Monday, March 2, 2009

March 2: Hasner's Actions Smack Of Bigotry

By Sylvia Gurinsky

What would the reaction be if a member of the Florida Legislature tried to say members of the Jewish community could not gather in Tallahassee for a celebration of their history and culture?
Angry, and justifiably so.

Yet, a Jewish member of the Florida Legislature - House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Delray Beach - seeks to deny that right to members of the state's Muslim community.

According to the St. Petersburg Times and The Miami Herald, Hasner has sent an e-mail to Jewish lobbyists, calling on them to oppose Florida Muslim Capitol Day:

Hasner is having a knee-jerk reaction to the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza - a conflict the Muslims planning to gather in Tallahassee have no responsibility for and have taken no part in.

That doesn't seem to matter to Hasner, however. For a man who is one of the legislative leaders, he seems to lack knowledge of Florida's Muslim population - who they are, what they do and how they contribute to the state.

Considering the history of persecution and hatred Jews have faced, it is more important that Jews practice derech eretz and not turn that persecution and hatred on others. That is a lesson Hasner apparently hasn't learned.

Commendably, other lawmakers seem to not be picking up the banner of bigotry that Hasner is waving.

Tonight at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center in Davie, Rabbi Bob Alper and comedian Azhar Usman are presenting their "Laugh In Peace" program. Before the legislative session starts in Tallahassee tomorrow, Hasner might want to take a flight down and catch the show. It's clear he needs it.

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