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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

CAIR-MI Rep Defends Free Speech Rights, even for Pastor Terry Jones

"If Terry Jones becomes unpopular and not allowed to speak about his views publicly, then one day it might be the imam of the mosque. One day it might be myself who someone's trying to censure from speaking freely about their beliefs," said Dawud Walid, who heads the Council on American Islamic Relations.

He's a staunch opponent of Jones and his hateful speech against Muslims and says the prosecutor and court may have had good intentions, but by trying to silence Jones, they've turned up the volume instead.

"Terry Jones has gone from being painted as a racist and bigot to a First Amendment martyr and someone who's standing up for American principles, and this is the problem of the whole issue now," Walid said.

Friday, April 15, 2011

How it Became Acceptable to Publicly Reveal Bias Against Muslims in America

Mathew J. Creighton and Amaney A. Jamal
Huffington Post

Before gauging whether you are in line with most of America in your opinion about Muslim immigrants, here are two things you should know: Firstly, Americans are no more opposed to granting citizenship to Muslim immigrants than Christian immigrants. Secondly, despite no real difference in opinion, Americans are significantly more open about their opposition to a Muslim becoming a citizen. In other words, what is unique is not the extent to which opposition exists, but the extent to which it is out in the open.

About a year ago, in the spring of 2010, with funding from the National Science Foundation's Time-Sharing Experiments in the Social Sciences program, we decided to see if Americans really felt differently about the incorporation of Muslims into American citizenry. Because the U.S. has a long tradition of religious tolerance, we worried that Americans might feel uncomfortable expressing an intolerant view toward a specific religious group. To get around this, we randomly assigned the 2,366 participants in our study to three groups. One group we asked directly whether they supported or opposed giving legal Muslim or Christian immigrants citizenship...

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Khutbah/Sermon: Understanding and Defending "The Shariah" - by: Hussam Ayloush

What is Shariah and what are its foundations and purposes?

Why is Shariah attacked? Who is behind those attacks?

Can a good Muslim who follows the Shariah also be a good American?

Is the Shariah opposed or a threat to the US Constitution?

Find out. (English part begins after 3 minutes into talk)

Khutbah: Understanding and Defending "The Shariah" by Br. Hussam Ayloush from Islamic Institute of Orange Cty on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ayloush: Condemn hateful rhetoric against Muslims (OC Register)

April 05, 2011|
Orange County Register 

Let me clear a few misconceptions about the American Muslim community, generally used as a cover to fuel anti-Muslim sentiment:

1. American Muslims support the exercise of First Amendment by individuals or groups to protest speakers, voice concerns, dissent, and even spew hatred. We support the same constitutional right to challenge bigotry and its enablers, particularly if the enablers are public officials who are sworn to protect the Constitution yet engage in promoting bigotry against an entire faith or ethnic community.

2. American Muslims categorically condemn any and all acts of violence against civilians – a principled stance rooted in our Islamic faith. Only a week ago, the Register quoted me on this subject. Moreover, American Muslims have zero tolerance for bigotry against any group of people based on religion, ethnicity, or national origin. Therefore, any attempt to paint American Muslims as otherwise is abhorrent. Now, here is a summary of events that unfolded at the Feb. 13 ICNA Relief charity dinner:

A group of right-wing activists and groups mobilized a wide grassroots effort to protest two speakers – a legitimate activity – at the charity dinner. The charity dinner was held to raise money for women's shelters and to fight homelessness.

CAIR-LA did not organize the charity dinner, but being a civil rights organization sent observers to document possible anti-Muslim bigotry and hate at the protest rally.

The "peaceful protest," as described by Rabbi David Eliezrie, was not so peaceful. Starting a couple hours before the charity dinner, the speakers whipped up anti-Muslim sentiment among protesters with their comments. Karen Lugo, a California Civil Rights Commission advisory committee appointee, advocated discriminating against Muslims, saying: "When we have a group that is asking for special preferences and special treatment, it is not a matter of discrimination to say no when a group is less than one percent of our population."

Councilwoman Deborah Pauly said at the rally: "These who are assembling are enemies of America. They are your enemy. They are my enemy because they seek to destroy it." The councilwoman further said in her speech, to the applause of her audience, "I know quite a few Marines who will be happy to help these terrorists [pointing toward the location of the Muslim charity dinner] to an early meeting in paradise."

News articles reported Rabbi Eliezrie as a speaker at the rally. Does Rabbi Eliezrie, as a Jewish leader, not see the sad parallel between this dehumanizing rhetoric and that of 1930s Nazi Germany which later led to the horrors of the Holocaust?

In light of the above professed anti-Muslim rhetoric, is it any surprise that many of the protesters started yelling hateful slurs 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," once Muslim families began showing up to the charity event? Some protesters even blew shofars, declaring a battle against Muslims.

Public officials and protesters have a right to protest any speaker, but it is not acceptable for them to use such protest as a pretext to launch and incite a hateful attack on an entire religion and its followers, and support violence and discrimination against them.

Instead of insulting Americans' intelligence by attempting to re-write the history of the "peaceful protest" and blaming CAIR-LA's video – which we completely stand by – for exposing the hate fest, Rabbi Eliezrie and rally speakers should have the moral integrity to take responsibility for their role in enabling this despicable incident against peaceful families and children. They have a responsibility to condemn the hateful rhetoric at every stage in the rally and apologize to the American Muslim community and Orange County residents for the pain and embarrassment they have caused.

Let us begin a process of healing by becoming agents of unity and peace rather than engaging in McCarthyesque tactics to demonize and marginalize American Muslims.