(MIAMI, FL, 7/11/2016) – The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida) today called for the restoration of a polling place in one of that state's mosques after it was removed following an Islamophobic backlash.
CAIR-Florida said Palm Beach Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher removed a polling station from the Islamic Center of Boca Raton apparently in response to complaints, some of which she described as vulgar and threatening.
“The supervisor of elections is evidently targeted by an organized lobbying campaign spreading fear and Islamophobia. Her discretion to designate or remove polling sites must never be based on religious, racial or ethnic bias,” said Laila Abdelaziz, CAIR-Florida legislative and government affairs director. “This apparent unconstitutional religious bias may need to be corrected by our courts.”
Abdelaziz said CAIR-Florida is sending a written request for the supervisor to promptly reinstate the Islamic Center of Boca Raton as a polling station and will consider every legal avenue to prevent “this openly discriminatory decision affecting the federally protected rights of the Palm Beach County voters.”
CAIR-Florida Civil Rights Counsel, Omar Saleh, is filing a public records request asking for all communications and records from Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections officials regarding the Islamic Center's polling station removal.
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.
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CONTACT: CAIR-Florida Communications Director Wilfredo A. Ruiz, firstname.lastname@example.org, 305.502.6749; CAIR-Florida Legislative and Government Affairs Director Laila Abdelaziz, email@example.com, 813.514.1414; CAIR-Florida Civil Rights Director Thania Clevenger, firstname.lastname@example.org, 813.514.1414