Wednesday, 21 August 2019

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CAIR-Florida Calls Florida’s House Bill 741 an Unconstitutional Attempt to Curb Criticism of Israel’s Human Rights Violation

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(TAMPA, FL, 3/5/2019) -- The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida), the state’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today criticized Florida’s HB741 as an “unconstitutional” measure designed to block legitimate criticism of Israel’s human rights violations.

CAIR-Florida says the bill, introduced by Representative Fina and Senator Guter, is unconstitutional because it clearly violates the right of freedom of speech. The bill is also inequitable as it caters to only one of the multiple religious minorities that face discrimination on a regular basis in Florida. For instance, HB741 fails to protect all religions.

HB741 limits and/or criminalizes freedom of speech by defining the following as anti-Semitic expressions:

  • criticizing Israel for inter-religious tensions or political tensions
  • ordering an investigation of the state of Israel for human rights violations

Wilfredo Amr Ruiz, CAIR-Florida’s Communications Director, said: 

“Criminalizing legitimate criticism of Israel or any other country’s human rights abuses is a clear violation of our constitutional right to freedom of speech. This bill does a disservice to all the minority communities that have suffered from an unprecedented number of hate incidents and hate crimes over the few past years.” 

 

CAIR-Florida is the state’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

 La misión de CAIR-Florida es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CONTACT: 

CAIR-Florida Communications Director Wilfredo A Ruiz, 954.272.0490, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.