August 5, 2011

To the Editor:

There has been a vigorous human rights mobilization against the virulent anti­-Muslim campaign now under way in Tennessee and across the country.

As reported, the organized anti­-Islam assault is overwhelming the politics of many state legislatures. Tennessee, however, is also a case in point for the rise of an effective national mobilization against this wave of anti­-Muslim hysteria. During the 2011 state legislative session, several hundred Muslims traveled to the State Capitol, urging legislators to oppose a bill that would have undermined constitutional protections for Muslims.

Joined by civil liberties and civil rights groups and clergy of many faiths, they succeeded in stripping the original bill of its most egregious provisions. This emerging human rights coalition inspires the continuing struggle to maintain our open and democratic society.

Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee
Nashville, July 31, 2011

A version of this letter appears in print on August 6, 2011, on page A16 of The New York Times with the headline: The Campaign to Ban Islamic Law