The Tea Party movement’s conflict with minorities appears to be deepening as the grassroots organization came under fire from a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization for booking a speaker for an upcoming event whom it calls “extremist” and “anti-Islam.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which is based in Washington, D.C., has complained that the Emerald Coast Tea Party Patriots have invited Brigitte Gabriel to deliver the keynote speech at the organization’s U.S. Constitution Freedom Rally in Florida on August 21.
Gabriel is an author and journalist who founded the American Congress for Truth and ACT for America, and has expressed her belief that Islam is contributing to keeping Arab societies backwards. She is also known for saying that Muslims should be barred from holding public office.
CAIR national communications director Ibrahim Hooper said that "now is the time for Tea Party leaders to clearly demonstrate that their movement will not allow itself to be associated with bigotry of any kind, including Islamophobia.”
He also called on political candidates—including GOP Senate candidate Marco Rubio—who are expected to attend the event to boycott it unless Gabriel is dis-invited.