- Board members of San Angelo Tea Party met with LIVE! Editor Chelsea Schmid to discuss the organization's official stance on radical Islam
- Terry Campbell denies quotations that shed him in a negative light
- Board members do not agree with 'no moderate Muslims' statement
President Nathan Boates and Vice President Lyleanne McClellan-Thee of the San Angelo Tea Party visited the LIVE! office on Tuesday to discuss the article posted on September 11 entitled “Radical Islam or Extreme Conservatism: San Angelo Tea Party Wants Muslims Out.”
Boates and McClellan-Thee expressed an interest in clarifying the Tea Party’s official stance, and in clearing up any misconceptions associated with the organization as a result of the article and specifically of the quote “There are four Muslim families in San Angelo…and that’s four too many,” made by Terry Campbell.
They were also concerned that the title may be misleading, as Campbell is not a current member of the board.
“We have individual members and they’re all entitled to their own beliefs…but at the same time, it doesn’t make it an official stance of the Tea Party,” McClellan-Thee said.
“I think if you’re going to make a statement like that, then I think that any statement like that should come from an official board member, not a past board member,” she continued.
Terry Campbell is the previous President of the San Angelo Tea Party. His statements were made in the presence of other Tea Party members, none of which objected to or refuted his opinion at the time of interview.
Boates stated that Campbell has emphatically denied having said the second part of the quotation (“…and that’s four too many.”), although Campbell has made no effort to contact LIVE! to refute his statement. Campbell was unavailable for comment at the time of the meeting on Tuesday and was not reachable by telephone prior to publication.
Addressing the overall message and tone of O’Brien’s presentation, Boates said, “One of the other things that I would like to distinguish between—and I’m not sure that Dorrie O’Brien did a good job of that, I think she could have maybe stated it a little bit better—is that we see a big difference between radical Islam and Muslims."
Boates explained that the estimated percentage of Muslims who practice radical Islam lies somewhere between two and ten percent.
“Our meeting there on Tuesday was to inform and educate people on the 2-10 percent on the Radical Islam, it was not on the Muslims as a whole…I know she didn’t make that distinction, like I think she should have.” Boates said.
“We wish that she had phrased some things differently…like the ‘moderate Muslim’ thing. We don’t think she did a good job delineating that,” McClellan-Thee added. “We obviously don’t think that they should all be lumped together."
Both Boates and McClellan-Thee emphasize that the Tea Party meetings are free and open to the public. There are 60-65 paying members, and membership may be obtained for $12 a year.
McClellan stated the Tea Party stands for limited government, fiscal responsibility and adhering to the U.S. Constitution. Meetings are held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month in the West Texas Convention Center.