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C CAIR-FL In The News

Lavish gala hosted by anti-Muslim group canceled at Mar-a-Lago

By Richard Luscombe, For The Guardian, On 07 October 2019, Read Original
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ACT for America booked Trump’s Palm Beach retreat for annual dinner, raising objections Trump was ‘profiting from bigotry’

(Oct 7, 2019; Miami, Fla.) A rightwing “national security organization” with a history of anti-Muslim extremism has scrapped plans for a lavish $1,500-a-head gala dinner at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, after a backlash from civil rights groups.

ACT for America, whose founder Brigitte Gabriel has boasted of weekly meetings at the White House, booked Trump’s Palm Beach retreat for its annual dinner on 7 November...

But after accusations from civil rights advocacy groups including the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Council on Islamic American Relations (CAIR) that the president was “profiting from bigotry”, the Trump Organization abruptly pulled the plug on the event at the weekend.

“This event will absolutely not be taking place at Mar-a-Lago,” the New York Times reported, quoting an unnamed Trump spokesperson who did not elaborate on the statement.

Wilfredo Ruiz, communications director for CAIR’s Florida chapter, welcomed the cancellation. “ACT is a group that believes Islam is a cancer on America, they have no place in a civilized society,” he said. “It’s a hate group operating on the fringes of society stepping up to use the president’s Florida residence as a platform.”

In a statement, CAIR’s national executive director Nihad Awad said: “No individual, organization or public official should profit from bigotry. [We] urge other potential venues nationwide to consider the group’s history of Islamophobia and associations with white supremacist and racist organizations.”

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