by Steve Haruch
As you'll recall, Coffee County commissioner Barry West posted a photo on his Facebook page of a guy (not him) aiming a shotgun and captioned it "HOW TO WINK AT A MUSLIM." (The "wink" being the closing of one eye in order to better aim.) Understandably, decent people of diverse backgrounds, and especially people who are Muslim and don't enjoy being threatened with gun violence, found this offensive.
Tennessee-based advocacy grop American Center for Outreach, among others, asked concerned citizens to call West's office to demand an apology. And they got one:
Mr. West spoke with our Director of Policy & Administration earlier in the day and expressed his “heartfelt, sincere apology.” Commissioner West went on to state that his “intent was never to offend or harm anyone” and the post was a “mistake.” Commissioner West has agreed to meet with Muslim constituents to further discuss the incident.
In an interview with radio station WMSR, West said, "I will study and talk with those of the Muslim faith to learn more about their beliefs." That sounds like a good idea.