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Pipe-bomb attack on Jacksonville mosque highlights tension over Muslim’s appointment to city board
|Contributor||The Sunset Provision |
|Last Edited||The Sunset Provision Aug 19, 2010 12:26pm|
|News Date||Thursday, August 19, 2010 08:00:00 PM UTC0:0|
|Description||A May 10 pipe-bomb explosion outside the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida did little in the way of physical damage. No injuries were reported in the small blast, which occurred around 9:35 p.m. during evening services. But the attack punctuates tensions surrounding Jacksonville’s Muslim community, coming as it did on the heels of the confirmation of the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission’s first Muslim member, Parvez Ahmed. |
For Ahmed, a Fulbright scholar and economics professor at the University of North Florida, the confirmation process was a rocky one, marked by controversial and divisive remarks from City Council members. During an April 27 meeting, Councilman Don Redman elicited gasps from the audience when he called on Ahmed to “pray to his God” and questioned whether Ahmed was offended by Christian prayers.
Another point of contention was Ahmed’s work with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, for which he served as national board chairman for three years. CAIR has been accused in recent years of having links to terrorism, but Ahmed has repeatedly said that his work for the organization only had to do with civil rights.