(JACKSONVILLE, FL, 7/25/05) – The Florida office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) today called on religious leaders in that state and throughout the nation to repudiate a Jacksonville Baptist church road-side display that says, “Islam is Evil and Believes in Murder, Surah 9-29, Jesus Teaches Peace…” To see a photo of the display, go to: http://www.cairfl.org/images/jaxchurch1.JPG See Also: “Anti-Muslim Sign Draws Strong Reaction” http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/topstories/news-article.aspx?storyid=41164 This not the first such display at the First Conservative Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla. In January of 2003, CAIR-FL called on religious leaders to condemn a similar anti-Muslim message falsely claiming that Islam’s Prophet Muhammad approved of murder.
“Leaders of all faiths should condemn hate speech designed to divide our nation along religious lines,” said CAIR National Board Chairman and Jacksonville resident Parvez Ahmed. “The religious texts of any faith can always be read out of historical context to create a distorted picture of that faith.” Ahmed noted that both the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, and the traditions (hadith) of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad condemn murder. In fact, the Prophet Muhammad said murder is one of the greatest sins a person can commit. CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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. To read CAIR’s Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About