Governor Haslam Stands Behind Tennessee Economic Official - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Governor Haslam Stands Behind Tennessee Economic Official

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Governor Bill Haslam has offered support for a state official whose religion has come under fire by some anti-Muslim groups.

Samar Ali is a Nashville born Muslim who graduated from Vanderbilt law school and recently accepted a position as international director on the state's Economic and Community Development department. That appointment came under fire by the The Center for Security Policy and the 8th District Tea Party Coalition, groups who also opposed the mosque in Murfreesboro.

When asked about his stance on the issue, Haslam said that freedom of religion is guaranteed in our country, and that he looked forward to working with Ms. Ali.

"Samar is a highly qualified person, who has taken a role with our Economic Development Department . She comes with a great track record and a lot of experience and we think she'll be a great employee for the state of Tennessee," said Haslam.

The governor and First Lady were at the Sounds Game Thursday night to give out books as part of the first lady's literacy program.

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