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CAIR Florida Representative, Nezar Hamze, Attending The State Of The Union Address

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(Tampa, FL, 1/12/15) – The Regional Operations Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations - Florida (CAIR Florida), Nezar Hamze, will be attending the State of the Union address later today as a guest of Florida Democratic congressman, Rep. Alcee Hastings.

“It’s an honor to respond to Rep. Hastings courtesy of inviting me as a representative of his thousands of Muslim Constituents.”, Mr. Hamze stated. “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.”



CAIR Florida's Regional Operations Director, Nezar Hamze


Hamze will be joining other prominent American Muslim leaders invited by other lawmakers such as Rep. Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) and Zoe Lofgren (Calif.).

Earlier, the Council on American-Islamic Relations urged President Obama to offer support for the American Muslim community during his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday.

In a letter sent today to the president, CAIR National Executive Director, Nihad Awad, wrote in part:

"I urge you 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. As one writer noted recently, there has never been an America without Muslims.

"CAIR has received more reports about acts of Islamophobic violence, bullying, threats, intimidation, and discrimination targeting American Muslims (or those perceived to be Muslim) and Islamic institutions during the past year than during any other period of time since the 9/11 terror attacks.

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"That backlash has been exacerbated by inaccurate and inflammatory Islamophobic statements by public figures like Donald Trump, Ben Carson and others. These intolerant views echo a dark period of history that should be taken as a lesson, not a license.

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"We are pleased that a number of elected officials have announced plans to invite American Muslims to attend the State of the Union address and hope those in attendance will hear a defense of their civil rights and their right to civic participation.

"I respectfully request that you use the opportunity provided by the State of the Union address to recognize the many positive contributions American Muslims have made and continue to make to our society, to push back against rising anti-Muslim intolerance and to set a positive tone by offering support to American Muslims during a time when they feel under siege by growing hatred and attacks.

"The growth of Islamophobia and racism harms not only American Muslims, it impacts Americans of all faiths and backgrounds through the corrosive effect it has on national unity."

Last month, CAIR welcomed President Obama's rejection of Islamophobia during a prime-time address to the nation on his plans to combat terrorism and to defeat ISIS.

In that address, the President repudiated the view that there should be a war on Islam, acknowledged that the vast majority of the victims of terrorism are Muslims and that extremists are a "tiny fraction" of Muslims worldwide, and rejected both discrimination against American Muslims and a religious test for those admitted to this country.

President Obama concluded his statement against Islamophobia by saying, "Muslim Americans are our friends and neighbors, our coworkers, our sports heroes, and, yes, they are our men and women in uniform who are willing to die in defense of our country. We have to remember that."

Video: President Obama's Oval Office Statement Rejecting Islamophobia

CAIR Florida is the state’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties of all people, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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[email protected]

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Call 833.CAIRFLA (833.224.7352)

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CAIR Florida office locations:

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