AJR64, which targeted bias-motivated crimes against Arab Americans, Muslim Americans, South Asian Americans and Sikhs, was adopted by the California State Assembly (72-0) on April 1, 2004 and by the California State Senate (33-0) on June 16, 2004. The measure was sponsored by CAIR-California and co-sponsored by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer. It received the enthusiastic support of over fifty-five public officials, law enforcement leaders, and community organizations. California is the first state in the United States to adopt such a resolution.
"AJR64 sends a strong message that California as a state will not tolerate
hate crimes against the Muslim-American, Sikh-American, Arab-American and
South Asian American communities," said Assembly Member Dr. Judy Chu.
"Today's gathering of state legislators, locally elected officials, and
local law enforcement agencies reflects our commitment to work together to
protect all Californians from hate motivated incidents. This resolution is
one step in our efforts to eliminate the continuing backlash of hate
violence post 9-11," Chu added.
"As the author of the first hate crimes law in California, Attorney General
Lockyer urges all prosecutors to join him in ensuring that the civil rights
of all Californians are vigorously protected and that those who prey on
others because of their race, color, ancestry or religion are prosecuted to
the fullest extent of the law," said Mark Chekal-Bain, Legislative Advocate
for Attorney General Bill Lockyer.
"AJR64 is an important statement by California legislators that reflects
their commitment to fight hate," said Dr. Hamza ElNakhal of CAIR-SV's
Executive Committee. "Muslim Californians welcome this action by the
legislature, and are grateful for the support from California Attorney
General Bill Lockyer, local public officials, and community organizations."
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in
Washington, D.C., and has 28 offices nationwide and in Canada.
CONTACT: Basim Elkarra, CAIR-SV (916) 289-3748
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