September 1, 2005
While I appreciate your concerns in regards to the lecture
series at the Broward County Main Library, the Council on American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR) is a non-profit organization whose members are a diverse
cross-section of the American-Muslim community representing students
and professionals from diverse backgrounds including the medical, educational,
and legal fields.
CAIR is the largest grass-roots civil liberties advocacy
organization for American Muslims. Its mission is to enhance understanding
of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American
Muslims and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
Contrary to your assertions, CAIR has always taken a
principled position against terrorism. CAIR has joined other major Muslim
groups in America to condemn 9/11 less than three hours after the horrific
incident occurred. Each gruesome act that shocked Americans, from the
murder of Dan Pearl to the bombings in London, has equally shocked Muslims
and brought swift and unequivocal condemnations from CAIR. The violence
committed by a few in the name of Islam is a complete antithesis to
the peaceful expressions of faith by the mainstream majority of Muslims,
especially the members of CAIR.
Additionally, CAIRs work and its position are
well documented, and their track record provides credibility to their
campaign of promoting mutual understanding in our society. The members
of CAIR are proud Americans who continue to be hopeful in the face of
intolerance and prejudice against the American-Muslim community.
Finally, the Broward County Library staff has indicated
that the six programs are completely informational in content. CAIR
has indicated that 20 - 30 people may be attending. There is no exhibit
associated with these programs. The library has co-sponsored this series,
in that CAIR was allowed, just as other non-profit groups are allowed,
to book the meeting room. Flyers were prepared flyers and the series
was placed in the library's "Bookings Program Guide". No library
funds of any kind were allocated for this program or to individuals
presenting. This is what the library would do for any non-profit organization
that presents informational programs of a cultural nature.
Accordingly, program series is continuing at the Broward
County Main Library for the remainder of its series.
Commissioner, District 1
115 S. Andrews Avenue, Room 417
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301