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Muslim group renews call to remove all Confederate symbols nationwide

Monday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, renewed its call for local governments throughout the nation to remove all Confederate symbols from public spaces.

Monday was the second anniversary of the 2017 protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, where Charlottesville native, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, was murdered in a vehicle assault by White supremacist, James Alex Fields Jr. Eight other people were wounded in the attack.

CAIR cited in their statement what they claim is a “Growing white supremacist terrorism and racist, Islamophobic and anti-immigrant violence and rhetoric nationwide.”

CAIR lamented that the monuments to Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson both remain standing in Charlottesville even after the violence that day.

“Confederate symbols glorifying white supremacy and treason are a stain on our nation’s past and present that must be removed if we are to move forward as a just society in which people of all faiths and backgrounds have equal rights and dignity,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Symbols honoring those who sought to destroy the nation in order to preserve slavery and white supremacy were put in place as acts of intimidation and must be removed.”

Awad noted that following the 2017 Charlottesville attack, CAIR offered a template resolution to be introduced by public bodies such as state legislatures, city councils and school districts calling for the removal of all Confederate symbols.

CAIR said in a statement at the time that the removal of Confederate Memorials nationwide would be a ‘Fitting Response’ to Terror Attack on Va. Anti-Racist Rally.”

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CAIR is backing a call to remove a Confederate General’s Statue in D.C.

The Washington-based civil rights organization says that it 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 and his promotion of racist, Islamophobic, white supremacist, anti-immigrant, and xenophobic rhetoric and policies.”

CAIR says that its mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

Fields was convicted of first-degree murder for the killing of Miss Heyer and is serving a life sentence plus 419 years in the Virginia prison system. Fields also pled guilty to 29 federal hate crimes and has received a life sentence in the federal system as well.

Alabama’s Confederate monuments and memorials, like all historical markers and memorials, is protected by state law.

(Wikipedia was consulted in the writing of this report.)

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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