(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/22/20)Â â€“ The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nationâ€™s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed the Virginia Senateâ€™s vote to end Lee-Jackson Day â€“ which honored Confederate Generals Robert Edward Lee and Thomas Jonathan â€œStonewallâ€ Jackson — and make Election Day a state holiday.Â
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.Â The bill now goes to the House of Delegates.
[NOTE: Virginia marked Leeâ€™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
â€œWe welcome the Senateâ€™s decision to cease honoring those who sought to divide our nation and to instead promote civic participation, which brings us together as Americans,â€ saidÂ CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.Â â€œThe 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 â€œMuslims Vote” campaign designed to empower American Muslims by increasing their political capacity and presence in the 2020 General Election.
SEE: CAIR Launches 2020 â€˜Muslims Voteâ€™ 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’Â
CAIR Condemns Neo-Nazi Vandalism of Nebraska Synagogue
CAIRâ€™s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.Â