WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on Republican Party leaders in Tennessee to repudiate a racist comment posted on Facebook by a state lawmaker.
Video: CAIR Asks Tennessee GOP to Repudiate Lawmaker's Racist Facebook Post
CAIR: Rep. Sheila Butt Says We Need an NAAWP
In a post commenting on CAIR's recent open letter to potential Republican presidential candidates urging them to reject Islamophobia and to reach out to American Muslim voters, Rep. Sheila Butt (R-District 64) wrote: [I]t is time for a Council on Christian Relations and an NAAWP in this Country."
The reference to "NAAWP" is an apparent racist twist to the name of the African-American civil rights organization, the NAACP, or National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "NAAWP" would therefore mean "National Association for the Advancement of White People." Butt's post has since been deleted.
SEE: Racist Facebook Post by Tenn. Lawmaker
CAIR Letter Urges GOP Presidential Candidates to Engage Muslim Voters, Reject Islamophobia
Representative Sheila Butt
CAIR said the name "National Association for the Advancement of White People (NAAWP)" has been used by several white supremacist organizations.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the NAAWP was at one time headed by former Ku Klux Klan member David Duke. SPLC said: "[T]he group's web site defends the American slave system and argues that the white southerners suffered during the Civil War as much as blacks did under slavery."
SEE: Racists Offer Poor Whites School Supplies and Hate
"This bit of not-too-subtle racism should be repudiated by Republican Party leaders in Tennessee and nationwide," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "The Republic Party must distance itself from those who espouse racist or Islamophobic views."
In other CAIR news, the civil rights organization's National Executive Director Nihad Awad recently took part in a three-day "Islam and the Fight Against Terrorism" conference held in the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia and attended by that nation's new King Salman bin Abdulaziz.
SEE: CAIR Director Nihad Awad Takes Part in Mecca Anti-Terror Conference
CAIR also said it is "cautiously optimistic" following oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court today in a case about religious accommodation in the workplace.
SEE: CAIR 'Cautiously Optimistic' After Supreme Court Arguments on Hijab Case
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations