By Chris Ingram
The Tampa Tribune
Published May 16, 2012
My ancestors descended from Salzburg (in present-day Austria) after facing religious persecution from the Catholic Church, which opposed the teachings of Martin Luther that the Lutheran Salzburgers followed. In 1731, 20,000 Protestants were ordered by Count Leopold von Firmian, the Catholic archbishop and prince of the Salzburg state, to dispose of their property and leave the country. Most of the Salzburger outcasts settled in other parts of Europe, but some 300 of them settled in the American colony of Georgia after pleading with King George II of England, who had a German duke and a fellow Lutheran, for help.
The plight of my ancestors is similar to those of countless immigrants who settled in what would become the United States of America.
Despite the fact that most Americans have stories of their ancestors coming here under less-than-desirable circumstances, a few among us seek to deny those who don’t share the same religious beliefs the very rights and privileges that make America the place to be for those looking for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Last Saturday a group of self-described “patriots” assembled in Tampa at what they billed as a “Stop the Cultural Jihad” rally. In an email announcing the event, organizers said the purpose of the rally was to protest the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which met in Tampa over the weekend. The “patriots” oppose the ISNA because it was listed as an “un-indicted co-conspirator” in a federal criminal case against the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) that the government believes is associated with the terrorist group Hamas.
Earlier this year the same bunch of knuckle-draggers were outraged when Hassan Shibly, a Muslim associated with a different group on the government’s unindicted co-conspirator list, spoke to Steinbrenner High School students about Islam. (Click here to read the full column in the Tampa Tribune.)
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.
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