CAIR today applauded the Florida Senate for dropping a controversial anti-Islam bill that Muslim, Jewish and civil rights leaders criticized as “unconstitutional and unnecessary.” The bill was based on a template promoted by an anti-Muslim extremist.
“We applaud the Florida Senate for dropping this unconstitutional and unnecessary legislation, the sole purpose of which is to marginalize Muslims and demonize Islam,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “We thank all those elected officials who voted for the Constitution by voting against this un-American bill.”
CAIR also thanked the coalition of groups in Florida that lobbied elected officials to reject the unconstitutional legislation.
“Without the tireless efforts of many individuals and organizations, this discriminatory bill would have become law in Florida,” said CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Hassan Shibly.
The Tampa Bay Times reported this afternoon:
“The bill was scheduled for a third reading Friday, but it would have taken a unanimous vote to advance the bill in the Senate. The bill's sponsor, Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, decided not to try for a unanimous vote because on Thursday, the bill (SB 58) failed to get the two-thirds vote needed to bring it to the Senate floor and the vote was 25-14, one vote short. The bill passed the House April 18th by a vote of 79-39.”
Dozens of similar discriminatory and unconstitutional bills have been introduced in state legislatures nationwide.
In 2011, the American Bar Association (ABA) passed a resolution opposing legislation like SB 58, noting that it is “duplicative of safeguards that are already enshrined in federal and state law,” and saying, “Initiatives that target an entire religion or stigmatize an entire religious community, such as those explicitly aimed at 'Sharia law,' are inconsistent with some of the core principles and ideals of American jurisprudence.”
Last year, CAIR released a community toolkit designed to assist those seeking to preserve America's ideal of religious pluralism in the face of the unconstitutional anti-Sharia campaign.
CAIR's toolkit includes background on David Yerushalmi, the anti-Islam extremist who authored the template for the anti-Sharia bills.
Yerushalmi is head of the anti-Islam hate group Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), which once offered a policy proposal that would make “adherence to Islam” punishable by 20 years in prison, called for the immediate deportation of all non-citizen Muslims and urged Congress to declare war on the “Muslim Nation,” which SANE defined as “all Muslims.” The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) named Yerushalmi a member of the “anti-Muslim inner circle.”
Links to Background Information on David Yerushalmi:
CAIR Islamophobe Profile: David Yerushalmi
David Yerushalmi: A Driving Force Behind Anti-Sharia Efforts in the U.S. (ADL)
Meet the White Supremacist Leading the GOP's Anti-Sharia Crusade (Mother Jones)
The Man Behind the Anti-Shariah Movement (NY Times)
Anti-Islam Activist Yerushalmi Measures Imams' Beards (The Forward)
Profile of Anti-Sharia Extremist David Yerushalmi
CONTACT: CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Hassan Shibly, 813-541-4321, email@example.com; CAIR-South Florida Executive Director Nezar Hamze, 954-673-9459, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com