Gov. Bill Haslam's administration is responding to what it calls "confusion" about the role of a Muslim staffer and a council that has advised two state departments on Islamic affairs. The Republican governor was criticized this summer by several Republican groups over what they perceived as the growing influence of a version of the Islamic code called Shariah in Tennessee government.
Claude Ramsey, the deputy to the governor, sent a letter distributed to the state GOP's executive committee last week seeking to quell those concerns.
Ramsey stated there is no effort under way to promote Shariah law in Tennessee. He called it inappropriate for state government to be involved in advancing any religious ideology.
Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney called the letter a "more than satisfactory explanation."