(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/15/2020) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, today welcomed a move by the state of Virginia to replace a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Five finalists being considered to replace Lee, including two people tied to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court case that ruled against government-segregated public schools, are all people of color.
SEE: Lee statue at US Capitol to be replaced by 1 of 5 finalists
Oliver Hill, Barbara Johns, Maggie Walker among finalists to replace Virginia’s Lee statue at U.S. Capitol
In a statement, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper said:
“A statue honoring a traitor who led armed forces against our nation in support of slavery and white supremacy should never have been placed in the U.S. Capitol. We welcome Virginia’s move to rectify this mistake and to instead honor those engaged in the struggle for civil rights.”
He said CAIR also welcomes the move to change the name of two Confederate-themed highways in Virginia. Lee Highway, which honors Robert E. Lee will be changed to Mildred and Richard Loving Avenue. They were the couple in the case that legalized interracial marriage.
A stretch of highway in Richmond named for the confederacy’s only president will also be renamed Richmond Highway.
SEE: Arlington’s Lee Highway nears renaming for interracial couple in Supreme Court case
Jeff Davis Highway to be renamed in Richmond
Hooper added that CAIR has repeatedly urged the removal of Confederate holidays, symbols and racist laws nationwide. He said Washington-based CAIR and the American Muslim community are standing in solidarity with all those challenging anti-Black racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy.
SEE: CAIR Asks DOJ to Probe Attacks on Historic Black Churches in D.C. by Pro-Trump Protesters
CAIR Condemns Neo-Nazi Vandalism of Anne Frank Memorial in Idaho
CAIR Supports Removal of Mississippi Confederate Monument
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, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com