(TAMPA, FL, 10/4/2007) – The Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Tampa) today thanked area congressional representatives who voted in support of a U.S. House resolution passed earlier this week recognizing the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
CAIR-Tampa also expressed disappointment in the minority of representatives who refused to support the bi-partisan resolution. While the resolution passed 376-0, 42 House members, including Tampa-area representatives Ginny Brown-Waite, Bill Young and Jeff Miller, voted “present.”
SEE: Twenty Percent of Republicans Vote ‘Present’ on Ramadan Resolution
Others voting “present” included Reps. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) and Virgil Goode (R-VA). Tancredo has previously advocated the bombing of Islamic holy sites, while Goode criticized the use of the Quran in the ceremonial swearing-in of the first Muslim congressman.
The full text of the resolution is available here.
Roll call of Ramadan resolution vote
In letters to Brown-Waite, Young and Miller, CAIR-Tampa Community Relations Coordinator Jamila Baraka wrote: “The best way to foster greater understanding between cultures is to lead by example. Today you have demonstrated that you are not ready to embrace diversity, tolerance and equality.” Baraka also urged the representatives to reconsider their position on the resolution “by issuing a statement of support for your American-Muslim constituents.”
Full text of letter.
CAIR Tampa commended the area representatives who supported the Ramadan resolution. Those voting “yes” included Reps. Gus Bilirakis, Allen Boyd, Vern Buchanan, Cathy Castor, Adam Putnam, and Cliff Stearns.
In a letter praising the supporters of the Ramadan resolution, Baraka wrote: “Today you have proven that you have both the courage and the compassion to represent all your constituents equally. We truly appreciate your continued support and our representation on Capitol Hill.”
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 33 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.
CONTACT: CAIR-Tampa Community Relations Coordinator Jamila Baraka, 813-514-1414, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Ahmed Bedier, 813-731-9506, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org