Friday, 24 November 2017

guide star facebook twitter youtube instagram subscribe

B Become an Intern or Volunteer

CAIR-FL 2013 Year in Review

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
 

On behalf of the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL), thank you for your unwavering support of our efforts to promote a more just and inclusive nation. CAIR-FL continues to grow into a solid institution with a strong foundation that the community depends on and trusts.

Thanks to your support, in the two and a half years I have been honored to serve the community through CAIR-FL, our office has grown to have 4 full time attorneys and 7 staff total offering free legal assistance to hundreds of victims of discrimination and engaging in proactive programs to prevent the prejudice that leads to discrimination.

The success you made possible has been recognized nationwide this year as our colleagues from throughout the US voted our office as the “2013 CAIR Chapter of the Year.” This prestigious award is a reflection of the Florida Muslim Community’s commitment to standing up to defend civil rights and liberty.

This report has has the following sections to highlight some of the accomplishments made possible by your generous support:

  1. Three Years of Growth
  2. Civil Rights Highlight: Protecting Against Abuse, Harassment, and Entrapment
  3. Islamophobia Highlight: Exposing a UCF Professor Promoting Hate
  4. Government Relations Highlight: Defeating Anti-Muslim Legislation
  5. Promoting Understanding Highlight: Countering Hate with Education
  6. Month-by-Month Year In Review
  7. 2013 Events
  8. Testimonials

At CAIR-FL, we have faith in the freedom afforded to all Americans by the Constitution, and the civil rights struggles of so many communities before us. We strive to protect these freedoms through our mission to enhance understanding of Islam, empower American Muslims and promote justice. As brave people in other parts of the world sacrifice their lives to gain freedom, we must intensify our efforts to guard the rights and opportunities we hold dear in our country.

  

 

With the news of the National Security Agency spying on millions of law-abiding Americans, we are now witnessing our freedoms being eroded more than ever. The increasingly vocal opposition to mosque construction locally and nationally, the constant threat of anti-Muslim discrimination, and Islamophobic rhetoric spewed by some public officials are all examples of why more work is needed.

Guided by faith and the principles of freedom, CAIR is at the forefront to stop these infringements on our constitutionally-protected rights. Your support, as it has in the past, will ensure that CAIR-FL continues to tackle these and other challenges to ensure our community thrives in a more equitable society.

Despite these obstacles, CAIR-FL has celebrated many successes this year. CAIR-FL’s proactive programs, designed to equip the community with the necessary tools for advocacy, continue to flourish. This year our “Know Your Rights” and “Terror Factory Author Talks” have educated and empowered thousands of community members with the skills and understanding necessary to recognize and neutralize threats to their liberty. We have had many victories from the courtroom to the public square, made possible through your support.

On behalf of the CAIR-FL Board and Executive Committees, I am grateful to all of our dedicated interns, volunteers, and staff who give their time and effort to serve the community.

Thank you for your prayers and tremendous support. If you have any comments or suggestions for improvement, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are proud to serve you the entire Florida Muslim community through our ever growing offices in Tampa and Miami.

 

2013

2013b

2013c

  2013 Civil Rights Highlights

 

Protecting Against Abuse, Harassment,and Entrapment by Law Enforcement

 

2013dAs our government has struggled to maintain a balance of liberty and security since 9/11, we have quickly learned that the greatest threat to our freedom comes from ourselves when are willing to allow fear to lead us to give up our fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Constitution.

One such example of the threat facing our Bill of Rights is the pattern of unfair targeting, harassment, abuse, and entrapment of members of the Muslim community by the FBI simply because of their religious affiliation.

CAIR-FL has focused its efforts this year on educating the community about and protecting the community from the FBI’s entrapment program, where agents question law abiding members of the community and intimidate them into becoming informants and agent provocateurs. Thousands have attended our seminars exposing the entrapment program and every week we have offered free legal representation to individuals wrongfully targeted and harassed by law enforcement.

The importance of recognizing civil rights abuse by law enforcement and exercising our rights was made clear in the case of Ibrahim Todashev, who was shot and killed while unarmed by an FBI agent following hours of interrogation in his home without an attorney present. The web of contact and FBI harassment following the killing of Ibragim Todashev shows why all Americans must know their rights and never speak with law enforcement without an ttorney present.

Read about CAIR-FL’s investigation into the killing of the unarmed Orlando resident below  and remember to contact us for free legal assistance if the FBI contacts you.

Spotlight on the FBI Shooting of Ibragim Todashev

27 year old Ibragim Todashev was followed and repeatedly questioned by the FBI aer the Boston Bombing for over two months. The first time they came to his apartment, there were six agents brandishing assault rifles. Despite cooperating with the agents over multiple interviews, Ibragim was shot at least 6 times in his apartment after a four-hour long evening interrogation.

Upon learning of the law enforcement report that he was unarmed when shot, CAIR-FL immediately held a press conference letting the world know that the family wants an independent investigation and CAIR-FL was commissioning one of our own. Immediately, CAIR-FL’s press conference was picked up by global media from Boston to Russia. The world over, media outlets have demanded that the FBI shed light on the contradictory stories from unnamed law enforcement officials and that they be brought to justice for killing an unarmed man, whom they claim was a vital source of intelligence.

CAIR-FL then hosted Mr. Abdulbaki Todashev, the victim’s father, as he traveled from Russia to Tampa, to demand answers. During this visit Mr. Todashev officially retained the law firm of Tucker & Ludin, P. A., Cohen Law Group and the CAIR-FL legal team to assist in seeking justice for his son.

We arranged meetings with prominent local a­ttorneys and secured meetings with both the State Prosecutor of Orlando, and the U.S. A­ttorney in Tampa. Both officials agreed to investigate the FBI’s shooting, and reassured Mr. Todashev that the insufferable lack of transparency months aer his son’s death would not continue.

What did continue was the FBI’s dragnet of abuses. From May to November FBI agents would regularly show up at the work places and homes of Ibragim’s family and friends who spoke out against the FBI shooting. These individuals were interrogated without attorneys present despite their requests. The FBI even arrested Ibragim’s two closest friends, both of whom had their constitutional rights violated and have faced deportation. CAIR-FL has brought every violation and FBI abuse to light and continues to represent individuals affected by this FBI dragnet.

This case is not just about the Todashev family, but about due process and the rule of law and ensuring our law enforcement agents are abiding by the highest standards to keep us both free and secure” CAIR-Florida Tampa executive director Hassan Shibly told reporters.

So far our investigation indicates that in the days before the shooting, FBI agents approached Ibragim’s friends and threatened them that they could either spy on local Mosques and Muslim restaurants or they would be thrown in jail. It is yet unclear whether those similar threats were made to Ibragim before he was killed. Our investigation has also confirmed that Ibragim was shot after 6 hours of interrogation; that he was unarmed during the shooting; that he was shot by one agent only; that he was shot while on the ground or falling to the ground; that he was shot at least half a dozen times including once in the back of the head; and that he died near the exit of his apartment.

CAIR-FL will continue to seek transparency into why Ibragim was shot and killed in his own home by an FBI agent and explore all legal options to ensure that such a tragic incident is not repeated and justice is served.

 

  2013 Islamophobia Highlights

 

Exposing a UCF Professor Promoting Hate

 

2013eCommunications Professor, Dr. Jonathan Matusitz, poses as an objective academic in the Nicholson School of Communications at the University of Central Florida (“UCF”). CAIR-FL discovered that he also moonlights, traveling around the state visiting Tea Party groups and ‘ACT! For America’ chapters, giving the lecture ‘The Islamic Threat to America.’ This professor’s bigoted talks were brought to CAIR-FL’s attention by the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee (PCREC) Chairman, Michael Guju’s decision to cancel Matusitz’s talk to the PCREC. What began as internal pressure from moderate Republicans in Pinellas County, such as State House candidate Chris Latvala (son of state Sen. Jack Latvala) who took to Facebook to condemn Matusitz talks as bigoted and bad for the party, ended with the PCREC canceling his talk altogether. This made waves in the press, which CAIR-FL picked up prompting us to conduct thorough research into Matusitz’s background, teachings and activities regarding the Islamic faith. What we found confirmed the moderate Republicans’ perception of Matusitz as an extremist who “bashes an entire religion.” In YouTube video after YouTube video, Matusitz can be seen both in a UCF classroom and on panels bashing the Islamic faith as inherently violent and calling for Americans to fight back against the “Muslim takeover.” Upon reviewing his Curriculum Vitae, CAIR-FL found that Matusitz lists himself and the Membership Director and Speaker’s Bureau Organizer for the Central Florida chapter of “ACT! For America” (an organization which the Southern Poverty Law Center discusses as a hate group). Matusitz has flat out lied about this fact to the media, on multiple occasions regarding his association with ACT! For America.

During this in-class lecture, Matusitz’s asks the audience of students “why then do so many Muslims, compared to other religions want to kill us. The answer is simple, it’s 7 lecturs: culture.” He goes on to say that the Quran “teaches Muslims to kill infidels” and “so of course we’re going to have radical Muslims.”

Upon discovering the degree to which Matusitz’s bigoted community talks mirror his in-class lectures, CAIR-FL promptly drafted a letter to the leadership of UCF condemning Matustiz’s teachings, and called for a thorough independent academic review of Matusitz’s course ‘Communications and Terrorism’. This strongly worded letter was also sent to the media to alert the public about the issue of Matusitz’s bigoted teachings. Our fears about Matusitz’s hate speech were realized when one audience member stood up and advocated “anti-Muslim violence” during one of his recent lectures.

We also brought the issue to the attention of the UCF Muslim Student Association, who in turned started writing dozens of letters to the Dean, Michel Johnson, and helped organize a multi-group Rally to End Hate Speech. Though the university has yet to perform an academic review of Matusitz’s bigoted course, CAIR-FL has successful exposed his hate speech to the public, so that whenever journalists become aware of his talks, UCF’s hears about their “controversial, anti-Islam UCF Professor” adding to the internal pressure to review his course. CAIR-FL continues to monitor and expose the hate speech promoted by the likes of Matusitz and counter it with accurate information.

Unfortunately, we have seen far too many people attacked by misinformed people who listen to such hate speech. While this battle is far from over, please be sure to write Dean Johnson, and urge him to conduct an independent review of Matusitz’s teaching. He can be reached at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the meantime, CAIR-FL will continue to challenge the bigotry propagandized by Matusitz and others like him.

 

  2013 Goverment Relations Highlight

 

Defeating Sen. Alan Hay's "Anti-Sharia Bill" (Again)

 

2013fAccording to the Florida Bar's International law Section (ILS), 2013’s Anti-Muslim bills HB 351 & SB 58 which were sponsored by Senators Alan Hays and Greg Evers and Representative Larry Metz, were "unconstitutional, conflictive with other Florida laws, and would lead to more expensive, drawn-out litigation and further burden our court system." Plus, they would harm our religious freedom and limits our ability to contract. Furthermore, these bills were based on the model piece of legislation written by anti-Muslim extremist David Yerushalmi, a man who is on the Southern Poverty Law center's list of the "Anti-Muslim Inner Circle," and who wants to make adherence to Islam punishable by a 20 year jail sentence.

On May 3rd, 2013, thanks to many of your calls and emails, SB 58 died in the Senate. "Without the tireless efforts of many individuals and organizations, this discriminatory bill would have become law in Florida," said CAIR-Florida’s Tampa Executive Director Hassan Shibly.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that afternoon: "The bill was scheduled for a third reading Friday, but it would have taken a unanimous vote to advance the bill in the Senate. The bill's sponsor, Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, decided not to try for a unanimous vote because on Thursday, the bill (SB 58) failed to get the two-thirds vote needed to bring it to the Senate floor and the vote was 25-14, one vote short."

Be sure to stay sharp this upcoming legislative session (January-May 2014), where Sen. Hays has already submi‑ed, for the FOURTH YEAR IN A ROW, anti-Muslim legislation, SB 386 which again is masked in language targeting “foreign” laws. CAIR-FL will keep you informed on how to help fight back against these blatantly bigoted legislative a‑empts to outlaw Islam, just as we did in 2011, 2012, and 2013!

 

 

 

  2013 Promoting Understanding Highlight

 

Countering Hate With Education

 

2013gAs Americans we cherish the right to free speech, though some folks like to abuse the right to promote fear and hate.

Folks like the Quran burning “pastor” Terry Jones, or Islam bashing pseudo-intellectual Tom Trento, abuse the freedom of expression to antagonize and demean Muslims, as if all Muslims are responsible for the heinous acts of a few extremists. Such hate speech has oen resulted unfortunately in violent attacks against Muslims or those perceived to be Muslim.

Jones, who is regrettably moving his “World Dove Outreach Center” from Gainesville to the Tampa Bay area, pledged to turn 9/11/2013 into another Quran burning day. CAIR-FL believes the best way to combat the negativity of those who spread misinformation and hatred about Islam and Muslims, is to offer educational opportunities to the community to replace the bigotry offered by others.

In this effort, CAIR-FL hosted a series of talks in Lakeland, near to where Jones was set to burn nearly 3,000 Qurans, hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation (UUC). In the three-part series, CAIR-FL’s executive director, Hassan Shibly, offered three talks on the history of Islam, the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and the universal message of peace through belief and righteous deeds revealed to us through the Noble Quran. These talks were a‑ended by dozens of citizens wishing to better understand the Islamic faith.

Likewise, on 9/11/2013, Tom Trento and his Islamophobic organization based in Florida, ‘The United West’ decided to co-opt a city of Venice sponsored event to commemorate the 9/11 anniversary. For nearly 30 minutes, Trento, while sharing the stage with Venice’s city council and mayor, bashed the Islamic faith as inherently violent, bent on world domination, and begged the community to rise up to fight this “Islamic” threat. One councilman from Venice told the reporters present that he wasn’t bothered by Trento’s comments. Councilman Emilio Carlesimo said that while some of Trento's message was extreme, he felt that: “I have not seen one Muslim cleric or person come forward and disavow some of these Muslim extremist attacks.”

Seizing the opportunity, CAIR-FL gathered up the numerous examples of Muslim leaders all over the world condemning terrorism in the name of Islam as forbidden and despicable. Hassan Shibly took the research and materials to the offices of the councilman, had him meet with a convoy of Muslims condemning terrorism and educated the councilman that the vast majority of Muslims find terrorism abhorrent and an utter perversion of Islam’s message of peace through good deeds and kind treatment of others.

CAIR-FL used this as an opportunity to build relations with the city Councilman and the organizer of the event to ensure that such sacred memorial services are never again used to promote fear and intolerance.

 

 

 

  Year in Review

 

Below is a brief sample of the hundreds of cases we have worked on and people we have helped this year thanks to your generous support!

 

January

Keeping the Community Safe: CAIR-FL helped a victim of a hate crime attack receive the public’s attention by offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect who shot the victim with a pellet gun 20 times outside a Walmart because he perceived the victim  to be Muslim. After CAIR announced the award, police lines were flooded with tips and the hate crime suspect was quickly apprehended! “It’s very disturbing that someone would attack someone because they perceived them to be Middle Eastern,” explained Hassan Shibly, CAIR-Florida’s Tampa executive director. “We wanted to help bring this person to justice so people don’t have to worry about getting randomly attacked.”

 

 

mariaattorneycairGrowth and Success: CAIR-FL welcomed aboard its third attorney, Stetson Law graduate Maria Bogomaz as our Civil Rights Coordinator in January 2013. Before joining CAIR-FL she cleaned up the local waterways with the Maritime Law Society, brought awareness of wrongfully convicted individuals behind bars with the Innocence Project, and was only law student invited to the White House from outside the Washington, D.C., area to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the 1961 Freedom Rides!

Fighting Frivolous Charges: CAIR-FL Attorney and Civil Rights Director Thania Diaz Clevenger was successful in getting criminal charges dismissed against an Arab American Muslim who was refused service at Burger King and then arrested when he complained! CAIR-Florida represented Ilias Majdoui pro-bono at his trial for battery charges and successfully had the case dismissed.

 

jumuahFebruary

Denouncing Bigotry: CAIR-FL has documented that anti-Muslim rhetoric has led to an alarming number of individuals who are Muslim or are perceived to be Muslim being attacked. We made the following statement following such a battery, namely the shooting of Sikh man in Orlando. "In the past year we have seen many violent hate crimes against Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim. We must stand united as a community to fight the prejudice which can lead to such hatred and tragic senseless violence. We pray for the quick recovery of the victim and ask the community to remain vigilant and contact authorities if they have any information about this crime or feel threatened at any time."  

Protecting Workplace Accommodation: Also, CAIR-FL’s Civil Rights Department successfully appealed the EEOC's decision dismissing an African American man’s federal retaliation complaint as untimely filed.  As a result, the agency was required to investigate his complaint that he was written-up and mistreated without cause after filing a complaint against his supervisor who refused to give him time off for Friday Prayer.

 

March

Success Fighting Housing Discrimination: CAIR-Florida successfully assisted a disabled Russian Orthodox woman who was about to be wrongfully evicted from her home. The client was able to keep her home after CAIR-FL stepped in and mediated a fair accommodation required by the Americans with Disabilities Act!”

Protecting the Community through Education: CAIR-FL launched the Trevor Aaronson Author Tour featuring his groundbreaking book: ‘The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism’ with 7 lectures exposing the FBI Muslim entrapment program delivered around the Tampa Bay area.

 

terrorfactory

 

April

Defeating Un-American Anti-Muslim Legislation: Thanks to your support, CAIR-FL sent thousands of messages to Fla. Legislators opposing anti-Muslim bill SB 58 which was being considered in Tallahassee. We also worked with community leaders, allies, and the media to expose the anti-Muslim bigotry behind SB 58!   On April 8th, 2013, many groups including the Florida Bar Family Law Section, Florida Bar International Law Section, the Anti-Defamation League, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Center for the Advancement of Human Rights, and many others testified against the anti-Muslim SB 58 during today's Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Senate Committee. 

Three great legal victories:  First, CAIR-FL’s Civil Rights Department settled an employment discrimination claim of a Muslim woman who was constantly debased and harassed by her supervisor after she began wearing a hijab to work.  Even the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vindicated the employee in this case by issuing a cause determination.  Secondly, CAIR-FL settled a discrimination case pre-litigation where an Arab Muslim was denied services at a nationally known franchise.  Lastly, criminal charges were dismissed the day of trial for an Egyptian Muslim man who was charged with battery for protecting his property from being unlawfully towed from his home.  Unbelievably he was arrested when the police responded to "his" calls from help. 

Clearing the Names of the Innocent: As a result of several wrongful arrests, CAIR-FL’s Civil Rights Department has filed at least four expungement with the courts to remove any trace of these criminal arrest from the victims’ records.

 

May

Defending Justice and Due Process: CAIR-FL breaks the Ibragim Todashev Civil Rights case with an Orlando press conference revealing unnamed law enforcement sources claiming Mr. Todashev was unarmed when shot 7 times, once in the head, by an FBI agent. Media outlets across the world echoed our call for an independent investigation into the shooting. Meanwhile, CAIR-FL initiated its own independent investigation into the shooting and hired a private investigator and blood splatter expert to review our findings.

 

td

 

Growth and Strength: CAIR-FL hires a Communications and Outreach Director! Samantha Bowden, named among the top '30 under 30 Rising Stars of Florida Politics.” She joins CAIR-FL to coordinate community projects, issue research and all CAIR-FL communications.

Defending Muslim Students: Other Civil Rights Victories include two school related discrimination cases: The first involved  a teenage Muslim student attacked by a classmate, who said the victim was a "Muslim terrorist who was going to bomb them all."  Both students were initially suspended for 5 days, until CAIR-FL contacted the school criticizing the school’s decision to punish the victim. The school apologized and canceled the suspension of the Muslim student and extended the punishment of the bully. CAIR-FL also assisted a Hillsborough County student to ensure that policies regarding religious accommodations were being properly and equally applied to his need to attend Friday Prayers.

Protecting Muslim Employees: After being wrongfully denied a religious accommodation for daily prayers by a direct supervisor, CAIR-FL corrected the situation for the employee and ensured the supervisor was reprimanded for discriminatory conduct.

 

June                               

Cementing an Institution: Hassan Shibly celebrates two years as CAIR-FL’s executive director in Tampa. Meanwhile, CAIR-FL Seeks Review of UCF Courses Taught by Anti-Muslim Professor.

 

fhAssisting Immigrants and Asylum Seekers: CAIR-FL hired its 4th full-time attorney, Floyd Huntz, who specializes in federal immigration and asylum law! As a Peace Corp volunteer, Floyd learned to fluently speak Arabic while in Morocco.  He found the people very welcoming and gained a deep respect for Moroccan culture, in particular the religion of Islam. He has already assisted dozens of clients in the few months he’s been here!


Stopping Illegal Employment Practices: CAIR-FL’s Civil Rights Department received a determination of cause from Pinellas County Office of Human Rights for an employer's retaliatory practices after the employee filed his initial charge of discrimination for wrongful termination.

 

July

Celebrating Freedom: CAIR-FL joined hundreds in the City of Temple Terrace, 4th of July Parade with a huge float, Uncle Sam, Lady Liberty and beads for the crowd!

 

ff

 

hkStrengthening Institution: CAIR-FL is honored to bring Ms. Hajjah Kamara on board as our Community Outreach and Events Coordinator! As the President of the esteemed non-profit, Project Downtown Tampa, she matches students and businesses with a chance to serve Tampa’s neediest in an offering of food and solidarity and brings her network of allies and contacts to CAIR-FL’s work.

 Promoting Understanding:

CAIR-FL seeks to place #MyJihad bus ads on ‘LYNX’ Orlando area buses in an ongoing effort to combat Islamophobia. After being denied, Civil Rights Coordinator, Maria Bogomaz appeals the decision at the Lynx Lynx Board of Directors’ meeting. While CAIR-FL was unable to have the decision overturned, the message of the #MyJihad ads was broadcast into the homes of Orlando residents that evening!  CAIR-FL continues to fight to place these ads on Orlando buses and has successfully ran another ad campaign in Tampa.

Protecting Muslim Women’s Rights: Civil Rights Coordinator, Maria Bogomaz, successfully reached out to a Franchise owner and negotiated two religious accommodations for a Muslim woman who wanted to wear her hijab and needed her schedule adjusted for Ramadan.  In a separate case, Maria fought to have a nurse re-instated  to full-time status after her hours were intentionally reduced when she requested to wear hijab at work.

 

August

Insuring a Fair Investigation: Ibragim Todashev’s father, flies from Russia to meet with CAIR-FL and other prominent attorneys secured by CAIR-FL, Barry Cohen and Eric Luden, to demand justice and answers regarding the FBI’s killing of his son.

We secured meetings with the Orlando district State Prosecutor Jeff Ashton, and U.S. District Attorney Lee Bentley who assured us that they would carry out independent criminal investigations into the shooting of Todashev. Editorials across the nations reiterate their calls for FBI transparency and answers as to why Todashev was killed.

Helping Keep our Mosques Open:  After months of negotiations, CAIR-FL’s Civil Rights Department assisted in a dispute between a central Florida mosque and Lake County regarding an ongoing zoning disputes with the county.  This is only a small victory in a larger battle for the right to openly practice your religion with government interference. 

 

September

Recognized as Chapter of the Year!: On September 29th, 2013, at the CAIR National Banquet in Washington, DC, CAIR-Florida's Tampa office was recognized as the 2013 CAIR Chapter of the Year! We were truly honored and humbled to accept this award on behalf of CAIR-Florida and the Florida Muslim Community. 

 

 

Fighting Ignorance with Education: Universal Unitarian Church of Lakeland hosts ‘Understanding Islam’ talks by CAIR-FL as a way to combat the 9/11 bigoted events by Terry Jones and Tom Trento, each bashing Islam in their own unsavory way.

Free Immigration Help: Immigration Attorney Floyd Huntz, with a few properly placed calls ensured that a Muslim visitor was able to gain admission into the United States after being denied entry at the airport without cause.  Mr. Huntz, after only two months on the job, had already assisted over 24 families with their immigration concerns.

 

October

Exposing FBI Abuse: CAIR-FL shed light on the ongoing FBI intimidation of Ibragim Todashev’s friends, Ashur Miraliev and Tatiana Gruzdeva, both of whom have faced solitary confinement and imminent deportation for simply knowing and defending their friend, whom the FBI killed.

Catching Hate Crime Suspects Again: After a black pick-up truck tried to run a Muslim mom of two off the road Oct. 25th, she immediately contacted CAIR-FL, knowing she’d have an ally in her search for the mad man. CAIR-FL immediately brought the issue to the press’ attention, which motivated the police to find the suspect within days. Felony charges have been sent to the State’s Attorney’s Office, charges that may have never been filed without CAIR-FL’s media work.

Ensuring Equal Treatment: CAIR-FL’s Civil Rights Department resolved a client's conflict with direct supervisor, stopped the unequal enforcement of policies, and ensured that client's workplace needs were being met.  Thanks to these efforts CAIR-FL gained another ally in the legal community who requested to be placed on our email list.

 

November

Keeping Authority in Check: One of our clients who was wrongfully imprisoned by federal agents has filed suit against the government with our assistance.

 

Strengthening our Mission: 400 guests attend our Tampa banquet raising over $200,000 to defend Civil Rights!

 

bt

 

Helping the Needy: In preparation for December’s ‘Day of Dignity’ event, the “Can-Paign” donation drive will be running all November. Working with the Council on Islamic-American Relations and Islamic Relief USA, Project Downtown will be setting up drop-off locations around Tampa and the USF campus for individuals to drop off non-perishable foods and hygiene products. Items can be dropped off at the USF bookstore, library or any of the USF-Heath buildings!

 

Increasing Our Profile: CAIR-FL’s Diversity Ads make their debut on 25 HART Line buses! The ads highlight our diverse staff and our role in defending civil rights in the community.

 

ht

 

Pushing Back Against Intolerance: CAIR-FL also helped to bring moderation and rationality to the needless “Textbook Protests” at the Volusia County School Board, where so-called “Patriots” sought to “censor Muslims out of textbooks” as The Daytona News Journal put it. The students were able to put together 500 signatures asking the board to reject intolerance and leave textbooks as is. So far the school board has decided not to change the textbooks!

 

st

 

December

Helping those in Need: CAIR-FL is teaming up with Islamic Relief and Project Downtown to host a day of social uplift for Tampa’s neediest residents called ‘Day of Dignity’. The Day of Dignity is an annual nationwide campaign – now in its ninth year – that is coordinated and sponsored by Virginia-based Islamic Relief USA. Last year’s campaign benefited more than 17,500 people across the nation by providing food, clothing, school supplies, blankets, hygiene kits, medical care and screenings, HIV/AIDS testing through collaboration with the US Department of Health and Human Services, job training and GED information, haircuts, and toys for children, and much more.

 

nd

 

  Events

 

events

 

"Understanding Islam for Be­er Coexistence"

9/17, HCC Ybor Campus, Tampa FL

"Understanding The Quran"

9/17, Unitarian Universalists, Lakeland FL

"Understanding Islam"

9/10, Unitarian Universalists, Lakeland FL

"Perseverance in the Face of Islamophobia"

9/07, American (While) Muslim Conference, Phoenix AZ

"The Importance of Engaging Elected Officials and Allies"

9/07, American (While) Muslim Conference, Phoenix AZ

"What Will American While Muslim Mean in the Future?"

9/07, American (While) Muslim Conference, Phoenix AZ

"Challenges Facing the Muslim Community in America: ‘FBI Surveillance Practices, Alienation and

Entrapment’"

9/06, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ

"Understanding Shariah and Family Law Mediation"

8/09, DRC Conference, Orlando FL

"Challenges Facing American Muslims & Civil Liberties"

6/24, Hillsborough County Democrats, Tampa FL

"Upholding Our Constitution: Defending Our Faith"

4/21, CAIR-OH Cleveland Annual Banquet, Cleveland OH

"Muslim Communities: The Road Ahead"

4/20, Muslim Association of Cleveland East, Cleveland OH

"Defending Faith, Community & Liberty"

4/19, Chagrin Valley Islamic Center, Solon OH

"Islam 101"

03/05, Beach Park Middle School ICT Visit, Tampa FL

02/20, USF Islam Awareness Month, Tampa FL

"Understanding Shariah"

02/28, USF Social Sciences, Tampa FL

"Social Justice and Activism in Islam"

01/02, Chagrin Valley Islamic Center, Solon OH

"Right is Might: Developing Servant Leadership Skills"

01/02, Take the Lead Muslim Youth Conference, Toledo OH

"Be The Change: Islam and Social Justice"

01/02, Take the Lead Muslim Youth Conference, Toledo OH

"Defending Faith, Community, & Identity"

01/01, Toledo Muslim Community Center, Toledo OH

 

  Testimonials

 

rg

 

Rose Garia-Corrigan and her two girls, ages 4 and 1, were on their way home from errands, Friday, October 25th, when a man in a pick-up truck tried to pass her, and upon laying eyes on her, presumably because of her bright pink hijab, tried to push her car off the road. For fifteen terrifying minutes on the phone with 9-11, Rose dodged attempt after attempt to cause her to crash, or careen off the shoulder into the ditch.

She had this to say about CAIR-FL’s efforts to help her bring her story to the media, and use the media pressure to get the ball rolling with the police investigation that led to the suspect being identified and felony charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and stalking being sent to the State ttorney’s Office:

“CAIR-FL has been amazing asset to me in my time of need. Because of CAIR-FL's involvement with my case, the suspect in my case was identified and charges have been sent to the State's Attorney's Office. Also, I have met wonderful sisters in my area who are supportive of my decision to speak out against hate crimes. CAIR-FL has been supportive of my decisions and has also lent an ear to my questions and concerns. They have listened and have been understanding of my position. Without CAIR-FL prompt help my case and my story never would have been heard.”

 

tm