Governor Haslam Responds to Criticism on Role of Muslim Staffer
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Governor Haslam's administration is responding to what they call "confusion" about the role of a Muslim staffer and a council that has advised on Islamic affairs.
The governor was criticized this summer by several Republican groups on what they say is the growing influence of Shariah law in Tennessee's government.
"The first misconception is that we put it together," said Governor Haslam. "The Tennessee Muslim Advisory Council is what it is. It's a group of Muslims in the state who put together an advisory council on their issues. They asked if we would send someone to sit in on their meetings. So it's not the state's; it's not the legislator's, nor the administration's committee. It was set up; the community set it up, asked if we would come to listen, and a member of the Department of Security goes to listen at their meetings and that's really the only participation."
The governor's office sent out a letter last week seeking to ease those concerns, from what some call a vocal minority. The letter stated there was no effort to promote Shariah law in Tennessee, and they called it inappropriate for state government to be involved in advancing any religious ideology.