US Islamic group: GOP should rebuff NC lawmaker

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 11, 2013

RALEIGH (AP) — An American-Islamic group wants national Republican leaders to repudiate comments by a North Carolina legislator who compared Muslim prayer to terrorism.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations said Wednesday that bigoted comments must be rejected if the GOP wants to reach minorities. State Rep. Michele Presnell of Yancey County did not respond to messages seeking comment.
Presnell said in an e-mail to a constituent she would not want Islamic prayers opening a legislative meeting because: “I do not condone terrorism.” The constituent from Presnell’s hometown of Burnsville had questioned why the lawmaker co-sponsored a resolution declaring North Carolina could make its own laws involving religion, rejecting the federal government and courts.
Rowan County commissioners are accused in a lawsuit alleging constitutional religious-freedom violations for opening meetings only with Christian prayers.