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South Florida Muslims, CAIR disappointed in Gov. Rick Scott for dodging question about Islam

CAIR attorney said Muslims feel betrayed by a governor


PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Florida Gov. Rick Scott caused a media uproar recently when he didn’t directly answer a question regarding Florida’s Muslim population during an appearance on “Morning Joe.”

While on the morning program Scott was asked about Republican front-runner Donald Trump’s Wednesday night statement "I think Islam hates us."

He was given the question: "Do you think Muslims in the state of Florida hate America?"

Scott answered with: "Well as you know in Florida we’re the best melting pot in the world, we love everyone coming to our state."

Scott was asked the question three more times and ended up being booted off the show after never giving a direct response.

"I can tell you that I'm glad everybody's here in Florida," Scott said before being bumped off the show. "We're doing well here. I hope they talk about jobs."

That political wavering didn't set well with some in South Florida’s Muslim community. 

Tehsin Siddiqui, a Democrat from Davie, said she would have liked Scott to have answered the question - no matter which way he stood on the issue. 

"If you stand with Trump, then stand with Trump," Siddiqui said. "Come clean, don’t be someone you’re not."  

Yasir Billoo, a Republican, said he wasn’t impressed by Scott’s response either.

"It seemed like he came in with a talking point," Billoo, a Pembroke Pines resident, said. "I don’t know what he was thinking, he kept repeating himself. It seemed inauthentic."  

Scott's performance not only garnered plenty of media attention and backlash from South Florida Muslims, but also condemnation from the Council on American-Islam Relations.  

"We feel betrayed by a governor that we were expecting from him nothing but equality here in the state," CAIR attorney Wilfredo Ruiz said.

He said Scott should have stood up "for over half a million Muslim, saying 'No there are Muslims today protecting me, protecting our citizens, serving our nation as businessmen, as university professors, as hundreds in plural of doctors.'"