Tennessee District Attorney Refuses to Resign Following Anti-Muslim Comments

A district attorney in Tennessee is ignoring calls to resign after making racist comments on Facebook, in which he called the Muslim faith “evil, violent, and against God’s truth.” Coffee County DA Craig Northcott defended his remarks in a defiant statement and cited the Bible.

Northcott’s comments, which were first reported by the blog TNHoller, were made in a public Facebook conversation with Coffee County Young Republicans Chair Daniel Berry. In his original post, Berry asked if it was ever acceptable to stereotype an entire group. He engaged in back and forth with other Facebook users before Northcott chimed in.

“Their belief system is evil, violent, and against God’s truth… they are taught to commit many atrocities in the name of their ‘God’ including pedophilia, beating of their wives, female genital mutilation, and ‘honor’ killings… they are evil because they profess a commitment to an evil belief system,” Northcott claimed in the post.

“They are no less evil because they don’t act on their belief system if they refuse to disavow that system,” he added. "It is no different than being part of the KKK, Aryan Nation, etc. If you support those viewpoints, you are rightly and readily condemned in our society. However, it is now politically incorrect to take a stand against Islam that has the same core of hate. I do not hate the individual but will not be cowered into pretending that their belief system is legitimate or one of peace.” Berry challenged Northcott on his statements, noting that the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful people. He added that attacking Muslims should not be something Republicans engage in.

Northcott not only disagreed with Berry, but later claimed that 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. No one other than God has given us any rights.” In response, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called on Northcott to resign and the Tennessee Republican Party to repudiate him over his anti-Muslim comments.

“Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in the administration of justice in Tennessee or anywhere in America,” CAIR Government Affairs Department Director Robert S. McCaw said in a statement. “District Attorney Northcott must resign immediately because he is clearly unfit to impartially carry out the duties of his office.” McCaw continued, “When a district attorney publicly professes that the US Constitution does not protect the religious liberties of Muslims, that person has no legitimate claim to the office.”

Hana Ali, the chairperson of the Sumner County Democratic Party in Tennessee, called Northcott’s comments “deeply hurtful and plainly un-American.” Ali echoed CAIR’s statement and said that Northcott was unfit to serve as district attorney. “An attack on one minority is an attack on all minorities. Islamophobia in TN is not new but when it’s traced back to a public office it’s gravely concerning,” Ali wrote in a statement posted on Facebook. She urged Governor Bill Lee to demand Northcott’s resignation.

In a statement posted on his Facebook page on May 18, Northcott stood by his Islamophobic statements, maintained that he would not resign, and again quoted the Bible.

“Rest assured, I am not resigning. If they figured I would apologize for calling hate in any form evil, they miscalculated,” he wrote. “If they expect me to denounce my faith because of their tactics, they are going to be disappointed.” At no time was Northcott asked to denounce his Christian faith.

The Tennessee Republican Party did not immediately respond to The North Star’s request for comment.


About the Author

Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various venues, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.