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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

Thursday, October 11, 2007

What does your god teach you?

Two days ago, I forwarded the CAIR action alert asking Californians to contact Governor Schwarzenegger to urge him to sign on the California DREAM-Act (SB-1) which will grant qualified undocumented immigrant students -- who grew up in California and graduated from our high schools -- to apply for and receive financial aid at our colleges and universities. . Read more about the bill below.

In response to that alert, I received several e-mails from a local person attacking Islam and CAIR's position on the DREAM Act issue. Disagreeing over political views is normal, and even healthy; however, for one to resort to offensive and even bigoted language against the religious values of others is never acceptable. Below is the email exchange I had with the sender of the email. (I removed the last name of the person to protect her privacy)


From: Linda B.
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 8:31 PM
Subject: RE: Urge California Governor Schwarzenegger to sign the California DREAM-Act

Perhaps God the Compassionate the merciful could have stopped the stoning of women under Islamic Law. The slaughtered pulp of what was left probably wasn't really feeling that compassion you're talking about.


From: Linda B.
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 8:29 PM
Subject: RE: Urge California Governor Schwarzenegger to sign the California DREAM-Act

As a high school teacher I can tell you that there are so many many middle and lower class families absolutely struggling to send their children to college. All monies for post secondary education which come from tax monies must be used to educate our citizens first. Americans cannot afford to send THEIR OWN children to college, how in the world can you expect them to educate children from other countries when their own children cannot afford to go? Better rethink this one. My God believes in justice, I don't know about yours.



From: Hussam
To: Linda

Hi Linda,

Those children and their parents might not be legal residents, but they also pay taxes, like all of us. Even if they did not, we should not punish children for something they were not responsible for. Last that I checked, America gave all of us an opportunity to strive and realize our dreams although our earliest immigrants who came on the Columbus ships and soon after were not quite legal immigrants themselves. Should we be penalized for the illegal actions of those early settlers?

As for your question about my God, here is what He stands for.

My God teaches us that “all people are the dependents of God and the most loved by God are those who take care of His dependents”. (Saying of Prophet Muhammad)

My God teaches us that helping those in need does not depend on their nationality, citizenship, race, color, or immigration status.

My God teaches us that all people are part of one family. We all are the children of Adam and Eve. We all are brothers and sisters in humanity.

My God teaches us that it is not fair to punish children for the mistake of their parents. Those children did not choose to come here illegally and should not be deprived from education.

My God teaches us that “one is not a true believer until he/she loves for others what he/she loves for him/herself”. I love for my children to get an education; therefore, I love it for other people’s children too.

My God teaches us that it is immoral to invade and destroy other nations and countries. He teaches us that it is immoral to be willing to spend over $500,000,000,000 (that’s 500 billions) to wage war and create desperation on people thousands of miles away, but opposed to spending a fraction of that amount to bring prosperity and hope to people sharing our own communities.

Linda, that’s what my God and the God of every Muslim, Christian and Jew stands for (I studied the Qur’an and the Bible). I am afraid that the god you are following is none but the false gods of selfishness, greed, xenophobia, nationalism, and arrogance.

I pray to God that He places love and mercy in our hearts toward others.

Peace and regards,
Hussam Ayloush

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