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CAIR-Florida Welcomes Lake Worth City Commission Resolution Supporting the Muslim Community

CAIR logo(Lake Worth, FL, 7/20/2016) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations – Florida (CAIR Florida), the state's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, today announced that on July 19, 2016, the City Commission of Lake Worth adopted a resolution unanimously supporting the Muslim community in and around Lake Worth after Commissioner Christopher McVoy presented it before the Commission. Lake Worth is the second city after Seattle to adopt such a resolution.

Representatives of CAIR-Florida, Emerge Florida, Muslim Community of Palm Beach County, Islamic Center of Boca Raton, and American Muslim Democratic Caucus addressed the commission. The representatives thanked the commissioners for bringing up this issue that is creating a divide amongst our society.

“Lake Worth's City Commissioners resolution showing public support to the Muslim community comes at a time when solidarity among all Americans is needed to dispel division and bigotry. Equally important was their condemnation of the increase of the Islamophobic rhetoric and of the hateful incidents of violence targeting Muslim families across the nation. The Commissioners stood tall for their Muslim constituents and against bigotry, in clear defense of the U.S. Constitution they all swore to protect,” said CAIR-Florida's Communications Director, Wilfredo A. Ruiz.

The Commission members spoke out against the rise in hateful rhetoric and violence targeting Muslims and welcomed their Muslim neighbors in the City of Lake Worth.

Approximately 50,000 Muslims live in Palm Beach County. A majority of them work in various professional industries such as doctors, engineers, IT experts, businesses men, etc.

Text of the Resolution

RESOLUTION NO. 35-2016 OF THE CITY OF LAKE WORTH, FLORIDA, DECLARING SUPPORT FOR MUSLIM COMMUNITIES, AFFIRMING THE RELIGIOUS PLURALISM OF THE UNITED STATES, AND URGING LAKE WORTH AND ALL PALM BEACH COUNTY RESIDENTS TO STAND TOGETHER FOR PEACE AND UNDERSTANDING.

WHEREAS, Muslims are part of our society and, inspired by their faith and dedication to American ideals, give back every day as U.S. military personnel, police officers, doctors, nurses, caregivers, teachers, students, and in many other roles contributing to the success of the United States of America and the city of Lake Worth; and

WHEREAS, our nation's founding documents emphasize the freedom of religion and a society that embraces religious pluralism; and

WHEREAS, the city of Lake Worth values the many different cultures, religions and traditions that our residents embrace; and

WHEREAS, the city of Lake Worth continues to work toward a more inclusive society and welcomes cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity; and

WHEREAS, Muslims, both native born and immigrant, represent an increasingly important thread in the tapestry of American society; and

WHEREAS, throughout history the United States has welcomed wave after wave of immigrants and refugees who add enormous value to the economic and cultural life of our nation; and

WHEREAS, presently, anti-Muslim, Islamophobic rhetoric has increased in the national discourse and rates of hate violence targeting Muslim families and children are at record highs across our nation, which is detrimental to all people who cherish freedom and liberty; and

WHEREAS, some of the darkest moments in our nation and our city's history have emerged from similar climates of fear; and

WHEREAS, hateful rhetoric only enables extremist ideologies to flourish in the dark corners of global society; and

WHEREAS, the city of Lake Worth finds anti-Muslim, Islamophobic rhetoric and hate violence to be against American principles of religious freedom and fairness and contrary to the vision we hold as a nation that welcomes all people; and

WHEREAS, all of Lake Worth's residents deserve to live in a safe environment free of hate and discrimination; and

WHEREAS, the City of Lake Worth wishes to extend the traditional Islamic greeting of Al Salam Alaikum (Peace be upon you) to all of its Muslim residents and visitors.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COMMISSION OF LAKE WORTH, FLORIDA, that:

SECTION 1: The City of Lake Worth does not tolerate anti-Muslim hate speech and violent acts committed against those who are Muslim or perceived as being Muslim, nor against their places of worship, businesses, schools, and community centers. These are in direct contradiction to values of the city of Lake Worth and our open American way of life. We encourage our residents to recognize and celebrate the cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity that is represented in our City and our County. We encourage residents to take extra efforts to ensure the safety of their Muslim neighbors. We encourage all City departments, the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office and Palm Beach Fire Rescue to direct appropriate attention and resources to supporting those targeted by hate speech and hate crimes. And finally, that we look forward to working together to deepen the relationship with Muslims based on mutual respect, greater understanding and the shared goals of safety and peace.

SECTION 2: The foregoing recitals are incorporated into this Resolution as true and correct statements.

SECTION 3: All Resolutions or parts of Resolutions in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.

SECTION 4: If any provision of this Resolution or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this Resolution which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application and to this end the provisions of this Resolution are declared severable.

SECTION 5: The City Clerk expeditiously transmit a copy of this Resolution to all Lake Worth city staff, the Palm Beach County Commission, Palm Beach Sheriff's Office and Palm Beach Fire Rescue.

SECTION 6: That this Resolution shall take effect immediately upon its adoption.

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's Communications Director, Wilfredo A. Ruiz, wruiz@cair.com, 305.502.6749; Afifa Khaliq: 561.385.5948 afifakhaliq@gmail.com

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