Press Club

CAIR Backs Renaming Va. Memorial to Confederate General

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today expressed its support for legislation that would rename a memorial currently dedicated to Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Arlington, Va.

CAIR also expressed its support for a request by a Cherokee tribe to rename a North Carolina mountain currently named for a Confederate general.

Last week, Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced legislation to remove the designation of Arlington House, the former residence of Robert E. Lee, as a memorial to him. The legislation was reportedly prompted by a request by the descendants of people who were enslaved at Arlington House.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Council passed a resolution on Thursday calling for the highest peak in Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Clingmans Dome to Kuwahi, its historical indigenous name. The mountain is currently named for Confederate general and North Carolina senator Thomas Lanier Clingman. With the support of the tribal government, activists plan to submit paperwork to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names for consideration.

“Monuments to the traitorous Confederacy are symbols of systemic racism and hate that should not have a place in our society,” said CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ismail Allison. “We support all efforts to end the celebration of those who waged war on our nation in order to preserve slavery and white supremacy.”

He noted that Washington, D.C., based CAIR has repeatedly called for the removal of Confederate holidays, flags, statues, and symbols nationwide.

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