Role in the Islamophobia movement: grassroots organization
Key individuals: David Caton, president director and treasurer; Sandra Loughrie, director and secretary; Robert Riggs, director
Based in Tampa, Florida
Updated December 2011
FFA is a fringe right-wing group. They received national attention when home improvement chain Lowe’s pulled its ads from TLC’s “All American Muslim” program after pressure from FFA.
FFA was founded by David Caton in 1987. According to the group’s website, FFA exists to “defend, protect and promote traditional, biblical values.” Founder Caton has referred to voters as “stupid.” The group has argued that “court challenges stand in the way of common sense.” The group believes that Tampa, Fla. may become “one of America’s first Sharia compliant cities.” The FFA frequently cites and allies itself with Islamophobes Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller.
In Their Own Words
Caton and FFA oppose portraying non-caricatured Muslims
“One of the most troubling scenes occurred at the introduction of the program when a Muslim police officer stated ‘I really am American. No ifs and or buts about it.'” – FFA action alert
” creates an image that is harmful education-wise to the belief structure and memories of millions of Americans who will look at this and say ‘well all Muslims are like that’ and that’s not accurate.” – David Caton (Source: “The Daily Show,” episode no. 17034, broadcast December 13, 2011.)
“The show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish.” – FFA action alert (Source: http://floridafamily.org/full_article.php?article_no=108, accessed December 15, 2011)
Caton believes voters are “stupid” and easily misled
“There are a lot of stupid voters out there who will fall prey to the Tampa Tribune and St. Pete Times.” – David Caton (Source: Bill Varian, “Bay Buzz: Political News of Tampa Bay,” St. Petersburg Times, January 27, 2010.)
FFA feels the basic right to petition a court for redress of grievances stands “in the way of common sense”
“Many states including Florida are likely to offer amendments similar to Oklahoma to provide a legal block to Sharia Law and ensure justice is equally served. However, court challenges stand in the way of common sense and public safety.” – FFA action alert
FFA promotes the conspiracy-theory that Tampa, Fla. may become “sharia compliant”
“Tampa could be one of America’s first Sharia compliant cities.” (Source: http://welcometotampafl.org/full_article.php?article_no=93, accessed December 15, 2011)
“Welcometotampafl.org is a project of Florida Family Association that is designed to warn current and future citizens of Tampa about the growing acceptance of Islamic policy and Sharia law by local officials.” (Source: http://welcometotampafl.org/full_article.php?article_no=93, accessed December 15, 2011)
What Others Say About Florida Family Association
“Caton’s philosophy seems basic enough. It’s OK to believe whatever you want, as long as it’s what he and those who follow him think you should believe.” – Joe Henderson, Tampa Tribune columnist, December 14, 2011
“If there is any upside to the campaign against ‘All-American Muslim,’ it is that national scrutiny has cut Mr. Caton down to size. Several major companies that he claimed had stopped advertising — Home Depot and Campbell’s Soup — issued statements saying they had done no such thing,” – Samuel G. Freedman, New York Times reporter, December 17, 2011.
” call themselves Christians, but the evangelical group that demanded Lowe’s home improvement chain yank its television ads from a reality show about Muslim families sounds more like a club for bigots.” – Editorial board of the New Jersey Star-Ledger, December 14, 2011.