(TAMPA, FL, 2/17/09) – The Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Tampa) today called on a local synagogue to invite a representative of the Muslim community who can offer a balancing perspective to a controversial speaker who claims wearing an Islamic head scarf, or hijab, is related to the “growth of terrorism.”
CAIR-Tampa said that “inflammatory” claim about hijab could endanger the tens of thousands of Florida Muslim women who wear Islamic head scarves every day.
The speaker, Tawfik Hamid, will lecture Wednesday at Temple Beth Sholom in Sarasota, Fla. Part of Hamid’s lecture will outline the alleged role hijab plays in the “proliferation of radical Islam.” In 2007, the Detroit Free Press quoted Hamid saying that there is a “correlation between the increase in the use of the hijab, an Islamic headscarf, and the growth of terrorism.” (3/14/07) Wednesday’s event is sponsored by West Coast Florida Chapter of the American Jewish Committee.
SEE: Islamic Reformer, Former Terrorist to Speak
Hamid has in the past faced criticism over the credibility of his claim to be an “Islamic reformer.”
SEE: Tawfiq Hamid, “Islamic Reformer” Who Hates Islam
“Any inflammatory claim that Islamic attire is related to terrorism should be balanced with accurate information about Islam and Muslims,” said CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Ramzy Kiliç.
“We respectfully request that Temple Beth Sholom invite a representative of the mainstream Florida Muslim community to offer a balancing perspective.”
Kiliç contacted Temple Beth Sholom last week about adding a balancing perspective to the controversial speaker, but the synagogue has not responded.
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 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.
CONTACT: CONTACT: CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Ramzy Kiliç, 813-486-2529, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org