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CAIR-LA: Calif. Synagogue Agrees to Invite Speaker on Islam

(LOS ANGELES, CA, 2/19/09) – The Greater Los Angeles Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today said that a local synagogue that plans to screen a film claiming “confrontation between Islam and the Jews” has agreed to invite a Muslim representative who can offer a balancing perspective of interfaith understanding.

CAIR-LA’s request for a balancing perspective was prompted by the February 22 screening of the film “Farewell Israel” at Congregation B’nai Emet in Simi Valley.
A web site promoting the film states: “The confrontation between Islam and the Jews began in the Prophet Muhammad’s time, and continues to this day. Israel’s existence recalls Islam’s age old Jewish problem, first felt at Islam’s inception in Medina in 624 AD: How can Islam thrive and find salvation if Jews are politically powerful? And it requires the same solution chosen by the Prophet Muhammad – elimination of political independence of Jews and the domination of Islam over them.”
SEE: Simi Valley Synagogue to Screen Film on Fundamentalist Islam
SEE ALSO: Farewell Israel

In a letter to CAIR-LA’s request, Rabbi Michele Paskow wrote in part: “Thank you for your letter regarding our showing the film Farewell Israel. I appreciate your graciousness and concern. We are definitely interested in having a guest speaker to further our understanding of Islam.”
The Muslim representative will speak at a separate event.
“Americans of all faiths have a responsibility to promote respectful dialogue and to avoid actions that will serve to create societal division and mistrust,” said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush. “We thank Congregation B’nai Emet and Rabbi Paskow for agreeing to have a representative of the California Muslim community to balance the inaccurate and inflammatory thesis put forward by this film.”
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic 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, 714-776-1847,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail:


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