(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/18/2021) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, today condemned as “pro-Confederate” a new bill in the Tennessee Senate that would replace every member of a state board that voted to remove a bust of Confederate general and early leader of the Ku Klux Klan, Nathan Bedford Forrest, from the State Capitol.
Tennessee’s Senate Government Operations Committee voted 5-4 for Senate Bill 600 to remove 29 Historical Commission members appointed by the governor and replace them with 12 members, four each appointed by the governor and House and Senate speakers. The governor’s legislative liaison said the governor opposes the bill in part because it eliminates qualifications for serving on the commission such as inclusion of African Americans and Native Americans.
SEE: Bill looks to oust entire state board that voted to remove Confederate general’s monument
Bill would remove all members of the historical commission
Senate Committee Bucks Governor to Remake Historical Commission
Tennessee GOP has a ‘cancel culture’ freakout over removal of KKK founder’s bust – proposes firing entire historical commission
Last week, CAIR welcomed a 25 to 1 vote by the Tennessee Historical Commission to remove the bust. CAIR had backed a vote to remove the statue.
Good News Alert: CAIR Welcomes Vote to Remove Bust of Confederate General, KKK Leader from Tennessee Capitol
“This apparently retaliatory and pro-Confederate bill sends the negative message that challenges to white supremacy and systemic anti-Black racism will not be tolerated,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
“Those who seek to glorify traitorous white supremacist – pro-slavery – confederate leaders and the violent terrorism of the KKK have no place in modern American politics or civil discourse,” said CAIR Director of Government Affairs Robert McCaw.
He noted that CAIR has repeatedly urged the removal of Confederate holidays, symbols and racist laws.
Hooper said the American Muslim community and CAIR stand in solidarity with all those challenging anti-Black racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, white supremacy, and all other forms of bigotry.
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CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, 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.