(LOS ANGELES, CA, 10/25/10) - The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today joined Southern California Jewish community leaders in condemning the hateful remarks of a local candidate for state Senate.
SEE: Calif. Senatorial Candidate Responds to Muslim Hooliganism
ALSO SEE: Surfing Rabbi tells EDL demo 'We shall prevail'
In statements today, CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush, Interfaith Communities United for Justice & Peace (ICUJP) Chair Stephen Rohde, and Jews on First Co-Founder Rabbi Haim Beliak expressed outrage over the rabbi's racist remarks and urged Americans to unite against such hatred.
"Religious and political leaders have a special obligation to promote tolerance and mutual understanding in the communities they serve," said Ayloush. "Rabbi Shifren, unfortunately, has done the opposite. What is even more abhorrent is that he is using his bigotry to try towin a political seat and is being supported broadly by members of the GOP and the Tea Party movement. As conscientious Americans, we call on the GOP and the Tea Party to repudiate Rabbi Shifren's bigotry and work with Americans of various faiths, including Muslims and Jews, and ethnicities toward a more pluralistic society. Being silent about the rabbi's hateful remarks will imply that those who endorse him as a California Senate candidate support his bigotry as well."
"Nachum Shifren's expressions are repugnant to Judaism," Rabbi Beliak said. "Shifren's anti-Muslim hate speech are not isolated ideas but part of a pattern which includes anti-immigrant and racist expression. Using the sobriquet "Surfing Rabbi" does not diminish his moronic thoughts. His visit to England, his candidacy for the California State Senate, his association with Chabad and his teaching position at Dorsey High School raise further concern. Since Shifren associates himself with the "Tea Party" and the GOP it is reasonable to ask that they condemn his words."
"Few slurs are more despicable and incendiary than to dehumanize an entire people by comparing them with disdain to animals," Rohde said. "For Rabbi Shifren to call Muslims 'dogs' is beneath contempt. It feeds hatred and bigotry and must be condemned by all decent people."
SEE: List of Politicians and Others who have Endorsed Rabbi Shifren
- END -
CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Manager Munira Syeda, 714-776-1847, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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