A Newton County Commissioners meeting about a proposed mosque in Covington, Georgia, scheduled for Sept. 13 was canceled after an armed militia group's demonstration appeared on a video (below).
Chris Hill, a Marine veteran who leads a local chapter of the militia group, III% Security Force, filmed the video over the weekend at a church standing across from the site of the proposed Islamic mosque and cemetery.
Hill told NBC News: "It wasn't canceled because of, in my opinion, fear of violence."
"Unfortunately in today's society, uncivil threats or intentions must be taken seriously," Newton County manager Lloyd Kerr said.
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"[The video] was a little sensationalism on my part," Hill added. "I didn't want to go through the details and take people through the woods."
Hill told NBC News off-camera:
I was just shooting from the hip is what I was doing, and saying, "Right over there, this is going to be a future ISIS training group. This is where you're going to see terrorism taking hold in Newton County." It's tied to terrorism, everything from 9/11 to Boston bombings to the Fort Hood shooting, to the coup in Turkey. It's all connected.
Hill didn't say exactly how "it's all connected," or provide evidence of a future ISIS training group.
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The III% Security Force Facebook page features numerous anti-Muslim statements.
"As an American, I have a right to defend," Hill told NBC News off-camera. "As a Marine, I have a right and a duty to defend our country and our Constitution."
The First Amendment in the U.S. Constitution guarantees the freedom of religion to all Americans, including Muslims.
The county commissioners referred to a statement that said the moratorium will expire on Sept. 21.
The mosque was proposed about seven months ago, but was not publicly known until a local newspaper noted it in August, which caused outrage in the community and angry town hall meetings.
"We have already seen bombings and beheadings," one woman said at a town hall meeting, according to WXIA. "Eight years ago our U.S. government got a Muslim president who has put Muslims in power."
"It’s hard for people like me, and probably most of you tonight, to draw the line between innocent Muslims and radical Muslims, since they’ve all claimed to serve the same God and they all claim to follow the same book," a man said at the meeting.
"So, it really bothers me that I’m labeled a bigot because I just question it," a second woman stated. "Because I don’t care if they come and worship, but I do care if it’s a 135 acres of a very large development."
A Jewish woman told the town hall: "If this discussion was happening 100 years ago, there’s a good chance it would be happening to my people. And a hundred years or so ago, millions of people my people, including my great aunt, were sent to their deaths."