Mayor Pam Iorio has decided to halt proclamations of an annual day in Tampa for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an organization that says it seeks to defend the civil rights of Muslims in the United States but has been accused of terrorist links. Iorio has proclaimed a “CAIR Day” each fall since 2005. The organization has an active chapter in Tampa. Among other activities, it has defended Youssef Megahed, a University of South Florida student arrested in 2007 on explosives charges along with another student who was accused of aiding terrorists. Megahed was acquitted but is now subject to deportation proceedings. Iorio, who didn’t return calls for comment, said through a spokeswoman the mayor’s decision was based on her own research on the group. She made the decision after at least two interest groups contacted the city about the matter. The mayor’s spokeswoman said in an e-mail that Iorio sought additional information based on a request from the Tampa Jewish Community Center and Federation….. Iorio’s media spokeswoman Liana Lopez confirmed her decision in a statement:”Concerns were raised about the city’s proclamation regarding CAIR Day,” Lopez said. “The mayor followed up on those concerns by seeking additional information. She determined that the city would no longer issue a CAIR Day proclamation.” Lopez said Iorio won’t comment further on the matter.
A post from last November reported that at an annual banquet of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Tampa, the Tampa Mayor declared a “CAIR Day” in the city. and that featured speakers at the event were Rep. Keith Ellison (D -MN), the first Muslim elected to Congress, and John Esposito, the Georgetown University academic who has been a long-time supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood.
A report recently issued by the Hudson Institute discusses the origins of CAIR and its founders/leaders in both the Palestine Committee of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and the U.S. Hamas support infrastructure. A previous post discussed an interview with the Deputy leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in which he confirms a relationship between his organization and CAIR. Investigative research posted on GMBDW had determined that CAIR has a long history of support for fundamentalism, anti-Semitism, and terrorism. CAIR has been under pressure lately in connection with the public decision by the FBI to suspend formal partnerships with the group