CAIR Asks Ohio School to Drop Anti-Islam Tea Party Speaker

Mar 25, 2011, 15:53 ET from Council on American-Islamic Relations

CLEVELAND, March 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Cleveland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Cleveland) today called on an Ohio school district to reject a Tea Party group's request to use a high school auditorium for an address by an anti-Islam extremist who claims all Muslims are "demons" and that "there are no good Muslims."

ACTION REQUESTED: (Be POLITE and respectful.)

Contact Mansfield City Schools


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Tel: 419-525-6400 (press 9)

CAIR-Cleveland said the address by Usama Dakdok, scheduled for Monday evening at Mansfield Senior High School in Mansfield, Ohio, has already drawn criticism from the local chapter of the NAACP.

Video: Usama Dakdok Claims Muslims are 'Demons'

NAACP at Odds with City Schools Over Tea Party Speaker on Islam

The event, called "Freedom or Surrender," is sponsored by the Mansfield North Central Ohio Tea Party Association.

SEE: Freedom or Surrender

"We are strong supporters of the First Amendment right to free speech -- even the kind of hate-filled speech used by Mr. Dakdok -- but having this event in a public school creates the perception of official endorsement and will inevitably promote a hostile learning environment for students of diverse faiths, including Muslims," said CAIR-Cleveland Executive Director Julia Shearson. "If Mr. Dakdok feels compelled to attack the faith of other Americans, there are more appropriate settings that will not violate the school district's stated core belief that 'all children deserve a safe learning environment.'"

She thanked the NAACP for challenging the inappropriate location for Dakdok's speech. "I believe the district would rightfully never allow someone who claims there are no good Jews or African-Americans to speak in a school auditorium," said Shearson.

Shearson also called on national Tea Party leaders to repudiate the hate-filled actions of their local representatives.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR-Cleveland Executive Director Julia Shearson, 216-830-2247 or 216-440-2247, E-Mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, or 202-488-8787, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail:

SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations