Press Releases

CAIR Welcomes Public Apology by South Carolina Official Who Wore Confederate Flag T-Shirt at Event

(WASHINGTON D.C., 3/11/2022) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed a public apology by a South Carolina county official who wore a Confederate flag on a T-shirt at a recent event. 

Earlier this week, CAIR joined calls for a public apology from Greenville County Councilmember Lynn Ballard after he wore the shirt to an event in a predominantly Black neighborhood.  

At a news conference this morning, Ballard said: “As a public official, I strive never to upset anyone. I meant no disrespect to anyone on either side of the issue. I made a mistake. I admit the mistake. I’m sorry for my poor choice and I promise to work hard to heal any damage that my actions have caused.” 

Reverand Dr. U.A. Thompson responded to Ballard’s apology: “As a pastor, it’s hard to argue with ‘I’m sorry.’ If someone is genuinely sorry, you must accept that for what it is. All of us make mistakes.” Others noted that Ballard should have apologized sooner. 

SEE: Greenville County councilman apologizes for Confederate flag shirt

“We welcome Mr. Ballard’s public apology and urge elected officials and community leaders nationwide to follow his example of finally recognizing the negative impact such symbols of systemic racism and white supremacy have on our society,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper

He cited the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, which states: “God accepts the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and repent soon afterwards; to them will God turn in mercy.” The Holy Quran, 4:17 

Hooper noted that CAIR has repeatedly called for the removal of Confederate holidays, flags, statues, and symbols nationwide. 

SEE: CAIR Supports Legislation to Drop Louisiana Confederate Holidays 

CAIR Welcomes Removal of Confederate Monument from Louisiana Courthouse 

CAIR Welcomes Move to Remove Nashville Confederate Monument from Park 

CAIR Welcomes South Carolina Bill to Drop Confederate Memorial Day Holiday 

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, CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ismail Allison, 202-770-6280,