At 8:40 PM Saturday night June 9, 2012, the Council on American Islamic Relations Tampa Director Hassan Shibly, Esq., presented a "Know Your Rights Civil Liberties Conference" at the Masjid Al-Bir in Kissimmee, FL.
The Masjid Al-Bir is a two year old pale green 15,000 square foot Mosque facility located in a remote rural part of Kissimmee, FL off Old Tampa Highway. As we approached the entrance of the Mosque, the women were instructed to enter through the women-only entrance leading them into a small area enclosed by a 6 foot solid white vinyl outdoor fence one could not see in or out of. We did not see or hear from the women until we met again in the poorly lit outside parking lot after the event was over. CAIR and the Masjid Al-Bir had no sensitivity towards the non-Muslim women who were not allowed out of the enclosure even after the Maghreb (evening) prayers were concluded.
Upon entering the Mosque, my video camera and press credentials were clearly visible when Jamal Hassouneh, Masjid Al-Bir Board Member, approached me and said he will need to speak with the speaker (Hassan Shibly) to see if video would be allowed. A few minutes later Mr. Hassouneh returned and said,
"You can stay but no cameras, no recording...because this is basically for the community and that is our policy...you are welcome to listen, there is nothing secret about it but we will not allow cameras or recording."