In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FL GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE DROPS ISLAMOPHOBE
Candidates of both parties condemn anti-Muslim statements
(TAMPA, FL, 11/03/2006) – The Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Tampa) tonight announced that GOP gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist dropped a Hernando woman who said Islam is a “hateful, frightening religion” from a campaign election coalition.
Earlier today, CAIR-FL called on Crist to take that action after Mary Ann Hogan, a member of the “Women for Crist Coalition,” told the St. Petersburg Times: “The stated goal of the Muslim faith is to kill us, the ‘infidels.'” Hogan added: “Even if they have gotten citizenship, they are not true Americans in my opinion. They all want to kill us.”
In a statement sent to CAIR-FL, the Crist campaign said:
“While Charlie Crist respects Ms. Hogan’s right to express her political and religious beliefs, he does not agree with Hogan’s views on Islam. Charlie Crist believes that we must not confuse those who practice any religion with a prayer toward peace with extremists who pervert religion to further a radical cause. He will not condone bigotry or discrimination in any form. For those reasons, Ms. Hogan will no longer be affiliated with the campaign.”
Jim Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor, had earlier issued a statement saying:
“I condemn the offensive remarks uttered by Hernando County Commissioner Tom Hogan and his wife, Mary Ann. Their hateful language about Muslims has no legitimate role in public discourse and only serves to further the cause of bigotry and intolerance that we should be united in fighting.”
“We thank both Mr. Crist and Mr. Davis for taking the appropriate action in disassociating their campaigns from anti-Muslim bigotry,” said CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Ahmed Bedier. He also thanked Florida Governor Jeb Bush and the state GOP for repudiating the anti-Muslim sentiments expressed by Hogan and her husband.
Bedier said that two months ago, Crist removed another Muslim-basher from his campaign policy council, after repeated requests by CAIR.
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 32 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.
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CONTACT: CONTACT: Ahmed Bedier, 813-731-9506; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
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