The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations on Monday invited GOP gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Michael Williams to visit a mosque and engage in dialogue with local Muslims.
Williams of spoke Saturday at an anti-sharia rally in Piedmont Park and posed with armed anti-government militia members, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution story.
CAIR-Ga.’s Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said Williams’ staff expressed “openness “ a meeting and asked for possible dates.
Williams’ office could not be reached for comment.
“Terrorism knows no religion,” said Mitchell, in a letter to Williams. “ Neither does female genital mutilation, a dangerous and disgusting cultural practice found among some Christians, Muslims, Hindus and animists in certain regions of the world. These horrific acts contradict the teachings of every Abrahamic faith, and American Muslims support the criminal prosecution of those who engage in such behavior. “
In an effort to clear up misconceptions about Islam and to build bridges of understanding, “we invite you to meet, greet and dialogue with your Georgia Muslim neighbors at a mosque in your area at a time convenient for you.... In the meantime, please know that Georgia’s Muslim community firmly believes that outreach is a far better response to disagreement than outrage. “
During the rally, Williams reportedly called on protesters to "unite together to fight sharia law," and took a photograph alongside armed members of the Georgia Security Force III% militia, a neo-Confederate militia group, members of which held armed protests against the construction of a mosque in Newton County last year, according to the AJC article.
Williams, a pro-Trump loyalist, is a Cumming entrepreneur and is running on a platform that includes expanding gun rights.
CAIR is a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization. On the same day as the anti-sharia rally, which was organized by ACT for America, CAIR-Ga. held a food drive and “Say no to extremism” rally and food drive outside a Midtown mosque.
ACT for America rallies were held in several cities around the nation.