Tampa rallies for Muslims and refugees, demands end to U.S. wars
Tampa, FL – Two-dozen people rallied here, Jan. 13, to end violence against Muslims and refugees in Tampa. The Committee to Stop FBI Repression (CSFR)-Tampa organized the rally against Islamophobic violence in Tampa.
One Muslim woman in New Tampa had stones and other objects thrown at her, while another Muslim woman's car was shot at in East Tampa. Both were leaving mosques when they were attacked. Another anti-Muslim incident in the Tampa area involved a man leaving a voicemail threatening to set off a bomb in a local mosque.
These Islamophobic attacks, and the political repression of Muslims and Arabs in the U.S., coincide with ongoing U.S. intervention in Syria and Iraq. At the same time, Florida Governor Rick Scott opposes resettling Syrian refugees in Florida and called on Congress to ensure they are denied entry.
The CSFR-Tampa united people around four major demands: an end to Islamophobic violence, for Governor Rick Scott to welcome refugees to Florida, no more U.S. military intervention in Syria and the Middle East, and justice for Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian American activist being targeted by the U.S. government.
Muaaz Hassan of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest civil rights organization representing Muslims in the U.S., affirmed the demands, “At the core of Islamophobia is empire and imperialism, which dominates the world. To justify their horrendous foreign policy, the U.S. government and corporate media demonize Muslims. We must work to educate our community to fight back against state repression and violence, or be complicit in these grave injustices.”
Danya Zituni of the CSFR-Tampa summarized the importance of the rally, “We cannot rely on the politicians who politically repress, racially profile, jail, torture and murder our families to make social change. We need to build the mass movements that collectively struggle for an end to all systemic oppression under this racist, capitalist system.”
Other organizations at the rally included Friends of Human Rights, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, St. Pete for Peace and Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).
The Committee to Stop FBI Repression-Tampa and allies are planning a rally in solidarity with Rasmea Odeh when the written ruling of her appeal is announced.