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C CAIR-FL In The News

Rep. Alcee Hastings invites Muslim leader to State of the Union address

By George Bennett, For Palm Beach Post, On 12 January 2016, Read Original
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U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach, has invited Council on American-Islamic Relations Florida Regional Director Nezar Hamze to be his guest for President Barack Obama‘s State of the Union Address tonight, CAIR announced today.

 The invitation comes as CAIR has sent a letter to Obama decrying “inaccurate and inflammatory Islamophobic statements by public figures like Donald Trump, Ben Carson and others” and urging the president to use tonight’s speech to “offer a strong defense of our nation’s longstanding traditions of religious inclusion and mutual respect at a time when the forces of division and polarization seem to dominate.”

Said Hamze, in a statement released by CAIR: “It’s an honor to respond to Rep. Hastings courtesy of inviting me as a representative of his thousands of Muslim Constituents…We are a positive force, not only in his District but also for the rest of Florida and our Nation. We are proud to be both Americans and Muslims.”

The invitation from Hastings comes as a stark contrast to one of Hamze’s previous encounters with a member of the Palm Beach County congressional delegation. Back in 2011, Hamze confronted former Republican Rep. Allen West at a town hall in Pompano Beach, waving a Koran and challenging West to “show me one verse in this Koran where it says to attack America, attack Americans, or attack innocent people.”

West began reciting violent episodes from Islam’s history and told Hamze “Don’t try to blow sunshine up my butt.”

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