March 22, 2011|By FRANK MICKADEIT
The Orange County Register
I'm happy to report that less than a half-hour after I hit the "send" button on yesterday's column, I received from an Southern California Muslim leader the following condemnation of statements by a radical Muslim leader:
"CAIR and the Muslim community unequivocally reject what appears in the 2006 video to be the speaker's support for targeting Israeli buses and cafes. The targeting of civilians is a crime that can never be justified, no matter what just cause it claims to serve."
The condemnation was from Hussam Ayloush , executive director of the Council for American-Islamic Relations for the Greater Los Angeles Area, and he was referring to a video that depicts Muslim leader Amir Abdel Malik-Ali at a UCI rally telling Muslim students that because Jews in Israel are willing to be martyrs, they must be willing to be martyrs, too. "They (Jews) know this is a new day. ... What do we do? Might be another 9/11."
If the Muslim community wants the Villa Park City Council to censure Councilwoman Deborah Pauly for her statements at a February protest rally, I'd asked Ayloush, shouldn't the Muslim community condemn its own leaders for hate speech?
Pauly had told the crowd in Yorba Linda: "Let me tell you what's going on over there right now – make no bones about it – that is pure, unadulterated evil. ... I know quite a few Marines who would be very happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise."
She says she was speaking about Malik-Ali and another controversial speaker at an Islamic Circle of North America fundraiser – not about Muslim families in attendance.
Ayloush still believes Pauly and other speakers were "demonizing American Muslims and supporting violence and discrimination against them under the pretext of protesting controversial speakers. The result of that incitement was protesters forming into a mob, yelling insults and threats against Muslims families, including children."
I agree her words might have encouraged shameful behavior by anti-Muslim bigots after she had left the stage. Whether or not she meant her outrage to apply only to the two speakers, it was reckless to say what she did.
Pauly, for her part, condemns the anti-Muslim hecklers. "It is unfortunate that a splinter group arrived at dusk as the ICNA fundraiser began. I did not even realize they had stayed into the evening until I saw that edited tape myself. I had already gone home. I strongly condemn the actions of that group, particularly yelling at women and children."
So we have mutual condemnation of hate-speech. But saying so for public consumption is one thing. Getting each side to believe and trust the other is harder to achieve.
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- 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