FLORIDA: Mass mailing sent to Temple Terrace homes in the Tampa area questions whether or not a Muslim candidate is fit for office and offers solid reasons why he probably is not.
CAIR-Florida City Council candidate Wael Odeh has lived more than three decades in this town of 25,000 straddling the Hillsborough River. Odeh is also a Muslim, born in Palestinian territory, and some believes that’s enough to disqualify him from election to the City Council.
An anonymous letter has been mailed to a number of addresses in Temple Terrace questioning whether City Hall is safe with a Muslim working there and whether Odeh has ties to terrorism. The typewritten, single-spaced, one-page letter is dated October 2016.
Among a number of questions it poses: “Could Odeh’s election be a foot in the door of Sharia Law’s subtle influence in our community?” Sharia is the detailed system of religious law developed by Muslim scholars in the early centuries of Islam and still in force among fundamentalists.
Among other questions raised in the letter are why Odeh has not revealed in campaign mailers where he was born. The letter also questions whether he forces his wife into a subservient role, as do some observers of sharia.
In addition, the letter says that designated terrorist group CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) endorses Odeh and claims the group has links to terrorism (It does).
In a statement to the Times, CAIR Florida’s government affairs director Laila Abdelaziz said, “This unfounded and slanderous attack on Mr. Odeh is concerning, and we hope Temple Terrace residents, community leaders and neighbors will reject its Islamophobic message.”
Still, Temple Terrace City Council member Grant Rimbey said he worries the truth may not matter to a certain block of voters.
“That is the sad reality,” Rimbey said. “I think there is racism in the city” and there are people “who want to keep Temple Terrace looking like it did in 1952 forever.” (What “race” is Islam?) Rimbey and Odeh estimate that 20 to 25 percent of Temple Terrace’s population is Muslim. (Now, that really IS disturbing – more Muslim block-busting)
Six candidates have applied for two open seats on the council; the two candidates recording the most votes Nov. 8 will fill the positions. Odeh said he invites anyone with questions about Muslims to reach out to him — including the author of the anonymous letter. “If he wanted to learn more, he should have come to me directly.” (He learned everything he needed to know about Muslims on 9/11)