(ANAHEIM, CA, 11/12/07) – More than 2,000 people turned out on Saturday for the annual banquet of the Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA). The event helped raise more than $450,000 to further CAIR’s civil rights and advocacy work.
The event attracted people from a variety of ethnicities and backgrounds, including Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Jews. Additionally, the event brought together representatives from Congress, mayors, city council members, chiefs of police, interfaith leaders and officials. Representatives from most Southern California Islamic centers and organizations were also present.
Ayloush spoke about the “mapping” of Muslims recently proposed by the Los Angeles Police Department and reminded banquet attendees that people should not be silent but should speak out against all forms of prejudice and profiling.
“Our struggle is not for the acceptance of Muslims in America, but to protect America’s soul and great values from being manipulated and compromised by those who wish to spread fear, phobia and paranoia…Our struggle is for an America, as it was founded, to continue to be the land of liberty and justice for all,” said Ayloush.
At the event, community leaders and public officials also spoke on the significance of CAIR’s work. In line with the theme “Let the Conversation Begin,” speakers vowed to continue engaging in dialogue, building bridges of understanding and combating hate and prejudice.
CAIR-LA also had dramatic readings of select passages from Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove’s historical text, “Voices of a People’s History of the United States.” The passages included letters, speeches and other testimony given by Cesar Chavez, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Yuri Kochiyama, Sylvia Woods and Paul Robeson.
Among those reading the passages were acclaimed actor known Carl Weathers, KPFK ‘Morning Review’ host Eisha Mason, third generation Japanese American Nobuko Miyamoto who was interned during WWII when she was a baby, and actor/activist Ruben Guevara.
CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Coordinator Munira Syeda, 714-776-1847 or 714-851-4851, E-Mail: email@example.com