Florida

Florida

Census Estimated Arab American Population: 100,627

Source: 2005-2009 American Community Survey Rolling 5-Year Average – U.S. Census Bureau

Key Election Dates:

Voter Registration Deadline - Pres. Pref. Primary: January 3, 2012
Presidential Preference Primary: January 31, 2012
Voter Registration Deadline - Primary Election: July 16, 2012
Primary Election: August 14, 2012
Voter Registration Deadline - General Election: October 9, 2012

Organizations to Know*:

The Arab American Community Center (AACC)
Emerge USA
Middle Eastern American Professionals Association

Lowe’s Controversy and the Florida Family Association

Hardware giant Lowe’s was the target of backlash, including a nationwide boycott, from the American Muslim community following its decision to pull its advertisements from the TLC reality show, “All American Muslim.” The controversy drew attention to the Florida Family Association, an anti-Muslim group that pushed for companies to withdraw from advertising on the program due to its portrayal of American Muslims as “ordinary folks,” which it claimed did not accurately reflect the “threat” of Islam to the United States.

Anti-Sharia Legislation

The anti-Sharia movement that has become popular across the country took hold in Florida as well, where a bill was introduced in the state legislature that would prevent “foreign law” from being applied in any circumstance that would limit the constitutional rights of American citizens. While the bill does not make specific reference to Islam or Sharia law, it was widely described as an attempt to stop the spread of Sharia law in the United States.

Rep. Allen West

Florida’s Representative Allen West has made a name for himself as an opponent of Islam in the United States, calling it a “very vile and very vicious enemy” and holding a briefing in Washington, in conjunction with Citizens for National Security, on the threat of Islam to the United States. More recently, West defended the U.S. Marines who were shown on video urinating on Taliban corpses, saying that the Marines should not be judged because “war is hell.”

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen(R-FL) sponsored H.R. 2829, the “United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act of 2011.” The bill asks that Congress exert U.S. influence by cutting 50% of contributions to the U.N. and completely defunding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.
Source: The Arab American Institute’s 2011 Congressional Scorecard

*Want your organization listed? Contact us at emanna@aaiusa.org