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

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mayor denounced for saying Lancaster is 'growing a Christian community'

Los Angeles Times
January 31, 2010

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris drew criticism from a leading Muslim group today after saying in his annual State of the City address that the high desert town was “growing a Christian community.”

"We're growing a Christian community, and don't let anybody shy away from that,” Parris told the audience of ministers gathered for his address.

“I need [Lancaster residents] standing up and saying we're a Christian community, and we're proud of that," the mayor said.

The Greater Los Angeles area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations denounced the statement and said it plans to file a complaint about the mayor's remarks with the civil rights division of the U.S. Justice Department.

“Elected officials should not use their public positions to impose their religious beliefs on others," said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of CAIR.

The mayor, reached by telephone today, said his remarks did not intend to impose his faith on others, and he said he would make no apology.

“This is just about very few people wanting to get their 15 minutes of fame,” he said. “I guess they got it.”

-- Garrett Therolf

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Citizens call on citycouncil member Marquez to apologize for bigoted comment

Mosque slams Marquez remarks Citizens call for an apology
Citizens call for an apology

Antelope Valley Press
Saturday, January 30, 2010.
By ALLISON GATLIN
http://www.avpress.com/n/30/0130_s1.hts

PALMDALE - More than 50 community leaders and interested citizens gathered Friday at a Palmdale mosque to denounce comments made last week by Lancaster City Councilwoman Sherry Marquez on an Internet social networking site concerning a Muslim man charged with beheading his wife in New York.

At a news conference at the American Islamic Institute of the Antelope Valley, a dozen speakers - including elected officials from the city of Palmdale, the Palmdale and Westside school districts and several candidates for Lancaster city council and mayor - criticized Marquez' comments and issued calls for unity, education and understanding.

"The problem here is there is Islamophobia and there is ignorance," said Dr. Bassem Hadaya, chairman and president of the Islamic Center of the North Valley, a Lancaster mosque.

Representatives of the Muslim community said they want an apology from Marquez and have invited her to meet with them and learn about their religion.

Later Friday, the Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said it will file a complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice about Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris' comments that he is "growing a Christian community."

"The mayor's remarks promoting a particular faith in his official capacity at an official city event seem to violate the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Elected officials should not use public positions to impose their religious beliefs on others," said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush. "We also call on California's religious and political leaders to repudiate the mayor's remarks because they could serve to marginalize people of other faiths and Christians who value the separation of church and state."

During Tuesday night's City Council meeting, Marquez said she posted the comments in reaction to reading of last year's killing in New York of Aasiya Zubair Hassan, who had filed for divorce from her husband, local television executive Muzzammil Hassan. He has been charged with second-degree murder.

"This is what the Muslim religion is all about the beheadings, honor killings are just the beginning of what is to come in the U.S.A.," Marquez wrote on her Facebook page Jan. 23. The remarks were later deleted.

"We are told this is a small majority of Muslims in America, but it is truly what they are all about," she said. "You disrespect/dishonor them or their religion and you should die. They don't even blink at killing their own wives/daughters because they are justified by their religion."

"I think we need to reset as a community. We need to go back to those values we all share," said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford, citing efforts to build inclusive, welcoming communities in the Antelope Valley.

"It's disheartening when we take a step back and I think we have taken a step back," he said. "When I hear these descriptions of the Muslim community, it's not the Muslim community I know. We seem to be chasing this idea that's unreal."

Affah Shaikh , civil rights manager with CAIR and a Palmdale High School graduate, said Marquez' comments should not represent the Antelope Valley community.

"Growing up here I never experienced such bigotry and such hateful comments as Councilwoman Marquez posted on Facebook," he said. "That's not what I remember the Antelope Valley to be like. I grew up in an environment that was very inclusive. I was treated with respect."

Placing blame for a singular act on an entire community endangers that community, Shaikh said.
"I believe strongly that to blame any person's faith for an act of violence that goes against their religion is wrong," he said.

In his position with CAIR, Shaikh said he deals daily with victims of hate crimes and has seen the damage that inflammatory remarks may cause.

Sanah Burhan , who is Muslim, spoke about her fears that Marquez's remarks could incite violence against people who are already targeted as different due to their dress and names.

"Her remarks cause our children and ourselves to be harassed by people who don't understand our faith," she said. "We are part of this community."

"We are all the same. We are all worshipping God. We are all striving for the best education, best lives, best for humanity here," Burhan said. "We are in the 21st Century. The mind has to grow out of discriminations."

She encouraged Marquez and other non-Muslims to visit the local Islamic centers to learn about Islam.

"You will see for yourself that we do not differ," she said.

The American Islamic Institute of the Antelope Valley has filed a formal complaint with the Antelope Valley Human Relations Task Force regarding Marquez's published comments, task force president Darren Parker said.

The organization will investigate the complaint as a potential hate incident, and plans to take testimony at its next meeting on Feb. 22.

Parker said a larger goal, however, is to try to build a bridge between both sides of the discussion, as extremists on both sides are latching onto the incident and causing others to choose sides.

"We have learned over the last decade that generalizing and stereotyping brings nothing good," Parker said.

Several speakers during Friday's gathering acknowledged the councilwoman's right to her own opinion, but said that as an elected official, she has a responsibility to represent the community as a whole, including its Muslim citizens.

"She can have her own opinion as an individual. She had an oath to protect all the citizens that elected her. Muslims are part of that constituency," said Kamal Al-Khatib , chairman of the American Islamic Institute of the Antelope Valley.

Al-Khatib, for a brief time last year, fell under scrutiny of his own membership in the Human Relations Task Force when gay activists accused Muslims of distributing homophobic literature. Al-Khatib denied the allegations.

On Friday, Palmdale officials joined in the condemnation of the councilwoman's comments.

Elected officials are supposed to represent the entire community, "not to represent our own personal views," said Bo Bynum, a Palmdale School District trustee. "Those things should never come into play as an elected official.

"As a community, we have to continue to come together to battle bigotry, battle prejudice, battle all those evils that harm a community," he said.

"When we hear a disparaging remark made that is not true, we have a responsibility to step up as leaders," Ledford said. "What I care about is the leadership in our Antelope Valley that downplays an incident as if it isn't important."

Ledford also disagreed with the public responses of several Republican officials, such as Drew Mercy, chairman of the GOP's 36th Assembly District Central Committee.

Mercy, who is field aide to state Sen. George Runner, noted that the FBI severed formal ties with the Council on American-Islamic Relations after finding an indirect link with Hamas, a designated terrorist group.

"They don't speak for me," Ledford said of the officials' responses. "I'm a Republican. They don't speak for me. These are not the correct responses we should get out of leaders.

"Here in the Antelope Valley, we are not going to tolerate hate. We are not going to tolerate victimizing people," Ledford said. "We need to stand up as a community and say we are not going to accept that as OK."

"Our Antelope Valley needs to stand together against all types of hate speech, regardless of who is doing the speaking or writing," said Sandy Corrales-Eneix, Palmdale School District trustee. "We can't allow this councilwoman to demean the very vibrant Muslim community I love and respect."

CAIR Video: Shocking Details of Slain Imam's Autopsy

FBI informant case gone unchecked. The result is a Detroit Imam shot 21 times and handcuffed until he died.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Muslim inventions that shaped the modern world

By Olivia Sterns for CNN
January 29, 2010

From coffee to cranks, items we couldn't live without today are Muslim inventions.
Modern hospitals and universities both began in 9th century North Africa

---

London, England (CNN) -- Think of the origins of that staple of modern life, the cup of coffee, and Italy often springs to mind.

But in fact, Yemen is where the ubiquitous brew has its true origins.

Along with the first university, and even the toothbrush, it is among surprising Muslim inventions that have shaped the world we live in today.

The origins of these fundamental ideas and objects -- the basis of everything from the bicycle to musical scales -- are the focus of "1001 Inventions," a book celebrating "the forgotten" history of 1,000 years of Muslim heritage.

"There's a hole in our knowledge, we leap frog from the Renaissance to the Greeks," professor Salim al-Hassani, Chairman of the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation, and editor of the book told CNN...
http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/01/29/muslim.inventions/

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mis-reading the Bible/Torah to Promote Terrorism and the Killing of Babies!

Meet the ideology that inspired the suspected extremist Jewish settlers who were involved in the torching of a mosque in the West Bank in Palestine last month and in other earlier cases of terrorism.

The Jewish Daily Forward wrote a revealing article that exposed the growing influence of extremist Jewish institutions and figures that are promoting teachings of violence, hatred, and genocide on the basis of radical biblical interpretations.


So far, such groups have had little success in recruiting supporters in the US, with the exception of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), which was characterized as "a right-wing terrorist group" by the FBI. Well, to be accurate, the JDL's founder, late extremist Rabbi Meir Kahane appears to have one last loud supporter and follower. This follower is none but Joe Kaufman, the virulent Islamophobe from Florida.


Of course, extremism is not exclusive to the Jewish religion. All religions have their share of extremists. It is a must that the peaceful moderates from all religions work together to expose and isolate such radicals who wish to drag the world into their narrow-minded vision of division, hatred, and violence. Collectively and genuinely working toward justice and a culture of mutual respect will surely bring peace and harmony.


Read an earlier article that I wrote: Bible, Quran easily quoted out of context


---

Excerpts from the Forward article:


Rabbinic Text or Call to Terror?

The Jewish Daily Forward

By Daniel Estrin
Published January 20, 2010



Jerusalem — The marble-patterned, hardcover book embossed with gold Hebrew letters looks like any other religious commentary you’d find in an Orthodox Judaica bookstore — but reads like a rabbinic instruction manual outlining acceptable scenarios for killing non-Jewish babies, children and adults.

“The prohibition ‘Thou Shalt Not Murder’” applies only “to a Jew who kills a Jew,” write Rabbis Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur of the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar. Non-Jews are “uncompassionate by nature” and attacks on them “curb their evil inclination,” while babies and children of Israel’s enemies may be killed since “it is clear that they will grow to harm us.”...


The Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security agency, suspects five of those arrested were involved in the torching and vandalizing of a Palestinian mosque last month in the neighboring Palestinian village of Yasuf...


In 2008, author Shapira was suspected of involvement in a crude rocket attack directed at a Palestinian village. Israeli police investigated but made no arrests...


In 2003, the head of the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva, Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, was charged by then-Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein with incitement to racism for authoring a book calling Arabs a “cancer.”


In 2006-2007, the Israeli Ministry of Education gave about a quarter of a million dollars to the yeshiva, and in 2007-2008 the yeshiva received about $28,000 from the American nonprofit Central Fund of Israel.


“The King’s Torah” reflects a fringe viewpoint held by a minority of rabbis in the West Bank, said Avinoam Rosenak, a Hebrew University professor specializing in settler theology. Asher Cohen, a Bar Ilan University political science professor, thought its influence would be “zero” because it appeals only to extreme ideologues.


But the book’s wide dissemination and the enthusiastic endorsements of prominent rabbis have spotlighted what might have otherwise remained an isolated commentary...

Local Jewish heroes: LA Jews for Peace protest Gaza siege in front of the Federal building

Los Angeles Jews For Peace Rally

On a rainy day on January 17, 2010, LA Jews for Peace and friends made their voices heard in front of the Federal building on the 1 year anniversary of Israel's Operation "Castlead "

Informant files $10 million suit against FBI


By SALVADOR HERNANDEZ
Orange County Register

1/22/2010

A man who once worked with the FBI, allegedly feeding the agency information on local mosques and Muslim communities throughout the county, has today filed a $10 million civil liberties lawsuit against the federal agency.

The suit goes into detail on work that Craig Monteilh, a convicted felon, alleges he did for the FBI while working with the Orange County Joint Terrorism Task force – much of which has been widely reported by the media since Monteilh went public with his claims in 2009. The lawsuit says Monteilh was encouraged to lie to investigators with the Irvine Police Department regarding a criminal investigation alleged to be part of an FBI drug sting operation.

After he was convicted in 2008 on charges of grand theft related to the distribution of steroids, the lawsuit says that the FBI turned its back on Monteilh – after he was identified as a snitch inside Central Men's Jail and Wasco State Prison.

"Mr. Monteilh communicated his grave concerns over the threats on his life to the FBI and asked for the FBI to arrange for protective custody, but instead he was left in general population, thereby exposed to constant danger of being killed," the suit reads.

According to the suit, on April 27, 2008 Monteilh was attacked and stabbed by a member of a white supremacist gang inside Wasco State Prison, after several criminal gangs had placed "hits" on him.

"Mr. Monteilh continues to live in fear for his life and with the mental and physical scars," according to the suit.

Officials at the FBI declined to speak about the lawsuit, citing department policy, but addressed some of the details in Monteilh's claims, saying in a written statement that, "the accusations appear to be an attempt by Mr. Monteilh to discredit law enforcement for personal gain, at the expense of the Muslim-American community."

The 2007 grand theft arrest, which Monteilh claims was done under the direction of FBI agents, was not part of any investigation conducted by the FBI, said Laura Eimiller, spokeswoman for the department.


GOING PUBLIC

The lawsuit, filed in US District Court, names not only the agency but singles out the head of Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Santa Ana office Barbara Walls, as well as Ron Carr, an investigator with the Irvine Police Department.

The suit alleges that Monteilh had provided agents with information about bomb-making materials being stored in a mosque, but that Walls did not act on the information for three weeks.

"Walls was embarrassed and instead of accepting responsibility for her error in judgment, called Mr. Monteilh a liar," reads the lawsuit.

According to the suit, "Walls determined she would remove Mr. Monteilh from the FBI Counterterrorism program and thereafter began to conspire with Detective Ron Carr (...) to set Mr. Monteilh up for felony prosecution and conviction."

A law enforcement official familiar with the case but asked not to be identified because they are not allowed to speak publicly about the case said that although Monteilh had provided information regarding "suspicious barrels" in a local mosque, the information was thoroughly investigated and, "no evidence was found indicating a threat from explosives."

In 2009, Monteilh filed a claim for the same amount against the FBI. In December, the claim was denied by the agency.


'OPERATION FLEX'

The FBI has neither confirmed nor denied his assertions publicly, but according to court records unsealed in December, prosecutors in Los Angeles asked to terminate his probation early at the request of the FBI because Monteilh had provided "very valuable information" in a federal prosecution.

His claims were also partially substantiated in February 2009, when an FBI agent in court said an informant had recorded a Tustin man making jihadist remarks. That man, Ahmoudullah Niazi, is facing several immigration fraud charges. Monteilh claims he was the informant who recorded Niazi.

The lawsuit goes into detail about the operation Monteilh said he participated in, details which have not been reported before.

Named "Operation Flex," Monteilh was told to take on the name Farouk-al-Aziz, but was given a code name, "Oracle," according to the suit.

"Assistant United States Attorney Dierdra Eliot gave Mr. Monteilh special permission, by and through a signed Federal document, to engage in jihadist rhetoric, including but not limited to conducting terrorist operations, possessing weapons and initiating conversations to further terrorist acts against the United States," the lawsuit states.

Eliot did not immediately return calls for comment, but Eimiller said the agency does not encourage informants, verbally or in writing, to engage in terrorist rhetoric or operations.


COMMUNITY REACTION

But such claims echo those that have been made by Muslim organizations across the country, whose leaders have said that informants planted within their communities have not weeded out violent extremists, but instead have been the very ones to push violent agendas and conversations in their communities.

Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Los Angeles Chapter, said it's not the use of informants that worries him, but allegations and consistent reports that informants incite violent rhetoric inside the Muslim community, and reports that agents use immigration, financial, and legal tactics to strong-arm people into becoming informants.

"We should all be informants," Ayloush said, stating that everyone in the country should report suspicious activities to law enforcement. "But they are acting like agent provocateurs."

Ayloush said it was concerning how many resources the FBI was spending on "fishing" instead of focusing efforts on legitimate leads.

Although the FBI has not commented directly on Monteilh's alleged role as an informant, or the work he says he did at the direction of FBI agents, the bureau has repeatedly issued statements denying that it racially profiles, and that agents conduct investigations only where leads take them.

Ayloush said he is not convinced, and that a vital tie between the Muslim community and the FBI remains strained.


© Copyright 2010 Freedom Communications. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Inspiring news: Gaza collects Haiti aid, says it was similarly shaken by Israel

Gaza women collecting donations for victims of the Haiti earthquake in the International Red Cross building in Gaza City on Monday. (AP)


Gaza collects Haiti aid, says it was similarly shaken by Israel
By Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz
1/18/2010

Palestinians in Gaza are offering donations and financial support for the victims of Haiti's devastating earthquake at the Strip's Red Cross headquarters, the Palestinian Ma'an news agency reported on Monday.

The Ma'an reported said that Gazan family members of Palestinians imprisoned in Israel also participated in the effort, offering financial donations and goods such as blankets and covers, as well as food and milk for children...

Head of the Committee to Break the Siege Jamal Al-Khudary said "people may be astonished at our ability to collect donations from our people [in Gaza]; we tell them that this is a humanitarian campaign and our people love life and peace ?"

"We are here today supporting the victims of Haiti ? we feel for them the most because we were exposed to our own earthquake during Israel?s war on Gaza."
...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Congressman John Conyers asks DOJ to investigate FBI's use of informants in mosques and the possible violation of the Constitution

U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), a Detroit Democrat who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter on Wednesday to Attorney General Eric Holder calling for the Justice Department's civil rights division to investigate whether the FBI violated First Amendment freedoms by using undercover agents in mosques and other houses of worship.

Conyers also asked the U.S. Attorney General for a thorough investigation into the shooting death of the group's leader, Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah.
http://www.freep.com/article/20100114/NEWS02/1140430/1001/News/Conyers-Review-FBI-case-on-imam

In his letter, Conyers said:

"For this reason, I call on the Department’s Civil Rights Division to conduct a complete review of the use of informants at American places of worship by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and in particular to determine whether the Department’s conduct in this regard may constitute an unlawful pattern or practice in violation of constitutionally protected rights."

Ayloush: Profiling an insult to basic freedoms (San Bernardino Sun)

Hussam Ayloush
Posted: 01/13/2010
San Bernardino Sun

The Christmas Day attempted bombing aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253, thankfully disrupted, has set into motion vehement calls for religious profiling and misguided policies that do little to protect our nation.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) last week implemented new guidelines that require travelers from 13 Muslim-majority nations and Cuba to go through additional security checks before flying. The guidelines are a form of back-door profiling and will target American Muslims looking to reconnect with relatives in those countries or traveling to Mecca to perform religious rites.

But before we debate the effectiveness and legality of profiling, let's step back and ponder what went wrong in the hours and days leading up to the attempted bombing.

Existing security procedures failed to catch alleged bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmuttallab, although behavior profiling - a legitimate tool - would have worked. For instance, Abdulmuttallab's father had become concerned about his activities and reported him to Nigerian and American authorities. His name was then added to the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center's watch list, but to no avail. He reportedly bought a one-way ticket with cash and had no checked luggage - both red flags. He was also, to Americans' shock and dismay, able to bring a powerful PETN explosive on board.

President Obama said that the security system failed in "a potentially disastrous way" and previously said proper intelligence-sharing before the bombing wouldn't have allowed Abdulmuttallab to board the plane.

In the face of this security system failure, those who jump to advocate racial and religious profiling are either shortsighted, or are seeking to exploit fear of Muslims and give a false sense of security.

Simply put, racial and religious profiling does not work. How can it?

For one thing, there is no one profile of a Muslim or Muslim American. Muslims hail from all races and backgrounds - Caucasian, black and every shade of color in between. Contrary to popular misconceptions, Arabs are a minority of the Muslim population worldwide - 18 percent. Middle-Eastern Jewish and Christian minorities would falsely fit the profile too.

Even extremists do not fit a profile. The hijackers behind the Sept. 11 attacks were clean-shaven and frequented night clubs. Al-Qaida member Adam Gadahn, who wears a beard and a turban, is Caucasian and has Jewish roots. Jose Padilla - convicted of aiding terrorists - is Latino. And would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid is half-English, half-Jamaican.

The argument generally made in favor of profiling states: It wasn't some Swedish grandma who committed terrorist acts. True, but what is the profile of a terrorist when we know they come in all ages, races, and nationalities?

Even the Bush-era Justice Department acknowledged that profiling is not an effective law enforcement tool, and former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said in an interview that the Christmas day bombing "illustrates the danger and the foolishness of profiling."

Moreover, profiling is an insult to the basic freedoms granted to all Americans by our time-honored Constitution. Are we going to let the terrorists make us abandon the freedoms our country was founded upon?

The right way to protect our nation is by conducting a thorough assessment of our security procedures, address the holes in our security system and revamp ineffective and outdated policies. For instance, the infamous Counterterrorism Center's watch list of more than 500,000 names, including Abdulmuttallab's name, is ineffective and must be cleaned up. Hurdles to proper and timely information-sharing among law enforcement and intelligence agencies must be dealt with.

Profiling is counterproductive and serves to alienate American Muslims, who constitute one of the first lines of defense in protecting our homeland.

Muslims and Islam have been part of America's patchwork heritage for the past 200-plus years. Over the years, Muslim Americans have stepped up to the plate and answered the call of duty by working with and in law enforcement agencies around the country and serving in the Armed Forces.

In fact, a 2007 study by the Pew Research Center offers a pretty encouraging picture of the state of American Muslims. Titled, "Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream," the Pew report concluded that American Muslims are basically well integrated into the fabric of the American society, consider it a land of opportunity, believe hard work leads to success and are content with their lives.

So, let's do the right thing by advocating good security, not profiling.

Hussam Ayloush is executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greater Los Angeles Area, headquartered in Anaheim; www.cair.com.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

ISRAEL, GAZA: Holocaust survivor explains why she became Palestinian rights activist

ISRAEL, GAZA: Holocaust survivor explains why she became Palestinian rights activist

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Shame on us in L.A. - L.A. leads New York, Chicago in abuse of low-wage workers, survey says

UCLA study finds widespread violation of minimum wage and overtime laws. Large pool of illegal immigrants and predatory business strategies in garment and building sectors are major factors.

Los Angeles Times
By Patrick J. McDonnell

January 6, 2010

Low-wage workers in the Los Angeles area are even more likely than their counterparts in New York and Chicago to suffer violations of minimum wage, overtime and other labor laws, according to a new UCLA study being released today.

The study found that almost nine out of 10 low-wage workers surveyed in Los Angeles County had recently experienced some form of pay-related workplace violation, or "wage theft." Almost one in three reported being paid less than the minimum wage and nearly 80% said they had not received legally mandated overtime.

"We knew these violations were happening, but we never really imagined it was as prevalent as this study demonstrates," said Ruth Milkman, a sociologist and principal author of the study, conducted by UCLA's Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.

The authors described the study as a ground-breaking effort to quantify the plight of a vulnerable, largely immigrant population that is often missed in standard surveys.

Los Angeles employees also reported working off the clock, not receiving proper meal and rest breaks, being forced to work despite injuries and facing retaliation from employers for complaining or trying to start a union. Almost one in five Los Angeles restaurant employees and others receiving tips reported that employers or supervisors illegally pocketed all or part of their tips...

"In nearly every case," the study stated, "the violation rates are higher in Los Angeles than in New York and Chicago."

The reason for the pervasiveness of abuses here, the authors said, is that certain sectors of the Los Angeles economy, including garment manufacturing and residential construction, have embraced business strategies that involve widespread violation of labor laws. Although all three cities have large immigrant populations, few low-wage workers in Los Angeles have union representation, and many work in service industries or in apparel manufacturing. But proponents of immigration restrictions argue that the very presence of so many illegal immigrants creates a climate of exploitation...

patrick.mcdonnell@latimes.com

Learn more on what you can do to help challenge this injustice.
www.iwj.org
http://www.wagetheft.org/nda.html

An Islamic perspective on workers' rights.

Colbert Report Ridiculing Religious Profiling

ColbertNation.com video - Every time a young Muslim man arrives at the airport, the TSA should respectfully take him aside and give him an involuntary colonoscopy.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Ideal or No Deal
www.colbertnation.com
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Bill O'Reilly vs. CAIR Spokesman on Profiling

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Vandalism at mosque, interfaith display, suspected as hate crimes (OC Register)

2010-01-04 15:08:01

MISSION VIEJO – The Council on American-Islamic Relations denounced two incidents of what it called "anti-Islam hate" after a Quran was found burned in a mosque parking lot and a Muslim component of a holiday display was defaced, both on New Year's Day.

Munira Syeda, spokeswoman for CAIR, said that although the two incidents were reported on the same day, they do not appear to be related.

The vandalism prompted leaders of other religious faiths to offer support, including Congregation Eilat in Mission Viejo, which sent a letter to the Orange County Islamic Foundation in Mission Viejo.

"I am embarrassed and appalled at this blatant display of hate against your community," wrote Rabbi Diane Cohen. "It is truly unfortunate that at a time when all Americans should stand together against extremist fears, people with small minds and narrow souls seek not to unite us but to divide us."

Rusty Kennedy, executive director of the Orange County Human Relations Commission, said the two New Year's Day incidents were the first and only two hate crimes that have been reported to the agency in 2010.

"I think these are clearly hate-motivated incidents," Kennedy said. "It's kind of sad."...

Monday, January 04, 2010

OC Weekly: Local Muslims Begin New Year With Hate Crimes Against Them

Orange County Weekly
By Matt Coker
Monday, Jan. 4, 2010

This is no way to start the new year fresh: local Muslims are dealing with two incidents of anti-Islam hate targeting their community.

A burned copy of the Quran was found during Friday prayers at the back entrance of the Islamic Educational Center of Orange County in Costa Mesa. A burned Quran had been left in the same spot a month previous, and the mosque has been vandalized within the last three weeks. As shown above, vandals also defaced the Muslim component of an interfaith holiday display in Mission Viejo. A piece of paper stuck to the display, shown below, stated, "No Islamic Lighthouses in the U.S.A."...

LA Times: O.C. Islamic Educational Center a target of anti-Muslim acts

Costa Mesa police step up patrols after incidents at the center, including the burning of two copies of the Koran. The Muslim part of an interfaith display in Mission Viejo was defaced, a group says.
Los Angeles Times
By Kim Christensen

January 3, 2010


Costa Mesa police have stepped up patrols near the Islamic Educational Center of Orange County, the target of recent anti-Islamic acts including vandalism, hate mail and the burning of two copies of the Koran.

Vandals also recently defaced part of an outdoor interfaith holiday display in Mission Viejo, according to the Los Angeles office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which denounced both acts as "incidents of anti-Islam hate targeting the local Muslim community."

The two incidents are thought to be unrelated but appear to be part of a recent uptick in anti-Muslim acts nationally, especially since the attempted terrorist bombing of a jetliner headed to Detroit on Christmas, council spokeswoman Munira Syeda said Saturday.

A burned and torn copy of the Koran was found in the parking lot at the educational center, on Airport Loop Drive, during Friday prayers. It was the second time in a month that a desecrated Koran had been found there, according to a statement on the Costa Mesa mosque's website...

In the Mission Viejo incident, vandals defaced the Islamic portion of the holiday display but left nearby Christian components untouched. They painted over a verse from the Koran and left behind a piece of paper reading "No Islamic Lighthouses in the U.S.A."...

"Americans of all faiths, and leaders of all political persuasions, must repudiate those who would divide our nation along religious or racial lines," Hussam Ayloush, the L.A. council's executive director, said in a statement.

kim.christensen@latimes.com
Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times

Saturday, January 02, 2010

SoCal Muslims Targeted in Anti-Islam Incidents

Burned Quran left at Costa Mesa mosque, Muslim holiday display vandalized in Mission Viejo

Jan 01, 2010 - ANAHEIM, CA

The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today reported two incidents of anti-Islam hate targeting the local Muslim community.

An official of the Islamic Educational Center of Orange County in Costa Mesa, Calif., reports that a burned copy of the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, was found at the back entrance of the mosque during Friday prayers. Mosque officials told CAIR that another burned Quran had been left in the same spot one month ago and that the center had been vandalized within the last three weeks.

In Mission Viejo, Calif., vandals defaced the Muslim component of an interfaith holiday display. A piece of paper stuck to the display stated: “No Islamic Lighthouses in the U.S.A.”

The Muslim display included a verse from the Quran encouraging the unity of humankind and promoting righteousness. “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily, the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you.” (The Holy Quran, 49:13)

“Americans of all faiths, and leaders of all political persuasions, must repudiate those who would divide our nation along religious or racial lines,’ said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush.

He noted that CAIR recently called on President Obama to address what it called an “alarming level of anti-Islam hate in our nation.” The organization’s letter to President Obama cited a number of recent anti-Muslim incidents, including a spate of vandalism cases at mosques nationwide.

SEE: CAIR Asks President to Address Rise in Anti-Islam Hate

Ayloush said CAIR is urging American Muslim individuals and institutions to review advice on security procedures contained in its “Muslim Community Safety Kit.”

SEE: Muslim Community Safety Kit

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.