Mifflin County residents speak out on anti-Islam post

LEWISTOWN, MIFFLIN COUNTY, Pa. -- A controversial Facebook post by a Mifflin County commissioner which stated "No Islam Allowed," has been deleted, but the discussion over the comment continues.

A fired up crowd showed up at the county commissioners' meeting Thursday morning, to exercise their own first amendment rights on the issue.

Many people on both sides of the free speech debate had a lot to say at the Mifflin County Courthouse, everyone except the commissioner at the center of this controversy.

Gail Mays said, "I am very disturbed by the recent posting by commissioner Lisa Nancollas regarding the Muslims."

The Facebook post received much public comment at the county commissioners meeting.

Shari Mundy said, "She chose to put it on a website that has her listed as Lisa Nancollas, Mifflin County Commissioner. There are repercussions to that freedom of speech."

Speaking out is what people came to do in the standing room only crowd.

One man said, "Nobody should be denied the right to speak."

"How are people going to feel comfortable coming to this community, if we have a bigot leading and speaking for us," Mundy said.

Barry Wright said, "I know what a witch hunt looks like. I know what it sounds like. I don't know what it smells like, but I have a funny feeling this is one."

Shelly Krohn said, "I want you all to remember that the very first freedom enshrined in our First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is freedom of religion. The establishment clause built into our First Amendment right, prohibits a joining between government and religion."

Many showed up to make their voice heard about Nancollas, but when given the opportunity to speak for herself, the commissioner had very little to say.

"No thank you. I have no opinion, but you can have my press release. Thank you very much," Nancollas said.

In her printed statement,  Nancollas said she "will never apologize for protecting our freedoms."

Some showed their support, while others called for her resignation.

"The only acceptable outcome would be the resignation of commissioner Nancollas," Krohn said.

A few speakers believe the post singled out all Muslims.

"Commissioner Nancollas was elected to represent all residents of our county, regardless of whether she agrees with their beliefs, or not," Mays said.

"With Muslims, come Sharia Law. I don't want to see this country turn into another France," one man said.

A few asked the standing room only crowd where should the line be drawn.

"No Christians, or how about no Jews, and we all know what happened the last time people blindly accepted that type of attitude and intolerance," Mays said.

In the end, many in the heated debate agree to disagree on the solution on what Nancollas should do next.

"What you did is put a target on our back, so thank you. I do agree she should resign or step down," Mundy said.

Neil Knable said "if Mrs. Nancollas were to resign, I think it would be the biggest mistake there is. These people in Mifflin County voted for her to run this county."