that were thrown their way were unfair.

"They [some attendees] still weren't at a level where you would treat someone," he said.

A member of the Muslim Community of Knoxville told 10News similar discussions have been held in Knoxville, but they have attracted little protest.

10News contacted US District Attorney Bill Killian about the meeting. He did not respond to our calls.

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