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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

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ayloush Rebukes Calif. Councilman Who Named Dog 'Muhammad'

Hussam Ayloush, Executive Director CAIR L.A.:
Orange County Register, 10/14/2011

Regarding “Of blogs and dogs: Councilman’s message to San Juan.” [Oct. 4] Councilman Derek Reeve needs to take responsibility for his own reckless acts rather than baseless blaming the mayor, his fellow council members or CAIR for his recurring problems, whether they are about allegations of plagiarism or insults levied at Muslims around the world, including his constituents. Being a leader used to mean being ethical, civil and uniting. I hope that standard has not been entirely lost.

We all cherish and protect freedom of speech. But do we not also value dignity and maturity? It should not be too much to ask that our elected officials not be gratuitously vulgar and disrespectful toward others. It is commendable that Councilman Reeve is teaching his children about the importance of free speech, but how about also teaching them something about civility and respect? Was it respectful for Reeve to name his dog after the prophet of Islam, Muhammad? Fortunately, most children have other role models who can teach them the values Reeve seems unable to demonstrate.

A good lesson that Reeve could demonstrate to his children and the residents of San Juan Capistrano is that we all make mistakes, and that a good leader recognizes and acknowledges his mistakes, takes measures to correct them and apologizes to those harmed by them. Is that too much to hope for?

For more details on this incident, please read:

Bill O'Reilly Pins the Head of SJC Councilman Reeve for Naming Family Dog Muhammad
OC Weekly Article

Bigotry or Free Speech in San Juan Capistrano?

Councilman Derek Reeve Criticized For Muhammad Remark (Huffington Post)

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