Some Oklahoma residents are not happy that Muslims will have a float at the Veterans Day Parade in Tulsa on Nov. 11.
Patsy Varnell, vice president of the Tulsa Veterans Day Parade Association, told Tulsa World that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Oklahoma's application to parade has been accepted.
"We feel that we are exercising the rights established by the Constitution of freedom of speech, and this group has the right to participate. We do not want any problems, but we have to be fair to everybody," Varnell said.
Adam Soltani, CAIR-Oklahoma executive director, said, "It's something we have been wanting to do for years."
He said the float sponsored by CAIR-Oklahoma will "represent the Oklahoma Muslim community, which is a very diverse community of people from all walks of life, immigrants, indigenous people."
"We support all veterans, and we support our country, so I don't see why anyone should have any concerns about CAIR being involved," he said. "We are an American Muslim organisation, 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."
He said many American Muslims have served in the armed forces and that two veterans are on the CAIR-Oklahoma board.
However, Tulsa 912 Project, which aims "to take our Out-of-Control Government back to the American people," is not happy about Muslims participating in the parade.
Larry Williamson, a member of the Tulsa 912 Project, said it is "atrocious" to ask veterans to "march alongside people who represent our enemies in a current war."
"I believe all American entrants who the parade is intended to honour should be made aware as soon as possible that they are being asked to share their honour 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," he said..
Tulsa 912 Project's float will be in line next to the CAIR float.
"I'm not a spokesman for Tulsa 912, but I won't march alongside the Muslim Brotherhood," he said.
Williamson said the FBI has identified CAIR as an arm of Muslim Brotherhood in America.
Tulsa 912 Project president Ronda Vuillemont-Smith said they are not asking that CAIR be removed from the veterans' parade. All they want is for organisers to "be honest and open and let people know that they are in."
"My concern is that the parade committee was trying to keep this information out of the public eye," she said.