Sunday, March 11, 2012


CAIR: Fla. Muslim, Interfaith Leaders to Challenge Anti-Sharia Bill
News conference participants will condemn anti-Islam literature distributed by bill's sponsors

(TAMPA, FL, 3/6/12) -- On Wednesday, March 7, the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) -- along with interfaith and civil rights leaders -- will hold a news conference in Tampa to challenge the "un-democratic" methods used to push through a state "anti-Sharia" bill written using a template provided by an anti-Islam extremist.

[MEDIA NOTE: A similar news conference will be held tomorrow at CAIR's office in Pembroke Pines. CONTACT: CAIR-South Florida Executive Director Nezar Hamze, 954-673-9459 E-Mail: In Tallahassee tomorrow, a delegation of Muslim and interfaith leaders will seek 12:30 p.m. a meeting with the Senate president and will offer a media availability following that meeting. CONTACT: United Voices for America President Ahmed Bedier, 813-731-9506, E-Mail:]

News conference participants will also condemn anti-Islam literature recently distributed by sponsors of the legislation.

WHAT: CAIR-Tampa News Conference to Challenge Anti-Sharia Bill
WHEN: Wednesday, March 7, 1 p.m.
WHERE: CAIR-Tampa's Office, 8056 North 56th Street, Tampa, FL, 33617
CONTACT: CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Hassan Shibly, 813-541-4321,

The bill (SB 1360) was sent to the Senate floor with less than three minutes of debate. The Senate may vote on the bill as early as Wednesday.

SEE: Anti-Sharia Law Bill Heads to Senate Floor
CAIR: Florida Mulls Outlaw of Shariah (AP)

"The un-democratic method used to advance this unconstitutional infringement on religious freedom shows that the bill's sponsors believe it will not survive public scrutiny," said CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Hassan Shibly.

Yesterday, a Minnesota lawmaker withdrew a similar anti-Sharia bill following a news conference by CAIR's chapter in that state.

CAIR: Minn. Lawmaker Withdraws Anti-Sharia Bill

Last week, CAIR's national office released a community toolkit designed to assist those seeking to preserve America's ideal of religious pluralism in the face of similar unconstitutional anti-Sharia bills that have been introduced in more than 20 states nationwide.

SEE: CAIR Releases Community Toolkit to Challenge 'Anti-Sharia' Bills

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."

SPLC: The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle

Links to Background Information on David Yerushalmi:

David Yerushalmi: A Driving Force Behind Anti-Sharia Efforts in the U.S.
Meet the White Supremacist Leading the GOP's Anti-Sharia Crusade
The Man Behind the Anti-Shariah Movement (NY Times)
Anti-Islam Activist Yerushalmi Measures Imams' Beards
Profile of Anti-Sharia Extremist David Yerushalmi

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. 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: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail:

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