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Hundreds of people took part in what organizers called a rally to stop Islamophobia in a small Orange County city last night.
Many Southern California Muslims are angered by a statement made by Villa Park City Council member Deborah Pauly.
The lawmaker was recorded at a protest outside of a Muslim charity event at the Yorba Linda Community Center last month.
The subsequent YouTube video went viral and led to last night’s rally outside of the Villa Park City Council chambers.
Arab-American, Muslim and other community members demanded Pauly’s resignation while a few dozen vastly outnumbered counter-protestors cheered her on.
One Pauly supporter cited the council member’s free speech right to speak her mind and said her comments were taken out of context.
But Muslims say the comment from a public servant called for their murder. They say it points to a troubling rise in hate speech and bigotry which cannot be tolerated.
Pacifica’s Ernesto Arce files this report from Orange County.
- Hussam Ayloush