(TAMPA, FL, 11/18/13) –Â Later today, the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) will join with local students, members of the Democratic Party and moderate Republicans at a school board meeting in Deltona, Fla., to counter an organized protest against a textbook offering information about Islam. The students will present the board with a petition against censorship signed by some 500 of their classmates from local schools.
WHAT: CAIR-FL, Students, Others to Support School Targeted by Anti-Islam Protesters
WHEN: Monday, November 18, 4 p.m.
WHERE: Outside the DeLand Administrative Complex, 200 North Clara Avenue, DeLand, Florida.
CONTACT: CAIR-Florida's Tampa Executive Director Hassan Shibly, 813-541-4321, email@example.com; CAIR-Florida Communications Director Samantha Bowden, 703-298-7782, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-South Florida Executive Director Nezar Hamze, 954-673-9459, email@example.com
â€œThe campaign to censor teaching about Islam in public schools is based on ignorance and on the intolerant hysteria whipped up by the well-funded Islamophobia industry in America,â€ said CAIR-Florida's Tampa Executive Director Hassan Shibly. He cited CAIRâ€™s recently-released report, â€œLegislating Fear: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States,â€ which reveals that anti-Islam groups received more than $119 million in funding between 2008 and 2011.Â
Opponents of the textbook, which they claim contains too much information about Islam and not enough about Christianity and other religions, say they will attend todayâ€™s Volusia County School Board meeting. The Volusia County Democratic Party is inviting residents to push back against the â€œbook burnersâ€ opposed to the textbook.
The school board has issued a fact sheet refuting the false claims of the anti-Islam protesters, while one Republican school board member has ridiculed the anti-Islam hysteria promoted by the bookâ€™s opponents.
In an editorial, Republican School Board Member Stan Schimidt wrote in part:
â€œWhen you read the chapter on Islam, four pages give a brief summary of the tenets of the religion, followed by 25 pages of historical narrative. The grade 6 text has much more in-depth coverage of the tenets of Judaism and Christianity. The truly sad part of this episode is that a leader of one of the political parties has chosen to get involved without truly understanding the course, the standards or the process of adopting them.â€
SEE: Outrage Over Book Much Ado About Nothing (News-Journal)
CAIR is 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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CONTACT: CAIR-Florida's Tampa Executive Director Hassan Shibly, 813-541-4321, firstname.lastname@example.org;Â CAIR-Florida Communications Director Samantha Bowden, 703-298-7782, email@example.com; CAIR-South Florida Executive Director Nezar Hamze,954-673-9459, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com