DALLAS (CBSNewsTexas.com) — The state chapter of a national civil rights organization criticized a Texas legislator's statement on a resolution celebrating Ramadan, calling his words "Islamophobic."
On March 23, the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Texas chapter (CAIR-TX) denounced a statement made by State Rep. Tony Tinderholt, a Republican representing part of Arlington, explaining his opposition to the resolution.
"As a combat veteran, I served beside many local translators who were Muslims and good people," Tinderholt's statement said. "I can also attest that Ramadan was routinely the most the violent period during every deployment."
In response, William White, Director of CAIR-TX, said, "Representative Tinderholt's suggestion that Ramadan is the most violent time of the year is not only factually false but also blatantly insulting to the Muslim community of Texas."
CAIR-TX also invited Tinderholt to attend an Iftar that they will "happily organize" for him. An Iftar is the special meal that Muslims end their daily Ramadan fasts with.
Tinderholt voted against a resolution celebrating the Muslim holy month of Ramadan during a House session on Wednesday. After the vote, Tinderholt said he could not celebrate Ramadan because of his religious beliefs.
"Texas and America were founded on Christian principles and my faith as a Christian prevents me from celebrating Ramadan," he said.
White responded that "every elected official has the right to express their sincerely held religious beliefs, and we welcome that, but insulting and insinuating false information about another faith should be condemned."