Press Releases

CAIR Supports Changes to Remove Racist Confederate Legacy in Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/4/2021) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, today said it supports renaming a street in Montgomery, Ala., to honor a civil rights hero, banning the Confederate flag from South Carolina license plates and removing the Confederate flag from the Sons of the Confederate Veterans seal in Franklin, Tenn.  

In Alabama, Mayor, Steven L. Reed sought to honor the 65th anniversary of the city’s bus boycotts by renaming a street to memorialize a critical figure in civil rights legacy.  

Fred D. Gray, the lawyer who defended Rosa Parks, proposed renaming his childhood street, which currently is named after the Confederate president Jeff Davis. However, a recently-passed law in the state legislature bans renaming any monuments or streets, 40 years or older, that “have been constructed for, or named or dedicated in honor of, an event, a person, a group, a movement, or military service.”  

SEE: For a Civil Rights Hero, 90, a New Battle Unfolds on His Childhood Street  

In Columbia, S.C., state democratic leader Todd Rutherford is sponsoring a bill that would remove the Confederate flag from the Sons of Confederate Veterans specialty license plates. If the bill passes, the state will cease to distribute license plates with the Confederate flag, and it would issue new plates on renewal. A spokesperson for the Sons of Confederate Veterans released a statement resisting the change.   

SEE: SC lawmaker wants Confederate flags banned on state license plates

In Tennessee, the Sons of the Confederate Veterans is refusing to remove the Confederate flag from its seal despite the County Commission’s push to remove the racist signifier. The Historical Commission, which validates these changes, voted in favor by two-thirds for the removal. Yet the Sons of the Confederate Veterans is seeking legal action to block the move.   

SEE: Sons of Confederate Veterans opposes flag removal from seal

CAIR supports removing public tributes and symbols that honor and memorialize the racist Confederate legacy and stands with those individuals and groups seeking to reclaim spaces that honor the strength and perseverance of minority communities,” said CAIR National Communications Manager Ayan Ajeen.  

She added that Washington-based CAIR and the American Muslim community are standing in solidarity with all those challenging anti-Black racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy.    

SEE: CAIR-Sacramento Valley Condemns Reported Distribution of KKK Flyers in Northern California Town 

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.     


CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,     

Share on facebook
Share on twitter