NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Gov. Bill Haslam's administration is responding to what it calls "confusion" about the role of a Muslim staffer and a council that has advised two state departments on Islamic affairs.
The Republican governor was criticized this summer by several Republican groups over what they perceived as the growing influence of a version of the Islamic code called Sharia in Tennessee government.
The Williamson County Republican Party was one of the groups expressing concern. Bill Rayburn is the party’s Vice-Chairman. Rayburn told WMOT News he’s concerned that what he calls “Sharia finance” is being promoted within state government.
“The underlying nature of Sharia finance and the designation of funds through that system to the ongoing policy of supporting things such as the Muslim Brotherhood’s efforts, and other pro islamacized – for lack of a better term – approaches to governmental structure.”
Haslam staffer Claude Ramsey sent a letter to the state GOP's executive committee last week seeking to quell the controversy. Ramsey stated there is no effort under way to promote Sharia law in Tennessee.