In an interview with NewsChannel 8 Weekend Morning on Sunday, Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn claimed that people in the Tampa Bay area are being “prosecuted for being muslim”. NewsChannel 8 reporter Paul Mueller did not challenge Buckhorn’s obviously false claim.
Mueller referred to a recent meeting Buckhorn had with the Islamic Society of Tampa Bay, and asked Buckhorn why he needed to “be so focused on” Trump’s executive order on immigration.
Buckhorn responded as follows (video): “There were grown men who came up to me crying, who had been in this country, who were legally in this country, who were not terrorists, they were good, hardworking Americans, but they were so fearful of what was going on in this country, that they were being persecuted, and prosecuted, for being muslim.”
However, there is no law that would allow prosecution of a person for “being muslim.”
Buckhorn took an oath of office in which he swore to “support, protect and defend” both the US and Florida Constitutions. Should he ever encounter evidence that the free exercise of a religion was being hindered, he would be duty-bound to take action beyond just telling a reporter about it.
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