(ANAHEIM, CA, 4/18/08) – The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) said today that more than 250 people turned out for a screening of “USA vs. Al-Arian,” a documentary highlighting the injustices faced by former Florida professor Dr. Sami Al-Arian.
To watch “USA vs. Al-Arian,”click here.
SEE ALSO: Free Sami Al-Arian
CAIR-LA officials said the screening was a success despite efforts by “anti-Muslim bigots” who pressured the owners of the original venue to back out of a signed contract and who tried unsuccessfully to pressure the owners of the second venue into canceling the event.
Ayloush said, however, that last-minute cancellation by Starplex Cinemas generated more interest in the community, and the new venue, Edwards Cinemas, was able to accommodate more guests and provide a better facility.
“We thank all those who supported the right to freedom of speech and the right to seek redress from the government for the injustices suffered by Dr. Al-Arian,” CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush. “Last night’s event was a tremendous success despite the pressure exerted by anti-Muslim bigots and those who would censor the political views of others.”
The screening was followed by a panel discussion. Panelists included Laila Al-Arian, daughter of Dr. Sami Al-Arian. The program was moderated by Sharaf Mowjood, government relations coordinator of CAIR-LA.
Laila Al-Arian said of the screening: “USA vs. Al-Arian” is a wonderful teaching tool for the American public to learn about civil liberties in post-9/11. “I am glad that this screening in Southern California was very successful. There was a tremendous turnout and response from the community,” she said.
The event was co-sponsored by the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, MSA-West, Islamic Center of Irvine, Orange County Islamic Foundation, Palestinian American Society, MSU-UCI and Visual Sound.
Ayloush also said Al-Arian’s case was highlighted today in an article in the New York Times.
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Coordinator Munira Syeda at 714-776-1847, 714-851-4851, or E-Mail: email@example.com