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C CAIR-FL In The News

GOP Rep. Harasses, Belittles Muslim Woman, But Other Lawmakers’ Reactions Are Sicker

By Staff, For news.groupspeak, On 29 February 2016, Read Original
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A Muslim woman, who is a member of Florida’s chapter of the Council for American-Islamic Relations, was only riding an elevator in the Florida state capitol with legislators she had just met with over a controversial bill. One of the state’s Republican representatives, Tom Goodson, mocked her in a racist, demeaning manner as he hesitated to get on the elevator with her. Laila Abdelaziz is rightfully angry at what he did. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of it. What happened afterward was worse than just the comment.

According to a post she wrote on her Facebook wall, Goodson said, as he hesitated at the entrance to the elevator:

“Oh, is it safe to ride the elevator with you?”

The implication is that she’s Muslim, so she’s a terrorist. Or likely a terrorist. No doubt Goodson thought he was just making a joke, but there are some jokes you just don’t make.

Abdelaziz wasn’t alone with Goodson. She says that other Florida lawmakers were there, and reacted this way:

“Everyone laughed. Every single one of them laughed (Democrat, Republican, white, black, old, young) as I was belittled with a wildly inappropriate remark that because I’m a Muslim this Representative should be afraid to ride in an elevator with me.”

She then said, “It’s not funny. It hurts.”

Florida’s House is working on a bill that would allow Governor Rick Scott to use the National Guard to prevent Middle Eastern refugees from entering the state, on the grounds that they might be terrorists. Abdelaziz was there to speak out against the bill, and everyone near her when Goodson demeaned her went full Islamophobic on her.


Even Democrats, which is horribly shameful for the party that’s supposed to be against this kind of thing.

When The Huffington Post talked to Abdelaziz, she said that these were all people who knew her. She’d just been in meetings with them, and she believes she’s a “tough girl,” but the situation left her in tears.

As of the time of this posting, there were more than 100 comments on Abdelaziz’s post. Most of them are supportive of her, and show righteous anger and indignation at what these legislators subjected her to.

She believes that the majority of lawmakers in the state of Florida have no business running the state, and this just cemented that for her. She’s right – if they’re going to act this way towards any group at all, if they think this kind of thing is funny, they have no business leading a state.

Islamophobia is in full swing in America, and while it may not be as prevalent on the left as it is on the right, it apparently is still there. Between 2001 and 2011, the U.S. government identified just 160 Islamic terrorists here. Right-wing terrorism is far more prevalent, but everyone’s afraid of Muslims. Our own people couldn’t possibly be as dangerous.

Islamophobia, along with just plain old hate, reared its ugly and disgusting head when Goodson decided it was okay to treat a Muslim the way that he did. Sure, he probably thought he was joking, and people would no doubt tell Abdelaziz to lighten up. Some jokes shouldn’t be made. This is one of them. It’s not right to make fun of someone for being who they are.

Read her full Facebook post below:




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