Florida House Passes Resolution Condemning CAIR and Calling for State Agencies to Cease Contact with Group

The Florida House on Thursday adopted a resolution condemning the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and urging state executive agencies and law enforcement to suspend contact and outreach with the group.

HR 1209, sponsored by Rep. Randy Fine (R-Palm Bay), points out that the FBI suspended contact with CAIR in 2008 due to its cozy relationship with Hamas, a U.S. Department of State designated foreign terrorist organization, and “the monsters behind the brutal attack on the State of Israel on 14 October 7, 2023.”

Over one thousand Israelis and Americans were massacred during the sneak assault and over 240 were taken hostage.

“Since October 7, 2023, Hamas terrorists and their allies have launched over 11,500 rockets into southern and central Israel, the sole goal of which was to kill Israeli civilians,” the resolution states, adding that “Hamas and Iranian leadership have called for the extermination of Israelis, Americans, Jews, and Christians.”

The resolution also points out that CAIR was identified as an associate of the Muslim Brotherhood and named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2007 trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, “the largest successful prosecution of terrorism financing in our country’s history.”

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Treasury has listed the group under the category of Specially Designated Global Terrorists, and accused the group of funding jihadist organizations, the resolution notes.

According to the Florida Voice, Rep. Christopher Benjamin (D-Miami Gardens) asked Fine if any of these allegations were “fact-checked” during the floor debate.

“Every single one of them has been footnoted in the staff analysis,” Fine answered. “Frankly all of them are easily findable on the internet. There’s nothing confidential or secret about any of them. They have been fact-checked by me.”

In November 2023, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, speaking at the American Muslims For Palestine Convention in Chicago, praised the massacre.

“The people of Gaza only decided to break the siege, the walls of the concentration camp, on October 7,” he said. “And yes, I was happy to see people breaking the siege and throwing down the shackles of their own land, and walk free into their land, which they were not allowed to walk in.”

“And yes, the people of Gaza have a right to self defense, have the right to defend themselves, and yes Israel, as an occupying power, does not have a right to self defense,” he said.

Even the Biden White House condemned CAIR after these statements came to light, calling them “shocking” and “anti-Semitic.” The White House removed CAIR from its list of organizations fighting anti-Semitism.

“I would note that I’m not the only one who found this statement offensive,” Fine said on the House floor. “I don’t agree with Joe Biden on very much, but he did too.”

Benjamin opposed the measure, arguing that CAIR has helped Muslims fight against discrimination.

“I agree with Representative Fine, if the resolution was on that itself, that would have been enough to admonish him [Awad],” Benjamin said.

“This organization means something to Muslims. This organization represents hope. This organization represents someone who will stand up when all others fail. Even if you vote down on this bill, it doesn’t make you an antiSemite, just as voting up on it won’t make you Islamaphobic,” Benjamin said.

Benjamin went on to suggest that CAIR was the victim of anti-Muslim bigotry.

“When it comes to Islam, if you want people to be quiet, just slap the title terrorist on it, and nobody will have anything to say,” Benjamin said. “No one will stand up, no one will speak out, no one will defend.”

Fine called Benjamin’s statement an example of “gaslighting.”

“This organization was founded, as we heard in the early ’90s, one year after they got together with another organization, and its in the staff analysis, you can read it and you can look at the citations, where they said Hamas has started, we need a front to advocate for it in America,” the Florida Republican said.

Fine noted that CAIR Florida once invited a convicted terrorist to an event as a featured speaker.

CAIR associates have been arrested on various terrorism-related charges over the years.

Ghassan Elashi, a Texas CAIR board of director, was sentenced to 65 years in prison in 2009 on various counts for conspiracy to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization, among others.

Another, Randall Todd Royer, was indicted on charges of conspiracy to help al Qaeda and the Taliban battle American troops fighting in Afghanistan. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in April 2004.

During a CAIR-sponsored rally in 2014, Islamist protesters chanted “we are Hamas!”

“It isn’t slander if its true,” Fine argued. “A fish rots from the head.”

He added: “We damn well ought to slap the title of terrorist on something when they are terrorists.”

The resolution passed 98 to 15.

State legislatures in Arkansas and Louisiana passed similar resolutions in 2019 and 2016 respectively.

Kyle Shideler, Director for Homeland Security & Counterterrorism for the Center for Security Policy, told American Greatness that he expects to see more resolutions condemning CAIR in the coming days.

“We think Florida doing it will open the floodgates for more action by other states. Unlike Arkansas and Louisiana, Florida has a large and influential CAIR chapter, so it’s far more momentous,” Shideler said.

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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

Photo: Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Executive Director Nihad Awad (2nd L) speaks alongside CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper (L), attorney Gadeir Abbas (2nd R) and CAIR Litigation Director Lena Masri (R), about a lawsuit the organization filed against US President Donald Trump and his administration on the ban of travelers from 7 countries by Executive Order, during a press conference at CAIR Headquarters in Washington, DC, on January 30, 2017. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)