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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

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Mayor Parris apologizes for religious remark

Mayor Parris apologizes for religious remark

Recent comments by the mayor of Lancaster have generated a religious controversy. An Islamic group claims the mayor improperly used his office to promote Christianity.

The mayor met with local religious leaders Monday and apologizes for his remarks.

In a state of the city address a few weeks ago, Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris described the city as a Christian community.

"We are a growing Christian community and don't let anybody shy away from that. I need Lancaster residents standing up and saying we are a Christian community and we're proud of it," he said in his speech.

His comments drew strong reactions from religious groups in the Antelope Valley.

Some say that they think the mayor's remarks excluded non Christians.

Monday afternoon at Lancaster's City Hall, Parris along with many religious leaders supporting him, gathered to clear the air. Parris apologized for his remarks and said he wanted to clarify what he meant.

"I think that communities are robust and vibrant when we do everything we can to facilitate all churches, all religions, all faiths to have a robust, vital part of that community," said Parris...

The Council on Islamic American Relations, a Muslim civil rights group, indicated that it plans to file a complaint with the Department of Justice, but the complaint has not been filed yet. The mayor is running for election this year.

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