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CAIR-Florida Calls Florida Voters to Contact Senators to Vote ‘No” on Unconstitutional Anti-BDS Bill, Thanks Sen. Torres for Support

(Miami, FL, 2/14/2018) - The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida), the nation's largest civil rights and advocacy organization, today thanked State Senator Victor Torres for his unshakable fight to protect civil liberties for all by opposing unconstitutional "anti-BDS" legislation and urges his peers in the Florida Senate to mirror his stance and oppose the "Israel Anti-Boycott Act."

ACT NOW: Click Here To E-mail your Florida Senators Before 1:00 PM on Thursday, February 15th, And Urge Them to Vote NO on SB 780

CAIR-Florida and other civil rights organizations state that proposed legislation would violate the constitutionally-guaranteed free speech rights of American business owners and individuals who participate in the international boycott of Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine territories. Boycotts such as the Montgomery Bus boycott against segregation or the boycott of companies enabling South African Apartheid were employed successfully in support of civil and human rights and as an integral part of our political process.

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act (SB 780) was introduced at a time when Palestinian human rights activists in the United States and elsewhere embraced boycotts as a strong, peaceful, and effective tool to pressure the Israeli government to respect the human rights of Palestinians and to influence the American public to join them and do the same.

"We call on our state senators to defend the rights of all Floridians to express their political beliefs without fear of government retaliation or retribution," said CAIR-Florida’s Orlando Regional Director Rasha Mubarak.

SB 780 is a threat to the free speech of all Americans and is clearly unconstitutional. The act would charge those American business owners and individuals who participate in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement with criminal penalties. CAIR-Florida believes that American involvement in foreign boycotts started with dumping tea into Boston Harbor. It is un-American and illegal for the U.S. Government to deny U.S. businesses and individuals the right to work to change the illegal and discriminatory actions of a foreign government.

CAIR-Florida is the state's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties of all people, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR-Florida es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

Action Alert: CAIR-Florida Urges Florida Legislators to #LetLordePlay

(Miami, FL, 2/12/2018) - The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is urging all those who value the First Amendment to join CAIR-Florida, Jewish Voice for Peace, Dream Defenders, and many other community organizations who are part of the Florida Palestine Solidarity Coalition in signing a petition to stop Florida legislators from canceling international pop-star Lorde's scheduled performances in Tampa and Miami on April 12th.

On April 11th and 12th, Lorde is scheduled to perform first in Tampa and then Miami. Due to 2016

Florida anti-BDS legislation (SB 86), the state is prohibited from engaging with contractors who conduct at least 1 million dollars of business and are participating in the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement (BDS) against the state of Israel. This year, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (SB 780) was introduced at a time when Palestinian human rights activists in the United States and elsewhere have embraced boycotts as a strong, peaceful and effective tool to pressure the Israeli government to respect the human rights of Palestinians and to influence the American public to join in doing the same.

Under this legislation, Representative Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, is urging the Miami Sports and Exhibition Authority as well as the Tampa Sports Authority to cancel Lorde's upcoming events in the respective cities. This act is completely unconstitutional and violates the freedom of speech rights of the artist, as well as any other potential contractors, to participate in the peaceful BDS movement against Israel.

SEE HERE: Florida lawmaker wants to force Lorde to cancel her shows because of her stance on the BDS movement

CAIR-Florida strongly believes that cancelling Lorde's performances would violate the constitutionally-guaranteed free speech rights of business owners and individuals who participate in the international boycott of Israel's illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories. Boycotts such as the Montgomery Bus boycott against segregation or the boycott of companies enabling South African Apartheid have been employed successfully in support of civil and human rights and as an integral part of our political process.

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION HERE: Do not cancel Lorde's Florida concerts because of anti-free speech laws!

"As the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (SB 780) moves forward in our state legislature, we are unfortunately already experiencing what we had been anticipating: an infringement of our constitutionally protected freedom of speech rights. The repercussion of last year's anti-BDS bill that unconstitutionally blocks state or local governments from conducting business exceeding $1 million with any organization engaged in a boycott of Israel. Lorde, an artist who has chosen to bravely use her platform to boycott what she believes to be an injustice to the Palestinian people, has become our ally in the fight for justice and the protection of the civil liberties of all Florida residents." said Rasha Mubarak, CAIR-Florida's Central Florida Regional Director.

CAIR-Florida is the state's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties of all people, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR-Florida es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT:

CAIR-Florida's Communications Director, Wilfredo A. Ruiz, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 305.502.6749

CAIR-Florida's Orlando Regional Director, Rasha Mubarak, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 407.490.9407

 

Action Alert: Join CAIR in Thanking Florida Reps. Cortes, Mercado and Smith for their Opposition to Unconstitutional Anti-BDS Legislation

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/6/2018) – The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida), the nation’s largest civil rights and advocacy organization, is urging all those who value the First Amendment to join CAIR-Florida in thanking Florida State Representatives Smith, Mercado and Cortes for their unwavering fight for justice for all by opposing unconstitutional “anti-BDS” legislation.

The United States Supreme Court has held that boycotts, like the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement, “bring about political, social, and economic change,” (NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., 458 U.S. 886, 911 (1982).

CLICK HERE TO THANK FLORIDA STATE REPRESENTATIVES CORTES, MERCADO AND SMITH FOR THEIR BRAVE AND HONORABLE STANCE

On January 31, 2018, Representatives Cortes (D-FL), Mercado (D-FL) and Smith (D-FL) voted against HB 545, a bill that prohibits businesses on the Scrutinized Companies that Boycott Israel List from doing business with the state of Florida. Even amidst strong opposition, these three representatives took a brave stand to defend the right to freedom of speech granted in the First Amendment.

HB 545 was introduced at a time when Palestinian human rights activists in the United States and elsewhere have embraced boycotts as a strong, peaceful and effective tool to pressure the Israeli government to respect the human rights of Palestinians and to influence the American public to join in doing the same.

“We thank Representatives Cortes, Mercado and Smith for their courageous and honorable stance against a bill that seeks to suppress the freedom of speech and political expression for an internationally-recognized human rights cause,” said Rasha Mubarak, CAIR’s Central Florida Regional Director.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

 

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