Press Conference on Anti-Islam Bill

March 01 @ 12:00 AM - 12:00 AM


March 01 @ 12:00 AM

(Nashville, Tennessee, 2/28/11) – – On Tuesday, March 1, a coalition of interfaith and civil rights groups will hold a press conference to demand lawmakers to drop a bill recently introduced that would make being a Muslim in Tennessee a felony. News conference participants will include faith leaders and representatives from all over the state of Tennessee as well as, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the Interfaith Alliance of Middle Tennessee. "This debate is not about Sharia. It is about whether our state government will uphold the values of our constitution and refrain from telling Tennesseans which religion is good and which religion is bad. The sponsors of the bill took an oath of office swearing not to "abridge [Tennesseans'] rights and privileges, as declared by the Constitution of this State," said Remziya Suleyman Policy Coordinator with the TN Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition & member of the Muslim community. "Why is it that the sponsors of this bill are taking direction from religious extremists instead of upholding their oath of office?" “This law is doubly unconstitutional. Not only is it a gross violation of both the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment, but it also runs afoul of Tennessee's own Constitution which demands that "no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment or mode of worship," said CAIR Staff Attorney Gadeir Abbas, who will take part in Tuesday’s news conference. “Consideration of this legislation, which completely disregards equality before the law, would send the unfortunate message that Tennessee is an intolerant state.”


March 01


Islamic Center of Tennessee