Excerpt:

The Spokane City Council stepped squarely into the middle of a national debate over Muslims in America, approving a salutation to local Muslims that recognizes their contributions to the community.

A proposal that seemed a simple idea a few weeks ago generated a protest from some of Spokane's tea party faithful, who gathered outside the council's town hall meeting at the Northeast Community Center for what they called "a rally for Spokane values."

State Rep. Matt Shea said the rally was not meant to be anti-Muslim. But he tied the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has a local chapter, to militant groups and the imposition of Islamic law.


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