About Me

My photo
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

Thursday, March 31, 2011

An Islamic Call to Action in Support of America’s Workers

 "We are One" Campaign for Workers' Rights begins April 1.
By Hussam Ayloush
National Board Member, Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ)
Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greater Los Angeles Area (CAIR-LA)


A phrase often repeated in the Qu’ran is “those who believe and do righteous good deeds.” This phrase usually describes a great reward for those who demonstrate their faith by engaging in righteous good deeds.

As people of faith, it is our responsibility to put our faith into action whenever injustice is being perpetuated. Today, I want to share with you a campaign that deserves our attention and response.
In Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Maine, New York, New Jersey, and Florida, the fundamental right of workers – public sector workers in particular—to organize is being questioned and threatened by right-wing ideologues and political leaders. While many Americans are feeling the pinch in our pocketbooks, it is at this very critical moment that we must reaffirm the rights and protect the wellbeing of hard-working public sector employees and middle-class families. We all rely on those honest and dedicated workers, such as teachers, police officers, firefighters, bus drivers, and public health workers, to provide us with essential services. Today, they are relying on us to ensure a dignified living for themselves and their families.

Treating workers justly and protecting their rights is supported by the teachings of Islam and other faiths. Islamic teachings regarding the rights and responsibilities of the worker and employer toward each other have been outlined with utmost precision. If we work for our living, whether as an employee or as an employer, it is our duty to understand and safeguard the rights of workers wherever they may be.
Of these principles, the right of workers to unionize and organize for their mutual interests is paramount. As we are watching our brothers and sisters (of all faiths) standing up for their fundamental right to have a say in their future in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and many other places, right here in our own country we have workers facing dire situations where they are being forced to choose between feeding their families and having just working conditions. This is a choice no American should ever have to make.

As people of faith, the burden is on us to act. During the week of April 1-4, the faith communities are being asked to stand alongside civil rights organizations, labor unions, and people from coast to coast under the banner We Are One to advocate for working families. To some this might be an easy decision; for others it could be a wakeup call to stand with those workers often not thought of because their contributions are often missed or taken for granted.

So what can we do? I recommend that all imams designate the Friday sermon (Khutba), on April 1 (April 8 is fine too), to this important topic and what the Muslim community can do to support the rights of workers. I also propose the Muslim community hold teach-ins at their local Islamic centers and mosques to educate congregants, as well as friends of other faiths, about the current situation faced by so many American workers. Furthermore, I encourage the community to mobilize support by honoring those in our communities we often overlook: our teachers, who are responsible for providing the tools and guidance necessary for the navigation of a world of learning and infinite possibilities.

Let us live by the Islamic ethics of compassion, justice, and honesty. Let us be part of the political, economic, and social struggle to defend workers’ rights to fair living wages, healthcare, a safe work environment, the right to organize, and the right to enjoy religious freedom. Let us be a living embodiment of the faith we profess.

And, while we continue to advance a cause we believe is just, based on principle, let us not forget about our most valuable asset, prayer. God says in the Qu’ran ““When My servants ask about Me, I am indeed close to them.  I listen to the prayer of every supplicant, when he calls on Me.  Let them also, with a will, listen to My call, and believe in Me, so that they may walk in the right way” (Qur’an 2:186).

I pray that Allah (God) purify our hearts from greed, anger, and apathy. And I pray that all Americans unite in appreciating our workers and supporting justice and a respectable life for them.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

In support of recent US military involvement: Let’s Stand against Gadhafi, We owe it to Libyans

By: Hussam Ayloush

[Hussam Ayloush is the Executive Director of the Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA). Article represents my personal  views and not necessarily those of CAIR]


Published in:
Pasadena Star-News, Whittier Daily news, San Gabriel Vally Tribune

Over the years, I have strongly opposed war and in particular recent U.S. military involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. However, I commend and fully support President Obama’s decision to engage our military in a limited role to help enforce the no-fly zone and protect the civilian populations in Libya. Nevertheless, I still oppose any deployment of U.S. ground troops.

For the record, I am not an absolute pacifist. I do believe that military action is permissible – and sometimes necessary – as a last resort under the doctrine of just war, such as in cases of defending one’s country from foreign military aggression or the prevention of atrocities against innocent people, even if requires military action in another country.
The situations in Iraq and Afghanistan on one hand, and Libya on the other are different, and not comparable.

In Iraq, our invasion was a unilateral, immoral and illegal action taken on the basis of false pretenses – basically Bush and his cronies lied to the American people and to the world about the weapons of mass destruction and Iraq’s association with al-Qaeda.

In Afghanistan, what started as a legitimate effort to track down and bring to justice Al-Qaeda militants who proudly took responsibility for the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our soil became a full-fledged invasion and occupation of a country and its people – an occupation that continues to bleed our resources, moral credibility, and any chance of a realistic victory in isolating the violent extremists. Obama has yet to introduce a new political and military strategy that will help us break out of the mess that Bush put us in.

Now, back to Libya.

Like many Americans, I am generally against our government spending any of our dwindling tax money on senseless wars at a time when our schools, homeowners, workers, and seniors are financially suffering. It is also important to recognize, though, that our current role in Libya is not a charitable favor to Libyans. It is a debt we owe them for our role and that of our allies in supporting the dictatorship of Gadhafi over many years in order to advance our economic and political interests via this oil-rich country (and I’m not even talking about the documented U.S. role in supporting Colonel Gadhafi’s coup in 1969).

For decades, European allies, especially Germany and Italy, established strong economic ties with the Gadhafi family and its regime. In 2003, soon after the Libyan government accepted responsibility for its role in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 and agreed to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction and long- range missile programs, the U.S. joined the U.K., Germany and Italy in readmitting Colonel Gadhafi into the community of respected world leaders.
There is no doubt that Western governments were aware all along of his ongoing dismal human rights record (including extra-judicial executions and torture), repressive autocracy, and corruption. Gadhafi’s bloody dictatorship was tolerated or ignored because we needed a share in Libya’s oil, his lucrative arms purchases, his cooperation in helping prevent illegal African migration to Europe through the Mediterranean, and his support for Bush’s “war on terrorism,” a role which mostly translated into a green light for Middle Eastern regimes to engage in torture and elimination of political opponents.

Our sins in Libya are similar to the ones we have been committing in most Arab countries. Today is our chance to undo many years of siding with the brutal dictators of the Middle East. It is our chance – rather, our moral responsibility – to side with the people and their legitimate aspirations for freedom, dignity, and justice.

After decades of supporting puppet and agent regimes that did our bidding in the world under the guise of protecting stability, or the immoral excuse of serving our national political and economic interests at the expense of other people’s lives and freedom, it is America’s historic moment to support the Arab world’s revolution against autocracy, repression, and economic injustice.

A new world order is possible: a world in which America leads by moral example, in which we recognize that the word “all” in “all men [and women] are created equal” and “liberty and justice for all,” really means all people and not just all Americans.

Italy' President Silvio Berlusconi and Colonel Muammar Gadhafi.
With Former British prime Minister Tony Blair

Hey, if Berlusconi can do it, why not Blair!

With French President Nicolas Sarkozy

With U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Gadhafi's son Muatassim

With world leaders

Friday, March 25, 2011

Muslim leader censures radical (OC Register)

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.

Contact: 714-796-4994 or fmickadeit@ocregister.com

CAIR-LA Executive Director Addresses Villa Park City Council

Video: Californians Protest Hate Speech Against Muslims (Press TV)

Muslim supporters protest Villa Park councilwoman (OC Register)

Orange County Register
March 22, 2011

VILLA PARK – About 500 demonstrators from various groups marched and chanted slogans against or in support of Councilwoman Deborah Pauly in front of Villa Park City Hall on Tuesday evening.

The majority of demonstrators were Muslim supporters who organized in response to a speech by Pauly last month at a Yorba Linda rally. About 50 people showed up Tuesday night to support Pauly.

Article Tab : hall-anti-yusuf-pauly
Syed Yusuf of Anaheim joins hundreds of protestors outside Villa Park City Hall to protest councilmember Deborah Pauly's anti-islam comments.

The two groups faced off on the walkway in front of City Hall before the council meeting shouting at one another through bullhorns and displaying signs with phrases such as, "I'm a Muslim not a terrorist," and "Deborah Pauly is a patriot."

The protesters also chanted at and over each other: "Deborah Pauly, I'm your neighbor. Why are you such a hater," "No Sharia law," and "Hey, hey, ho, ho, the racism's got to go."

The protest was largely peaceful, but the exchanges among the demonstrators were heated. A pro-Muslim supporter shouted at someone "You don't even know what you're fighting for, you racist pig." The Pauly supporter retorted: "You're a disgrace."...

The demonstrations are a response to a speech Pauly gave at a rally during an Islamic Circle of North America fundraiser Feb. 13, which many have interpreted as anti-Muslim. Her remarks are prominent in a YouTube video created by the Council on American-Islam Relations.

Many of the demonstrators on both sides were at the Feb. 13 protest.

Demonstrators said they're angry that Pauly hasn't apologized, and some demanded an official reprimand. But Hussam Ayloush, executive director of CAIR California, said the main purpose of the rally was to show Pauly that Muslims are supported by the community.

"It would be nice if she apologized for her unbefitting behavior ... but what's more important is what happens after," said Ayloush, referring to a general community reconciliation he hoped would occur...

Giovanni K. Milan, an Arab Christian and Villa Park resident, said that Pauly's comments were narrow-minded and asked for an apology.

"When did the U..S become a Christian society? We are a secular society," said Milan, but his comments were met with laughter by the meeting attendees who appeared to disagree.

"I think we'll look back on this a long time from now and be embarrassed," Milan said.

KPFK report: Rally to Stop Islamophobia

Ernesto Arce


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.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

April 4th Day of Action to support America's workers

Check out this great video for the April 4th Day of Action.
Support America's workers against corporate greed.

Why We Fight: Join us April 4th! from UFCW on Vimeo.

In states across the country, politicians are attempting to roll back the steps forward workers have made in their fight for economic justice and the American Dream. Regardless of whether those politicians are motivated by favors to super-rich corporate donors or are out to exact political revenge, workers have to stick together to stop the attack on the middle class.

On April 4, 2011, we plan to join the rest of the labor movement and our allies in a mass mobilization to make a public and workplace show of support for union rights for all workers. Join us!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jewish prayer ritual alarms Alaska Airlines crew

I sympathize with these Jewish travelers. I had to pray on airplanes on several occasions (especially on long trips and when prayer times would have been missed). I am sure some travelers might have felt nervous around me.

What do you do when you have to pray during travel?


LOS ANGELES | Sun Mar 13, 2011

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An orthodox Jewish prayer observance by three passengers aboard an Alaska Airlines flight on Sunday alarmed flight attendants unfamiliar with the ritual, prompting them to lock down the cockpit and issue a security alert, officials said.

Alaska Flight 241 from Mexico City to Los Angeles International Airport landed safety at LAX and was met by fire crews, foam trucks, FBI agents, Transportation Security Administration personnel and police dispatched as a precaution.

The three men, all Mexican nationals, were escorted off the plane by police and questioned by the FBI before being released to make connecting flights to other countries, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. No charges were filed, she said.

The three passengers had startled members of the cabin crew with what was interpreted as suspicious behavior shortly after takeoff, airline spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said.

"The three passengers were praying aloud in Hebrew and were wearing what appeared to be leather straps on their foreheads and arms," she said. "This appeared to be a security threat, and the pilots locked down the flight deck and followed standard security procedures."

It turned out the passengers were engaged in the wearing of tefillin -- small, black prayer boxes containing scripture that devout Jews bind to their foreheads and arms with black leather straps in a daily ritual accompanied by special prayers.

Asked about the authorities' reaction to the alert, Eimiller said: "We're obligated, of course, to respond when the flight calls us to clear up concerns."

(Reporting by Steve Gorman. Editing by Peter Bohan)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Daily Show: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Sharia?


Peter King may have ties to the IRA, but he believes that Muslim Americans should be investigated for failing to denounce terrorist organizations.

(CAIR-LA video on the Yorba Linda anti-Muslim hate shown)

Rep. Allen West: The Enemy Is Islam

Rep. Allen West: The Enemy Is Islam

Stand Together: Rabbis Speak out against Islamophobia

March 9, 2011
Rabbis for Human Rights
Posted by Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster

Ever since the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States, hatred and discrimination against Muslim Americans has been growing. Over the past year, the rhetoric has only gotten louder and more violent. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights protects the freedoms of religion, speech, and assembly. These are also essential American values. Yet across the United States today, we see attempts to prevent the construction of mosques, laws outlawing Sharia law, and the vilification of our Muslim neighbors and friends as un-American.

Jewish historical experience remembers that not too long ago, we too were the victims of suspicion and hatred based on our religion and ethnicity. The actions of the few should not condemn the many, and every religion has its teachings both of violence and of peace. Jewish tradition demands that we remember the heart of the stranger, because we were strangers in the land of Egypt. If one minority can be singled out for congressional hearings or restrictions on places of worship, anyone can be.

These are not American values. These are not Jewish values. It is time to Stand Together and speak out against Islamophobia...


On the RHR-NA blog are a series of videos from rabbis and rabbinical students explaining why Islamophobia is against Jewish values. We encourage you to watch them and to share them with your community. We also encourage you to create your own video and upload it to YouTube tagged “rabbisagainstislamophobia.” We want to hear from you in your own words why bigotry against Muslims is wrong.

Click here to watch the videos

Muslims, others rally ahead of hearings on Capitol Hill (Washington Post Photos)

March 6, 2011
Washington Post - Photo Gallery

Protesters in New York rally ahead of congressional hearings to be led by Republican Rep. Peter King on "Islamic radicalization" in the United States.

View Photo Gallery
All photos were taken by Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters

Please do not use photos without appropriate credits to photographer, Reuters, and Washington Post.

Mark Lukens, a pastor at Bethany Congregational Church, attends the rally.  (Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters)
Mia Chaney, 7, closes her eyes to feel the rain on her face. (Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters)
A girl shows her message on her palm at the Times Square rally. (Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters)
Zienib Noori, 20, of Albany, N.Y., listens to a speaker at the "Today I Am a Muslim Too" rally in New York City. (Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Rep. King asked to hold hearings on FBI’s illegal surveillance of Muslims

Hussam Ayloush & Ameena Qazi
Jewish Journal

As Representative Peter King (R-NY) launches congressional hearings on Muslims and radicalization this week, we wonder at the expenditure of time to examine an issue whose conclusion has long been self-evident: that American Muslims have worked tirelessly alongside fellow Americans to uphold and strengthen the time-honored values of religious freedom and equality and to protect our nation against all threats.

To that end, we have joined the U.S. Armed Forces, became police officers, and served as first responders. Muslims also forged stronger ties with law enforcement agencies and the FBI – partnerships rooted in trust and cooperation. For example, Southern California Muslims formed a joint partnership with the FBI called the Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee, and similarly partnered with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s and Orange County Sheriff’s departments, and other local law enforcement agencies.

For us, the reasons for improving relations with law enforcement, particularly the FBI, were clear – to reduce mistrust and suspicion of Muslims, and help Muslims understand how law enforcement works. This in turn led to increased cooperation and helped thwart terror plots, and fewer hate crimes and less religious discrimination of Muslims, all of which stem from unfamiliarity with the Muslim faith.

Despite this history, little congressional attention is given to the fact that the Muslim community’s good faith gestures toward cooperation and trust-building have been met with sweeping FBI fishing expeditions and covert surveillance of Muslim communities.

Relations between Muslims and the FBI grew shaky as more and more Muslim Americans reported being interrogated, and news stories simultaneously highlighted the FBI’s surveillance of Muslims’ lawful First Amendment activities. Even so, the then-FBI Assistant Director in Charge of the Los Angeles field office, Steve Tidwell, assured Irvine mosque-goers in 2006 that the FBI was not monitoring the community.

Then in 2007, a self-proclaimed Muslim convert started making rounds at Southland mosques, advocating terrorist sympathies. Muslim congregants immediately reported the man, Craig Monteilh, to law enforcement when his rhetoric turned violent. One mosque even filed for and received a restraining order against Monteilh. In 2009, an FBI agent’s court testimony confirmed that the FBI had indeed recruited Monteilh as a confidential informant.

Monteilh is but a small piece of a frightening trend of broad FBI surveillance of American Muslims that is unconstitutional, illegal, and counterproductive.

A confidential informant was sent to spy on law-abiding Muslim worshipers, without any suspicion of criminal activity. The only basis for the FBI’s suspicion was the congregants’ religion: Islam. At the behest of the FBI, Monteilh made friends with Muslims, particularly those more observant in their religious practices as well as young Muslim men. Electronic surveillance equipment was installed at several mosques to complement the informant’s surveillance efforts.

The informant, who recorded hundreds of hours of audio and video of individuals for the FBI, says his FBI handlers told him Islam itself was a threat to America.

Monteilh was further instructed to look for vulnerabilities that could be used against Muslims to blackmail them into becoming informants.

The illegal surveillance of Muslims and their houses of worship by a confidential informant, combined with national news reports of surveillance of Muslims and FBI guidelines that allow religion to be considered as a factor in investigations, all indicate some FBI agents’ apparent fixation on criminalizing Islam and its followers. If so, such practice flies in the face of the U. S. Constitution.

Sadly, some of our members have reported shying away from congregational worship, attending mosque programs or engaging in normal recreational activities like camping and hiking, out of fear that such activities may attract unnecessary law enforcement scrutiny. The community fabric is threatened as members have become suspicious of new congregants and converts, thinking they might be the next FBI informant.

Left with no other recourse to rectify the FBI’s wrongful monitoring of a besieged American community, CAIR has partnered with the ACLU of Southern California and the law firm of Hadsell Stormer Keeny Richardson & Renick, LLP, to knock on the doors of the highest authority in justice. We filed a class-action lawsuit two weeks ago, hoping the courts will help put an end to the FBI’s unconstitutional and discriminatory tactics against American Muslims.

As the U.S. Senate’s Church Committee did away with the FBI’s COINTELPRO program from the 1960s and 1970s, we hope that the courts will put a stop to the FBI’s unlawful surveillance of the American Muslim communities. Profiling undermines the Constitutional values meant to guard against religious discrimination, impedes legitimate intelligence-gathering, and wastes our precious tax-payer dollars our government should use to ensure our families’ safety from any foreign or domestic threats.

Perhaps Congressman King’s efforts will be better served by examining how the FBI’s unlawful tactics undermine our nation’s security and our Constitutional freedoms.

Hussam Ayloush is the executive director of the Greater Los Angeles Area office of CAIR, the Council on America-Islamic Relations. Ameena Mirza Qazi is the deputy executive director and staff attorney for CAIR-LA.

Stand with the Irvine 11 Townhall meeting at IIOC, Anaheim

Stand with the Irvine 11 Townhall Meeting at IIOC from Islamic Institute of Orange Cty on Vimeo.

Muslims suing FBI for spying on worshipers (Russian TV)


Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Hate Comes to Orange County

The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today released a video of a rally organized by anti-Muslim bigots to protest a February fundraising event held by an American Muslim relief group for relief work and charity in the U.S.

A few hundred protesters showed up to the rally, which was sponsored by groups such as: “We Surround Them OC 912” (a local Tea Party group), Rabbi David Eliezrie of Chabad - Yorba Linda, North Orange County Conservative Coalition, ACT! for America, and Pamela Geller (whose group “Stop the Islamization of America” has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center).

Elected officials Congressmen Ed Royce and Gary Miller, and Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly also attended and spoke at the protest rally.

The event – held at Yorba Linda Community Center, a facility that has been frequented by Muslim families and businesses over the years – first became a target of anti-Muslim bigots over two of the fundraiser’s speakers, who were to speak on the importance of charity in Islam. Initial attempts of some groups to have the Yorba Linda Community Center and the Yorba Linda City Council cancel the fundraising event failed, followed by the protest. 

In a statement, CAIR-LA said:

“We support the First Amendment right of protesters anywhere in America to voice their concerns, dissent, and even hatred. However, when our nation’s foundational values of inclusiveness, pluralism and equality are attacked by some in favor of calls for advocating hate and violence, then all Americans have a responsibility to challenge and expose such bigotry and those who enable it.

“As the video shows, the rhetoric of the protesters became increasingly venomous toward the families and children who came to attend the ICNA Relief fundraising dinner. Protesters shouted invective statements such as “Go home terrorist,” “Muhammad is a pervert, Muhammad is a child molester,” “Go home and beat your wife, she needs a good beating” at the event-goers.

“Even more disturbing was the participation and encouragement of elected officials in promoting the hateful protest rally. Villa Park Councilwoman, Deborah Pauly, while addressing the crowd at the rally, appeared to threaten Muslim event-goers. Congressman Ed Royce (R-40), in a troubling trend of disparaging Islam and its followers, added fuel to the fire by encouraging protesters to continue on with their hate-mongering. The attendance of Congressman Gary Miller (R-42) was a clear surprise, since he previously has engaged with all constituents, including Muslims, toward a better America.

“We strongly urge all elected officials in attendance to distance themselves from such an exhibition of hate and bigotry. We further ask residents and elected officials of Yorba Linda, Orange County and other parts of our nation to speak out against such hateful rhetoric and the continued Islamophobia that plagues our nation.”

CONTACT: CAIR-Greater Los Angeles Area, 714-776-1847, info@losangeles.cair.com