Many across the Tampa Bay area are working to spread positivity in light of the “Punish a Muslim Day” campaign gaining momentum around the world.
A flyer that was first sent anonymously to communities overseas promoted “Punish a Muslim Day” and ended up spreading like wildfire online.
The message labels April 3 as the day of violence against Muslims. It promotes a system that awards points for the more harm someone does to Muslims.
Employees of CAIR Florida – the Council on American-Islamic Relations – notified law enforcement across the state.
The flyer isn’t helping with their efforts to combat negativity.
“It can be a struggle. People have called me personally names, told me to go back where I came from,” said Majda Rahmanovic, the community outreach and events director of CAIR – Florida.
Rahmanovic, a mother, wife and advocate, refuses to let the threats stop her.
“We don’t want to focus on the negative. We really want to focus on love for Muslims,” Rahmanovic said. “I’m personally not going to sit in my house and let fear get the better of me.”
“I’m proud to be an American and I love my neighbors. I love this community,” she added.
That love is why Rahmanovic took part in the Green Party of Tampa’s “Love a Muslim Day” event Tuesday at the Peace House on North 56th Street.
Kim O’Connor of the Green Party said the goal was to have an open discussion about challenges Muslims face and to spread awareness.
“Take a chance, get to know somebody and put your preconceived notions to the side and know some truth,” said Thania Diaz Clevenger, the civil rights director and lead attorney of CAIR – Florida.