About Me

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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 29, 2009

CAIR-LA Condemns Shooting at North Hollywood Synagogue

(LOS ANGELES, CA, 10/29/09) - The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today condemned a shooting incident in the parking garage of a North Hollywood synagogue in which two worshipers were injured. The worshipers are reported to be hospitalized in good condition.

A motive for the shooting has yet to be established, but a bias motive is being investigated.

SEE: Police Search for Gunman in North Hollywood Synagogue Shooting (LA Times blog)

In a statement, CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said:

"We condemn this attack near the Adat Yeshurun Valley Sephardic Orthodox synagogue in the strongest possible terms and offer our prayers for the victims and their families.

"No worshiper -- whether Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh, or other -- should be made to feel unsafe or intimidated at a house of worship. We also appreciate the LAPD's investigation and enhanced security in response to the attack."

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ayloush and local Muslims Participate in Protest against Neo-Nazis

CAIR-LA and Riverside Muslims Participate in Protest against Neo-Nazis

(ANAHEIM, CA, 10/26/09) - The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) and Riverside Muslims joined in a counter-protest on Saturday against neo-Nazis who had gathered to protest undocumented day laborers.

(Photo: SDNN)

The organizers of the counter-protest said the turnout was successful, with over 600 members from diverse faiths and backgrounds speaking out against some two dozen neo-Nazis' hate and bigotry.

CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush, who attended the rally with his children, said:

"It's important for all Americans - whether Muslim, Jew, Christian, Asian, Latino, black or other - to strongly and vehemently speak out against the hatred and bigotry of those who seek to dehumanize others.
"I brought my teenage children with me to the counter-protest to make sure that they never take for granted the sacrifices of early civil rights activists such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Cesar Chavez."
SEE: Neo-Nazi demonstration in Riverside spurs confrontations (P-E)

The neo-Nazi group, National Socialist Movement, held a rally last month but was met similarly with hundreds of counter-protesters.

Also, earlier this month, Jewish worshipers at Temple Beth El in Riverside were intimidated and harassed by neo-Nazis who held signs and flags bearing Nazi swastikas in front of the synagogue.

SEE: Calif. Muslims Condemn Neo-Nazi Harassment
The counter-protest was organized by 50 community organizations, including CAIR-LA and the Islamic Center of Riverside.

With the continued economic downturn, anti-immigrant and racist groups are increasingly promoting anti-immigrant sentiment by unfairly blaming immigrants - documented or otherwise - for "stealing" American jobs.

CAIR-LA rejects such scapegoating and calls for immigration reforms that preserve the dignity and respect of immigrants and their families.

SEE: A Muslim Perspective on Illegal Immigration (OC Register)

(Ayloush's Photo: CC 2009 Nick Bygon)

87-Member Minority Caucus: Muslim 'Intern Spy' Hunt Smacks Of McCarthy Era

Justin Elliott | October 23, 2009

In a strongly-worded statement today, the Congressional Tri-Caucus, which represents three minority caucuses, denounced a call by four GOP lawmakers for an investigation into whether Muslim "intern spies" have infiltrated the Hill.

"These charges smack of an America of sixty years ago where lists of 'un-American' agitators were identified," said Reps. Michael Honda (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Nydia Velazquez (D-NY). They are the chairs of the Asian Pacific American Caucus, the Black Caucus, and the Hispanic Caucus, respectively...

Here's the full statement, which was released on behalf of the entire caucus:

Four of our colleagues, Reps. John Shadegg (AZ), Paul Broun (GA), Trent Franks (AZ) and Sue Myrick (NC) recently requested that the House Sergeant at Arms to launch an investigation of the civil rights group CAIR, or Council on American-Islamic Relations, to determine whether it was placing staff and interns in key Congressional offices who they fear are acting as "spies."

This proposed investigation coincides with the launch of a book by Dave Gaubatz, an anti-Islamic activist and author of the book "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld that's Conspiring to Islamize America." It features an introduction by Rep. Myrick, and was written after Gaubatz posed as an intern at CAIR in an effort to "infiltrate" the group.

These charges smack of an America of sixty years ago where lists of "un-American" agitators were identified. We should be affirming the importance of diversity and tolerance for all interns and staff who serve in Congress without suspicion of being identified as "spies."

The idea that we should investigate Muslim interns as spies is a blow to the very principle of religious freedom that our founding fathers cherished so dearly. If anything, we should be encouraging all Americans to engage in the U.S. political process; to take part in, and to contribute to, the great democratic experiment that is America.

We all have experienced the sting of discrimination and we know that there will be challenges ahead. But our message should be firm that the America we believe in welcomes people of all backgrounds to the U.S. Congress.

We ask these charges be disavowed and we issue a hearty welcome to interns and staff of all creeds, color, ethnicities and sexual orientation.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Members of Congress and mainstream media condemn and ridicule right-wing bigots who made "Muslim spy interns" charges

Members of Congress Blast Claims That Muslim Interns are 'Spies'
Mainstream media ridicule fringe right-wing GOP members

CAIR, America’s prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, applauded statements by members of the U.S. House of Representatives rejecting claims made by several of their GOP colleagues that Muslim congressional interns are "spies."

On Oct. 14, four right-wing members of Congress, with a long history of fringe or bigoted statements, launched a book called "Muslim Mafia" and asked for an investigation of Muslim "spies" on Capitol Hill. One of these bigoted members of Congress is Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) who earlier has expressed concern about the number of Muslims running convenience stores throughout the United States and also asked the State Department to revoke former President Jimmy Carter's passport. An article in Politico said the alleged spying by Muslims was in fact a "fairly straight forward public relations and lobbying strategy," with the goals of "'placing Muslim interns in congressional offices' and registering people to vote."

In a statement, CAIR said:

"It is troubling that right-wing elected officials would serve as publicity agents for extremists who seek to bar an American minority from exercising its constitutionally-protected rights. We applaud those who stand up for the right of all Americans to participate fully in our nation's political system.”

Watch these short media interviews on this issue:

CAIR Video: Rachel Maddow Exposes Anti-Muslim Extremists (MSNBC)

Round 2 of Rachel Maddow Exposes Anti-Islam Extremists in Congress (MSNBC)

CAIR Rep Discusses ‘Manchurian Interns’ on CNN

In response to the right-wing smears, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution called CAIR a "mainstream, all-American civil liberties and advocacy group." An article on Salon.com called the actions of the elected officials who launched the anti-Muslim book the "most despicable domestic political event of the year."

The demand for a probe of Muslim "spies" in Congress drew condemnation from other elected officials, one of whom called it a "witch hunt."

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) issued a statement, which read in part:

"I am appalled by this request [for an investigation of Muslim 'spies' in Congress], and the insinuation that Muslim-Americans are somehow conspiring against this country through their work on Capitol Hill. As a strong advocate for diversity and religious freedom, I find these claims to be outrageous and offensive. I urge the rest of my colleagues to join me in denouncing this witch hunt, which is clearly intended to create fear and distrust in our Capitol Hill community."

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) issued the following statement in support of American Muslim congressional interns:

"It shouldn't need to be said in 2009, and after the historic election of our first African-American president, but let me remind all my colleagues that patriotic Americans of all races, religions, and beliefs have the right - and the responsibility - to participate in our political process, including by volunteering to work in Congressional offices. Numerous Muslim-American interns have served the House ably and they deserve our appreciation and respect, not attacks on their character or patriotism."

Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, stated in part:

“These fallacious allegations implicate the existence of a society still struggling with anti-Muslim sentiment. My Muslim colleagues in the House of Representatives, along with the highly qualified, patriotic and committed Muslim staffers and interns that have worked with my office and with CAPAC, contribute mightily to our democratic process. Any slander against these fellow patriots is slander against democracy and religious freedom.”

Dave Gaubatz, the anti-Islam blogger who co-authored "Muslim Mafia," has a long history of bigotry targeting Islam and Muslims. Gaubatz has called Islam an "evil ideology" and worked for a racist group that sought to make "adherence to Islam" punishable by a 20-year prison term.

In the past, Gaubatz has been questioned by state and federal law enforcement authorities for actions that were perceived as those of a stalker. CAIR has filed a criminal report against Gaubatz over materials he and his son say they stole from the civil rights group's offices.

Gaubatz has also called President Obama a "crack head" and wrote that "a vote for Hussein Obama is a vote for Sharia Law." He also called Islam a "terminal disease that once spread is hard to destroy."

It is unfortunate that there is a fringe segment of Americans who wish to promote hatred against American Muslims and intimidate them from exercising their rights to engage politically. Despite the attempts of this new McCarthyism, CAIR and the American Muslim community remain committed to encouraging dialogue, protecting civil liberties of all Americans, and promoting justice and mutual understanding.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rachel Maddow of MSNBC: Islamophobia strikes Congressional GOP

Four House Republicans Have In Their Hands a List ...

Four House Republicans Have In Their Hands a List ...

Share this on Twitter - Four House Republicans Have In Their Hands a List ...

Thu Oct 15, 2009

Okay, they really don't have a list, but what the hell, it's not stopping them from calling for an investigation into a plot by:

... a Muslim advocacy group of trying to plant spies on Capitol Hill.

That group would be the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), who, by the way, are now receiving death threats.

And the brain trust behind this effort?

  • Sue Myrick (R-NC), who recently said of domestic terror threats:

    Look at who runs all the convenience stores across the country.

  • John Shadegg (R-AZ), who on Wednesday said that:

    ... what we’re really getting here is we’re not just getting single-payer care. We’re getting full on Russian gulag, Soviet-style gulag health care.

  • Paul Broun (R-GA), whose most recent claim to fame was saying:

    We’ve got a lot of domestic enemies of the Constitution and one of those sits in the speaker’s chair of the United States Congress, Nancy Pelosi.

  • Trent Franks (R-AZ), who said last month that the President of the United States:

    ... has no place in any station of government, and we need to realize that he's an enemy of humanity.

In other words, the loonie tunes, whack-a-doodle, teabaggers disguised as sane people prowling the halls of Congress. Talk about the need for an investigation ... or at least mental health screening...

Read complete post...

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Calif. Muslims Condemn Neo-Nazi Harassment of Jewish Worshipers

(ANAHEIM, CA, 10/8/09) - The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA), along with the Islamic Center of Riverside and the Islamic Society of Corona/Norco, today condemned the racist harassment of Jewish worshipers at Temple Beth El in Riverside.

According to media reports, neo-Nazis recently displayed flags with Nazi swastikas to harass and intimidate worshippers attending services at Temple Beth El. CAIR-LA says it will join more than 20 other organizations that plan a counter-protest to a neo-Nazi rally on October 24.

SEE: Groups Plan Rally Against Neo-Nazis (Press-Enterprise)

"We condemn any attempts to intimidate or harass peaceful worshipers who were practicing their right to freely worship at Temple Beth El," said Hussam Ayloush, CAIR-LA executive director. "We stand by our Jewish neighbors and reiterate our offer of sympathy, support and friendship."

Ayloush said Muslim community leaders and representatives also plan to visit Temple Beth El to show their support for the congregants.

"The City of Riverside and its residents remain united in the face of such bigotry," said Dr. Mustafa Kuko, religious director of the Islamic Center of Riverside.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Did you miss the recent irony in the Israel-Palestine conflict?

The good irony of our time. I think there is a good lesson for us to learn.

A former Jewish South African judge, Richard Goldstone (described by his daughter as a“Zionist” who “loves Israel”), conducts a UN fact-finding investigation into Israel's attack on Gaza and concludes Israel is guilty of war crimes. (over 1,400 Palestinians were killed, overwhelmingly civilians, including whole families)

A Muslim Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, later asks the United Nations Human Right Council not to vote on the findings of the Goldstone report; hence, shielding Israel and its leaders from facing war crimes charges.

The number one lesson is that this conflict is not about religion.
The conflict is about ending Israel's illegal occupation and immoral apartheid practices. It is about justice for the Palestinians.

As a matter of fact, Jews (many brave Jews), Christians, and Muslims continue to work together to end this conflict and bring justice and peace to all the people of that region.

Al Jazeera English - 'Israel has to be held accountable'

Al Jazeera English - Focus - 'Israel has to be held accountable'

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Now really, what drives Robert Spencer's Islamophobia?

May be Robert Spencer himself can tell us why he promotes anti-Muslim bigotry.
I am sure there is a logical explanation for all this hatred for Muslims with a passion.

Robert, please inform us about the reason that you engage in demonizing Muslims and creating division among Muslims, Christians, and Jews?

OK, OK. If you prefer not to speak, how about a picture or a sign?

OK. Now I understand.

Thank you Robert.

Unfortunately, there are many right-wing pro-Israel supporters who believe that the only way to defend or cover up for Israel and its apartheid policies is by defaming Muslims, Arabs and Palestinians.

Fortunately, a majority of people - Jews, Christians, and Muslims - do not share that view and refuse to engage in a process of dehumanizing a whole religion, community, or group of people.