(DAYTONA BEACH, FL 4/29/30) – The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida) yesterday joined Awake the State and Volusia County high school students to protest against a biased bill (SB 864) proposed by State Senator Alan Hays, which opponents say is rooted in Islamophobia and would remove the state from the textbook selection process.
CAIR-FL also said the bill would open the door for special interest groups to promote religious and political biases in the textbook selection process.
SEE: House Gives Nod to Volusia-Inspired Textbook Review Bill
Background: Islamophobic Florida Republican Would Legalize Textbook Censorship
Video: Exposing ACT's Anti-Muslim Campaign to Censor Textbooks & Alan Hays' SB 864
CAIR-FL Chief Executive Director Hassan Shibly welcomed an amendment to the bill yesterday that no longer mandated school districts to select textbooks on their own without the guidance of the state.
"It is inspiring to see the students take a stand against politicians like Alan Hays who have allowed their anti-Muslim biases to drive them to sponsor bills that would wreak havoc on Florida's educational system. The efforts of the students and our allies paid off yesterday as SB 386 has been amended to have its worst parts removed. We are still concerned that the bill is unnecessary, driven by Islamophobia and not in the best interests of our children, but we are grateful that it has been stripped of its most harmful provisions thanks to overwhelming opposition by the Florida public."
The Florida Senate is soon expected to vote on the amended version of the bill which still faces heavy community criticism as needless and cumbersome legislation motivated by anti-Muslim bias CAIR-FL is a chapter of 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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