(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/27/05) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said today that one of its representatives helped convince a Florida man to remove a toilet in his yard with a sign attached that read: “Koran flush 1 p.m.” SEE: http://www.cairfl.org/images/flush02.JPG The owner of the toilet said it was designed to honor those who died in the 9/11 attacks and in Iraq. It was also retribution, he said, for what he believed to be a failure of Muslims to object to the terrorism of extremists. SEE: “Now Toilet Makes a Statement” http://www.sptimes.com/2005/07/27/Neighborhoodtimes/Cited_by_Pinellas_Par.shtml
After CAIR-FL Central Florida Director Ahmed Bedier learned of complaints about the display, he went to the home to take a picture. When he noticed that the owner was home, he knocked on the door to inquire about the motivation for the display. Bedier, who happened to have his laptop computer with him, showed the homeowner some of the Muslim condemnations of terrorism and CAIR’s “Not in the Name of Islam” public service announcement. After about an hour of discussion, the homeowner offered to take down the toilet display. SEE: http://www.cairfl.org/images/flush03.JPG “This incident proves that anti-Muslim prejudice decreases whenever ordinary people are given accurate information about Islam and have personal interactions with Muslims,” said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
Hooper thanked the homeowner for his willingness to change his preconceived ideas about Islam and Muslims. 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