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CAIR Welcomes Virginia Senate Decision to End Lee-Jackson Day, Make Election Day a Holiday

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/22/20) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed the Virginia Senate’s vote to end Lee-Jackson Day – which honored Confederate Generals Robert Edward Lee and Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall†Jackson — and make Election Day a state holiday. 

The Virginia Senate voted along party lines to pass a bill to end Lee-Jackson Day and make Election Day, the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, a state holiday. Lee-Jackson Day falls on the Friday before Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The bill now goes to the House of Delegates.

[NOTE: Virginia marked Lee’s birthday since 1889 and added Jackson to the Lee holiday in the early 1900s. In the 1980s, Virginia began marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the same day as Lee-Jackson-King Day. In 2000, Gov. Jim Gilmore sought to split them into separate holidays.]

SEE: Virginia Senate backs measure to replace Lee-Jackson Day with Election Day holiday

Virginia Senate votes to end Lee-Jackson Day, make Election Day a state holiday

“We welcome the Senate’s decision to cease honoring those who sought to divide our nation and to instead promote civic participation, which brings us together as Americans,†said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “The House of Delegates should now approve this legislation and thereby help boost voter participation in Virginia.â€

Hooper noted that yesterday, launched its annual non-partisan “Muslims Vote” campaign designed to empower American Muslims by increasing their political capacity and presence in the 2020 General Election.

SEE: CAIR Launches 2020 ‘Muslims Vote’ Campaign with Release of Candidate Questionnaire, Calendar of Election Dates

CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

SEE: CAIR Welcomes Resignation of Indiana Official Who Called Muslims ‘Goat Humpers’

CAIR Condemns Neo-Nazi Vandalism of Nebraska Synagogue

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. 


CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,; CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ayan Ajeen,


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