"For the first time, Oklahoma Muslims will have a float in the Veterans Day Parade in downtown Tulsa on Nov. 11," reports Tulsa World. The float is being sponsored by CAIR-Oklahoma and the chapter's executive director said it will be used to represent the Muslim community in the state, as well as immigrants and indigenous people.
But when a Confederate veterans group applied for their own float for the parade, they were denied. The group is called Confederate Veterans Lives Matter and was formed over the summer in response to the national Confederate flag controversies and bans. One of the groups founders, Arlene Barnum, a black woman, told News On 6 what they planned for their float meant to honor what she said is "an often-overlooked group:"
Just a regular old float, have the Confederate flag up there like we have mounted on our trucks, and have some people on the float, and wave our flags and have some visibility.
But the city council said the group broke too many rules in applying for a float. According to the report, their application was too late -- a week before the parade -- and the council perceived the group to be pushing a political agenda, and that is not allowed.
Perhaps an argument could be made that the group could've chosen a less politically incendiary name, but it should not be ignored that CAIR is an inherently political group, tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, and demonstratively anti-military -- especially during the War on Terror. As The American Mirror points out, CAIR leaders have clearly stated that a person should not be honored if they served in an "unjust war."
But CAIR-Ok director Adam Soltani told Tulsa World, "We are an American Muslim organization, and American Muslims support their government, support their country and definitely support our troops who are working to defend our constitutional rights and our freedoms." Soltani added that two veterans serve on his staff.
A float by conservative group Tulsa 912 Project is slated to run next to CAIR's. In a letter to Tulsa World, one of the group's members stated:
I believe all American entrants who the parade is intended to honor should be made aware as soon as possible that they are being asked to share their honor with the Muslim Brotherhood, sworn enemy of the United States and our ally Israel and an enemy in our current war on the Islamic jihad in which American soldiers are fighting and dying.
Tulsa Veterans Day Parade Association vice president Patsy Varnell explained that the parade is "nonreligious" and participation is an exercise in free speech -- for almost everybody, it seems:
We feel that we are exercising the rights established by the Constitution of freedom of speech, and [CAIR] has the right to participate. We do not want any problems, but we have to be fair to everybody.
The founder of Tulsa 912, Ronda Vuillemont-Smith, explained that her group is not pining for CAIR's removal, but just asking that the parade organizers "be honest and open" about the nature of the Islamic group.
Below is the news report on Confederate Veterans Lives Matter: