Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida invited Nazar Hamze, a Broward County deputy sheriff and an official with the state chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, to be his guest at the State of the Union address last night, which did not sit well with some conservatives, least of all the Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney.
Gaffney dedicated the first segment of his “Secure Freedom Radio” program yesterday to discussing the “Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of Obama’s SOTU,” with Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma.
After Gaffney claimed that Hamze is “tied to a group that is directly linked to Hamas” (you can read more about that accusation against CAIR here), Lankford called Hamze’s attendance “one of those sad moments” and went on to imply that Hamze’s presence undermined both national security and American values.
America’s always been a place where we absolutely have freedom of faith and religion. People can choose to have whatever faith they choose to have or whatever religion or have no religion at all, that’s up to any American, we have that protected right. The difference is, is that we also believe that, as George Washington did at the very beginning as well, that there is a culture that is American culture that is extremely important, regardless of what faith that you have and that you practice, that we believe in a Constitution, a rule of law and a value for each human being, and that sets us apart. And there are parts of the world, and many Muslim countries around the world, where the individual is not valued, the individual is not important, the state is more important, and that’s not who we are.
It’s also an issue for us that we look at it and to say we believe in male and female and those individuals in the balanced rights of each of those, and that’s not so for many others. So when people bring in someone who has any connection to CAIR or other organizations, I look at it and say, okay, you may be driving a message home of faith, this is not about faith, this is an American value and basic national security.
Back in 2011, Hamze tried to join the Broward County GOP’s executive committee, citing his “conservative values” but was “blasted with 15 minutes worth of insults” and rejected. He clashed repeatedly with former Rep. Allen West of Florida, who in one memorable exchange about whether the Koran sanctions violence, told Hamze not to “blow sunshine up my butt.”