(TAMPA, FL, 8/2/2016) – The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida), the state's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, today launched a statewide #CAIR2Vote Muslim voter engagement campaign – at www.Muslims.Vote – that seeks to promote civic engagement, voter registration and voter education programs.
The 2016 election cycle has witnessed an alarming increase in Islamophobia nationwide, as reported in “When Islamophobia Turns Violent: The 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections,” a special report by The Bridge Initiative, a Georgetown University research project.
CAIR-Florida's legislative scorecards from the past three years track how in 2014, more than 60 percent of the Florida legislature supported Islamophobic legislation, later signed by Governor Rick Scott. In 2016, more than 90 percent of the legislature voted in support of legislation that attacks freedom of speech, also signed by Governor Rick Scott.
Most recently, a Florida Islamic center was removed as a polling location in response to an Islamophobic campaign. Despite interfaith, social and political pressure to reinstate the Islamic center as a polling location, Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher has yet to do so.
Florida has also seen discriminatory “Muslim-free” businesses, armed anti-Islam rallies and multiple acts of vandalism at Islamic centers.Â
“This past election cycle has been particularly traumatic for the Muslim American community, especially in Florida at a time when we have recorded a 500 percent increase in hate incidents targeting our community members,” said Laila Abdelaziz, CAIR-Florida's legislative and government affairs director. “The #CAIR2Vote campaign seeks to offer our community and allies a proactive and informative channel to make an informed decision at the ballot box and offer them the resources they need to make those informed decisions.”
Visit www.Muslims.Vote to register to vote, update your voter registration status, and view CAIR Florida's state legislative scorecards from 2014, 2015, and 2016. You can join the campaign on social media by using the hashtag #CAIR2Vote.
CAIR-Florida is the state's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties of all people, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, fomentar el diÃ¡logo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensiÃ³n mutua.
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CAIR-Florida's Communications Director, Wilfredo A. Ruiz, email@example.com, 305.502.6749
CAIR Florida Civil Rights Counsel, Laila Abdelaziz, firstname.lastname@example.org, 813.514.1414