Read my new response to Steven Emerson in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal. You can also read my previous letter in which I challenged his commentary supporting the bigoted attacks on an American Muslim city council candidate.
Dec. 1, 2006
It is a sign of desperation on the part of America's most vicious Islamophobe, Steven Emerson, to resort to deception and defamation to try to undermine CAIR's work. It troubles him to see a growing number of Muslims and Jews working together on issues of social justice, religious tolerance and civil rights. The more we directly talk to each other, the more irrelevant extremists like Emerson are going to be.
CAIR representatives regularly speak at synagogues. Rabbis and people of the Jewish faith continue to be invited to speak at mosques and CAIR events. CAIR spends a great deal of time conversing and exchanging ideas with the Jewish community. Some of most ardent supporters of CAIR and champions of human rights for the Muslim community are Jewish.
For the record, CAIR never did and will never sponsor any event that promotes any form of racism, including anti-Semitism. Specifically, as Emerson was told repeatedly, CAIR has no connection, direct or indirect, to the event he referred to in New York.
If anything, CAIR has repeatedly spoken against those who resort to negative stereotyping in order to comment on the Arab-Israeli conflict, such as when we criticized an Arab newspaper that published excerpts from the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion." Claiming that CAIR or I are anti-Semitic will be found ridiculous and offensive by CAIR's many Jewish members and donors who include rabbis among them.
Information and not misinformation is the first step on the path to dialogue, mutual respect and trust and cooperation. When I needed to learn more about the Jewish community, I went to The Jewish Federation and to my Jewish friends. I did not go to the KKK.
I invite you to learn more about Islam and CAIR by visiting www.cair.com and more about me by visiting my blog at www.hussamayloush.blogspot.com and not from the hate-mongering of Emerson or Pat Robertson.
I know that we are not always going to agree on all issues, including the Middle East conflict. However, dialogue is the only way forward toward a just resolution of the Middle East conflict.
I am confident that most of us would like for our debate and even disagreement to remain within the civil and compassionate boundaries taught to us, respectively, by our great teachings of Judaism and Islam. It is time for all of us to reject the extremists who insist on deciding on our behalf that there is no common ground among us.
CAIR Southern California
- Hussam Ayloush
- Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html