Nashville Mayor Megan Barry will speak next week at the third annual Standing up for Justice and Muslim Community Day luncheon sponsored by the American Muslim Advisory Council.
The event will be held May 6 at the Islamic Center of Tennessee in Antioch.
A progressive Democrat, Barry speaks often about welcoming Muslims to the Nashville area and earlier this year slammed President’s Trump ban on travel from several Muslim-majority countries.
The AMAC is a Tennessee-based outreach and activist group that had its beginnings in protests against state anti-terrorism legislation in 2011. Early versions of the bill mentioned “jihad” and “sharia.” The legislation, which passed in modified form with those words taken out, strengthened efforts to punish people who provide material support to designated terrorist organizations.
In 2013, the AMAC hosted a forum in Manchester, Tennessee, titled “Public Discourse in a Diverse Society” that was regarded by hundreds of protesters as a push to squelch free speech about Islam.
On its website, where the group goes by the name American Muslim Advocacy Center, the first item under a tab about services offered is information about how to file an incident report “if you have been the victim of or have witnessed an anti-Muslim incident in Tennessee.”
Its website highlights the group’s efforts to form ties with law enforcement and mainstream news outlets to promote its vision. There are also video highlights of the group’s first ever Community Day and Jummah (Friday prayer) at the Tennessee State Capitol at the start of the current legislative session. The event featured prayers from Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders.
The AMAC’s executive director is Paul Galloway, a Muslim convert who previously served as founding director of the Houston office of the national Council on American-Islamic Relations. In 2007, CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial. This month, CAIR has been in the news for joining with LGBT activists to try to halt the confirmation of Tennessee State Senator Mark Green (R-Clarksville) as Trump’s army secretary.