It would be an unusual coalition: Christian activists and Hooters girls.
Two members of a local Muslim community say a “Christian” group out to discredit them recruited two Hooters restaurant waitresses last week to aid in that effort.
The Christian Action Network (CAN) was in town last Wednesday hoping to film in the Franklin County 80-resident Muslim community in support of their contention that Muslims of America, the parent organization, should be classified as a terrorist organization.
According to Ahmad Qadri and Mohammed Isa Abdurrauf, members of that community, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office refused the request of Jason Campbell and Mark Fisher to go onto the group’s Franklin County site. The two showed up at Qadri’s Rainmaker Studio on Cherry Street.
The group is making what it calls a documentary that alleges that Muslims of America communities across the country support terrorism. The group that came to Commerce handed out pamphlets and tried to entice locals to watch a video, “Sheik Gailini, Soldier of Allah,” to prove its point.
They also entered the pottery studio.
“A guy and two girls came in under the guise that one of the girls was interested in having a pottery class, taking a class from me in pottery, and they wanted to buy some pottery,” said Qadri, whose work has won numerous awards in art shows.
Qadri, who was on the phone working out details of teaching a pottery class at the Commerce Public Library, said he asked the three if they were with CAN, to which the man replied in the negative. The three wandered around the studio, spent $15 on a goblet, left and came back in a few minutes.
“They asked if we were with a terrorist organization,” Qadri said. “I asked them where they were from. He said ‘Virginia,’ and I said, ‘You’re one of them.’” CAN is headquartered in Virginia.
Qadri said he told the three he had nothing to say to them — then presented them with a copy of the poem, “Anyway,” by Mother Teresa.
Ten minutes later the girls came back to apologize. They also agreed to let Qadri video their apology, he said.
The two told Qadri and Abdurrauf that the two men had approached them at a South Carolina Hooters, “so he could ask you questions about your religion and terrorism,” one of the girls says on the video.
One of the girls identified herself only as “Allie.” The other’s name was not clear on the video.
“They came to us last night at work and told us they would pay us $75,” said “Allie.”
“The only reason we did it was for the beach money,” added her companion. “Then we did it and now we realize we did it for a wrong reason. And now we feel bad.”
CAN did not respond to an e-mail inquiry about its Commerce visit.