Florida CAIR responds to HART's blowoff of their latest submitted ad

  • This was the ad that CAIR wanted to run on HART buses

Earlier on Monday, CL reported on the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Agency (HART) rejecting an ad that would run on HART buses, saying that even though it was modified from an earlier request, it still violated the agency's ban on commercials that prohibits promoting a religious faith or organization.

In response, CAIR's Tampa chapter director, Hassan Shibly, has sent us a statement tonight (he also takes exception to our description of the new ad in question, where we wrote that it showed " a group of Muslims. Shibly says that in fact, "actually people in the picture were Muslim, Christian, Catholic and Buddhist."

Here's CAIR's statement about what happened today:

“In light of HART’s rejection of the #MyJihad campaign, officials from CAIR and HART worked together to create a new commercial ad to promote CAIR-FL’s multi-cultural staff and civil rights advocacy services. Today’s rejection of CAIR’s new ad was based on the misconception that CAIR-FL is a religious organization, rather than a civil rights non-profit organization. The original purpose of the new ad was to promote the free legal services we provide to all members of the community regardless of religion, national origin, race, age, or disability. Likewise, in picturing our staff (only four of whom identify as Muslim), we sought to highlight the diversity we protect on a daily basis. CAIR-FL is appreciative of the commitment to diversity and inclusion shown by Commissioner Beckner, and we will regrettably be exhausting the internal appeal process before legal remedy is sought.”