In an obvious response to the firestorm of criticism following his gubernatorial proclamation of "Confederate History Month" in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell issued a public apology for his omission of any reference to slavery and human suffering that was an integral
part of the ideology of the Confederate States of America.
MAS Freedom Executive Director, Mahdi Bray, immediately sent a letter to the governor, communicating the organization's firm opposition to the proclamation and citing the racial divisiveness and injurious consequences of any official celebration of the Confederacy. In addition, other civil rights leaders in Virginia, and throughout the nation, sent similar communications to Governor McDonnell condemning the proposed commemoration
The governor reportedly spent much of Wednesday, April 7, calling and apologizing to prominent Black political leaders in Virginia for omitting any reference to slavery and human suffering in his proclamation, noting that "Slavery was an evil, vicious, and inhumane practice which degraded human beings to property, and it has left a stain on the soul of this state and nation."
However, despite modifying the words of the proclamation to honor Virginia's Confederate legacy, there is no indication that Governor McDonnell has actually retracted the proclamation itself.
MAS Freedom congratulates the Muslim community for its immediate and diligent response to this insulting and divisive proclamation, as we also congratulate the civil rights and community leaders in Virginia and the nation, that spoke out forcefully against honoring the Confederacy. However, we urge our community and all people of good will to demand not the "modification" of this proclamation, but its full retraction.
Bray stated that, "We are pleased that Governor McDonnell has publicly acknowledged the evil and barbarity of the slave system that the Confederacy fought to preserve. But that is not enough. Now, he must do the right thing and completely, and irrevocably, end this insult once and for all by nullifying the proclamation in its entirety."
MAS Freedom encourages our constituents to continue to demand that this proclamation be rescinded. Please call the office of Governor McDonnell at (804)-786-2211, or send an email message to him by visiting his website at http://www.governor.virginia.gov/.
1325 G Street NW, Suite 500
Washington DC 20005
Phone: (202) 552-7414
or (703) 642-6165
Toll Free: 1-(888)-627-8471
Fax: (757) 299-9961
MASF on the Web