A California senator’s decision to rescind an award to a Muslim leader after caving into pressure from Islamophobes has deeply disappointed Muslim, civil rights, and interfaith communities.

In December, Senator Barbara Boxer withdrew the “Certificate of Accomplishment” her office had awarded to Basim Elkarra, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) Sacramento Valley chapter last November.

Boxer’s office had given the certificate to 27-year-old Elkarra for his dedication to building bridges and enhancing relations among Muslims and non-Muslims.

In a curious twist of events, Boxer then rescinded the award because she was concerned about past alleged statements and actions by CAIR that she saw on right-wing websites.

Officials from CAIR, the largest Muslim civil liberties group in the U.S., expressed surprise and concern at Boxer’s hasty move and her failure to consult CAIR about the charges which they say are baseless.

“These allegations are smears and an attempt to marginalize the American Muslim community,” said Elkarra.

For more than two weeks now, Boxers’s office has refused to speak with Southern California InFocus, the largest American-Muslim newspaper in California.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.