Tampa Mayor says she will no longer issue proclamations for CAIR
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06/11/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:

Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio’s office confirmed today that they will no longer award proclamations for CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, and a critic of the group says it was his criticism of the group that led to her decision.

Joe Kaufman is the head of the South Florida group called Americans Against Hate. For years, he has accused CAIR of being associated Hamas, the Middle East organization that is listed by the U.S. Government as a terrorist organization, but is also the legislative body ruling Gaza in the Palestinian terrorities.

The trial Kaufman referred to involved the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development in 2007, where CAIR was named as one of 3 unindicted co-conspirators in a plot to fund Hamas.

Last month, 5 members of the Holy Land Foundation were sentenced to federal prison , after a federal jury found them guilty of providing material support to Hamas.

Kaufman said he first contacted Mayor Iorio’s office after the last time she offered a proclamation for CAIR, back in November.

Ramzy Kilic is the Executive Director with the Council for American Islamic Relations in Tampa. He said he was stunned to learn that the Mayor will no longer offer proclamations to his group.

And Kilic accuses Kaufman, who calls himself an anti-terrorist researcher, of being involved himself with an extremist organization.

Joe Kaufman with Americans Against Hate denies he has any association.

WMNF called Mayor Iorio’s office today. Nobody would go on tape, but Public Affairs Director Liana Lopez did issue a statement saying,

”Concerns were raised about the city's proclamation regarding CAIR Day. The mayor followed up on those concerns by seeking additional information. She determined that the city would no longer issue a CAIR Day proclamation.”

Joe Kaufman has in the past written about WMNF. In 2007 he called the station’hate radio’ in front page magazine, for producing the show Muslim show “True Talk”. He has also recently criticized True Talk co-host Ahmed Bedier, after he hosted a delegation in Tallahassee in March to lobby on Muslim issues.

Kaufman has also been writing that the FBI has broken off relations with CAIR, but that is not true. Last month,FBI Director Robert Mueller acknowledged tension in the relationship, but said overall relations were good between the two groups.

Mayor Iorio in the past has not only issued proclamations for the organization, but also attended CAIR’s annual banquet at the Tampa Convention Center in 2005.

CAIR’s Ramzy Kilic says he hopes to have a chance to speak with the Mayor one on one to discuss the issue further.

Americans Against Hate’s Joe Kaufman says his goal is to shut down CAIR totally.

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