SURPRISING! Serious Republican challenge to Muslim Congressional candidate in Michiganistan

A right-wing Super PAC is running attack ads against a Syed Taj, a Democratic congressional candidate in Michigan, in an attempt to portray the Muslim doctor as un-American who is tied to terrorism. The 30-second TV commercial charges that Taj “wants to advance Muslim power in America, has ties to Hamas, and is too extreme for America.

TNR  The race to represent Michigan’s 11th congressional district was already unusual—the seat became open when five-term Republican congressman Thaddeus McCotter abruptly resigned from Congress one month before the primary.

The Republican cadidate now is Kerry Bentivolio, a Tea Partier, who had planned on challenging McCotter from the right.  He is a Vietnam vet, reindeer farmer, and former teacher. 

Michigan Democrats were equally unprepared for a competitive race in the district.  Democrats didn’t want to let McCotter run unopposed, but they also didn’t want to pour money into an unwinnable campaign, so they ran Syed Taj, a local township trustee and doctor who is as intelligent as he is uncharismatic. Taj, who immigrated from India more than 30 years ago, is a practicing Muslim.

Cue Freedom’s Defense Fund, is run by Jerome Corsi. Last week, the Super PAC started running an commercial on Detroit-area television stations that asks, “What do we really know about Syed Taj?” Corsi, who last month traveled with the Romney campaign as a reporter for World Net Daily, is not known for his subtlety. Corsi hits Taj with his quote in which Taj noted that his election would bring the total number of Muslims in Congress to three—thereby allowing them to form a caucus—as proof that Taj wants to “advance Muslim power in America.”

The Taj campaign has appealed to station managers to pull the fear-mongering ad.