(COVINGTON, GA - 11/16/2017) The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations today delivered a lecture about civil rights and Islamophobia at Oxford College in Newton County, where controversy erupted last year over local opposition to a planned Islamic cemetery.
During the lecture to students and local community members, CAIR Georgia executive director Edward Ahmed Mitchell offered a behind-the-scenes look at what happened during the Newton County mosque stand-off. Mitchell and members of the audience also engaged in a broader discussion about civil rights, Islamophobia, and how interfaith dialogue and negotiation can be used to resolve such conflicts.
"We thank the people of Newton County for inviting us back to this diverse, welcoming and vibrant community," Mitchell said. "Last year, the controversy over the Islamic cemetery came to a swift end not simply because of activisim by civil rights groups, but because--thank God--local politicians, clergy, and citizens stood up against bigotry, and in support of religious freedom. Looking back, all Americans can learn something positive from what happened in Newton County."