(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/25/15) â€“ The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on Republican Party leaders in Tennessee to repudiate a racist comment posted on Facebook by a state lawmaker.
In a post commenting on CAIR's recent open letter to potential Republican presidential candidates urging them to reject Islamophobia and to reach out to American Muslim voters, Rep. Sheila Butt (R-District 64) wrote: t is time for a Council on Christian Relations and an NAAWP in this Country.”
The reference to “NAAWP” is an apparent racist twist to the name of the African-American civil rights organization, the NAACP, or National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. “NAAWP” would therefore mean “National Association for the Advancement of White People.” Butt's post has since been deleted.
CAIR said the name “National Association for the Advancement of White People (NAAWP)” has been used by several white supremacist organizations.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the NAAWP was at one time headed by former Ku Klux Klan member David Duke. SPLC said: “he group's web site defends the American slave system and argues that the white southerners suffered during the Civil War as much as blacks did under slavery.”
“This bit of not-too-subtle racism should be repudiated by Republican Party leaders in Tennessee and nationwide,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “The Republic Party must distance itself from those who espouse racist or Islamophobic views.”
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org