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CAIR Addresses Racist Incidents in Virginia and North Carolina, Welcomes Dropping of Confederate Street Name in Alabama 

Muslim civil rights group calls for action to protect Virginia family from racist harassment, welcomes resignation of North Carolina teacher after racist comments, renaming of street in Alabama originally named for Confederate president  

(WASHINGTON D.C., 10/7/2021) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called for action to protect a family from racist harassment in Virginia.  

CAIR also welcomed the resignation of a teacher in North Carolina who made racist comments in class and the renaming of a street in Alabama originally named for the president of the Confederacy after a civil rights leader.  

In Virginia Beach, Va., community members have come together to support a Black family that has been experiencing racist harassment from a neighbor for years. Since 2017, the neighbor has blared monkey noises, racial slurs, and banjo music at the family at a high volume. The family has sought help from the Virginia Beach police and Magistrate’s Office and a civil judge, who all said there was nothing they could do because the neighbor didn’t break any laws or threaten the family.  

SEE: Jannique Martinez grows tired of racist neighbor’s noise

Peace at last for Virginia Beach family tired of ‘racist stuff’ blaring next door

In a statement, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper said: 

“The racist harassment this family has endured is appalling and cannot be allowed to continue. It is hard to believe that no action can be taken by authorities to put a stop to it. We urge law enforcement authorities and public officials to take action to protect this family, and we urge authorities nationwide to crack down on growing bias-motivated harassment and intimidation.” 

In Birmingham, Ala., a street previously named for Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, has been renamed to honor Fred Gray, a civil rights leader and attorney who represented Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks. The city council’s approval of the measure could cost them a $25,000 fine under a state law passed in 2017 to protect Confederate monuments. Birmingham’s Mayor Steven Reed, the first Black man to hold that position, told the media he already offered to pay the penalty.  

SEE: Alabama Capital renames Confederate street to honor civil rights leader Fred Gray

In North Carolina, an eighth-grade literature teacher resigned after making racist comments in class. According to reports from students and parents, the teacher asked Black students to stand up or raise their hands and said “well if it wasn’t for the constitution, you would all be my field slaves or my slaves working in the field.” After backlash from parents in the community, the teacher was reportedly asked to resign.  

SEE: Teacher resigns after making racist comments in class

“Racism has no place in the public sphere, and we welcome all measures to address the legacy of white supremacy,” said CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ismail Allison. “We urge all public institutions to challenge racism in their midst and work to promote a more just and equitable society.” 

Hooper and Allison both said the American Muslim community and CAIR are standing in solidarity with all those challenging anti-Black racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, white supremacy, and all other forms of bigotry.    

SEE: CAIR-LA Demands Resignation of Sheriff Bianco for Membership in, Defense of Far-Right Militia Group ‘Oath Keepers’  

CAIR Speaks Out Against Racism, White Supremacy in Arkansas, North Carolina, Virginia 

CAIR Renews Call on Facebook to Address Violent Anti-Muslim Hate Speech After Whistleblower Revelations  

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.            

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.           

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CONTACT: CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell, 404-285-9530,; CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,       

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