Wednesday, 02 December 2020

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CAIR-Florida stands in solidarity With Muslim-Palestinian activist: Calls Out Florida Democratic Party

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CAIR-FL statement in solidarity with Muslim-Palestinian Activist Rasha Mubarak.

At CAIR-FL, we build mutual understanding and work towards justice for all. In our fight for civil rights, we recognize the need for genuine, good faith, grassroots organizing with all communities in Florida. We are therefore extremely disappointed to hear that the Florida Democratic Party cancelled a Muslim-GOTV event last week, presumably because it featured a well-respected Muslim, Palestinian community member, Rasha Mubarak.

Rasha has contributed and benefitted our Central Florida Muslim communities and allies in many ways. From her previous tenure at CAIR-FL—uplifting the voices of Muslims across the region—to her work for immigrant justice and solidarity with Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous communities, Rasha has been at the front lines in demanding justice for all, as well as encouraging our marginalized communities to engage in this political process. This includes her leadership and work with the Florida Young Democrats.

We at CAIR-FL would hope that the Democratic Party—and indeed ANY political institution within the state looking to engage with the Muslim community—would NOT place itself as the gatekeepers of who can or cannot represent our community. Engaging with the Muslim community CANNOT be conditional or limited to what is acceptable to the institution. Genuine engagement allows for the public discussion on issues central to our community including the issue of Palestine and the violation of Palestinian human rights. CAIR-FL wholly condemns the censoring of issues important to Muslim constituents as well as the censoring of our community activists speaking out on these issues. It is unfathomable for any institution to cancel the only Muslim-GOTV event in the state to be held during an election year.

To cancel an event because of Rasha's Palestinian activism is abhorrent. CAIR-FL stands in solidarity with our sister, commending her work and her bravery to always speak up for the oppressed. This absolutely includes her work for Palestinian human rights.

The denigration of our sister, unfortunately, aligns with the coordinated efforts across the country to censor free speech when it comes to Palestine. We see these efforts increasing in our state, most notably with legislation that violates our freedom of speech by criminalizing solidarity and raising awareness of the illegal occupation of Palestine and violations of human rights of the Palestinian people.

Any institution such as the Florida Democratic Party—which claims to be committed to democracy—must ensure genuine and authentic engagement with all communities on their own terms. CAIR-FL will always stand with those speaking truth to power and calls on the Florida Democratic Party to make amends for their seeming dismissal of our community. We call on them as well as all political and civic organizations to make a formal commitment to upholding our rights to free speech, solidarity, and justice for all marginalized communities and those oppressed, including the Palestinian people.

In solidarity and peace, 


Council on American Islamic Relations - Florida