A district attorney in Tennessee is facing an investigation after calling Islam an ‘evil belief system’ and saying that he would not prosecute domestic violence cases involving gay couples because he did not recognize their marriage.
Craig Northcott has provoked fury from both LGBT groups and the Islamic community with a series of controversial remarks and Facebook posts.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has demanded he resign, saying he was ‘clearly unfit to impartially carry out the duties of his office’.
Now the Council says it has been informed that Northcott is under investigation by the state’s Board of Professional Responsibility.
According to a CAIR screenshot, Northcott, who has been Coffee County DA since 2014, wrote a Facebook post calling Islam’s belief system ‘evil, violent and against God’s truth’.
He claimed falsely that Muslims were ‘taught to commit many atrocities’ and other ‘atrocities’ including pedophilia, and compared them to the KKK.
‘It is now politically incorrect to take a stand against Islam,’ he complained.
‘We are fools if we don’t recognize this and protect ourselves, our families, our communities and our country from succumbing to this present and growing threat.’
According to CAIR, he also suggested that Muslims were not entitled to the same constitutional rights as Christians in the U.S.
‘There are no Constitutional rights. There are God given rights protected by the Constitution. If you don’t believe in the one true God, there is nothing to protect,’ he said.
Demanding his resignation, CAIR’s Robert McCaw condemned the district attorney for ‘anti-Muslim bigotry’.
‘When a district attorney publicly professes that the U.S. Constitution does not protect the religious liberties of Muslims, that person has no legitimate claim to the office,’ he said.
‘As an elected official, Mr. Northcott represents a wide constituency with individuals who hold beliefs different than his own,’ CAIR’s official complaint reads.
‘This overt anti-Muslim racism calls into serious question his ability to fairly represent this diverse constituency.
‘Claiming that following Islam, a peaceful religion practiced by 1.6billion, is “no different than being part of the KKK”, a violent, racist hate group, is evidence that he cannot possibly act impartially.
‘Mr Northcott’s belief that all Muslims are evil precludes any hope for fairness.’
In a separate controversy, Northcott said that he would not protect gay couples under domestic violence laws because he does not believe in same-sex marriage.
He made the comments while at the 2018 Chafer Theological Seminary Pastor’s Conference last March.
‘The reason that there’s enhanced punishment on domestic violence is to recognize and protect the sanctity of marriage,’ he said.
‘There’s no marriage to protect. So I don’t prosecute them as domestics.’
He also took aim at the Supreme Court, saying that ‘five people in black dresses rule us – it just takes five votes, it doesn’t take all nine,’ alluding to the court ruling which legalized same-sex marriage in 2015.
Complaining about the decision he said that ‘the social engineers on the Supreme Court decided that we now have homosexual marriage’.
Chris Sanders of LGBT group Tennessee Equality Project said: ‘This is an extremely scary situation for an domestic violence survivor in Coffee County.
‘You hope at a vulnerable time in you life that there is an authority that is doing every thing they can to help you and what the DA’s comments reveal that that help is given selectively to the detriment of LGBTQ people. So it is best that he looks at resignation.’