Today, the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) pointed out that State Rep. Adam Hasner -- the House Republican leader -- is listed as a "coalition partner" for an upcoming coming "free speech summit" that could be seen as an anti-Muslim event. The featured speaker will be Geert Wilders, a controversial Dutch politician who faced death threats after making a film about Islam in the Netheralnds. In January, criminal charges were filed against Wilders in Amsterdam for "inciting hatred and discrimination."
The conference --scheduled for Monday, April 27 at the Delray Beach Marriott -- is being put on by the Florida Security Council. On its website, the FSC says it is run by Tom Trento, a speaker who enjoys "challenging any and all Islamists to public debates" and often speaks at "hostile settings that include universities, radio, and TV."
Rep. Adam Hasner, R-Delray Beach, who is Jewish, has been criticized in recent months for seeming worried when some Muslims constituents were coming to speak with their representatives in Tallahassee. In reaction to the criticism, he held a press conference emphasizing that all constituents, Muslims included, should have their voices heard. He also introduced a resolution expressing support for Israel. (The House passed the resolution unanimously.)
While critics have called Hasner a "hatemonger," and CAIR says Hasner is behind the "Anti-Muslim Hate Fest," the groups supporting the conference are generally unapologetic for coming off as discriminatory, arguing that it would be a grave mistake to underestimate the threat of radical Islam. Asked to confirm or deny his involvement with the conference, a spokesperson for Hasner, Joseph Agostini, said "Representative Hasner intends to participate if he is able to return home in time for the event. The uncertainty of this happening is because of the heavy Session week scheduled...we have floor sessions through Friday and lots on our agenda."