(ANAHEIM, CA, 12/2/10) — The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today welcomed a unanimous decision by the Planning Commission of the City of Temecula to approve the construction of a new mosque in that city.
CAIR-LA officials also thanked members of the interfaith community for their overwhelming support for the mosque and its worshippers’ right to freely practice their beliefs.
“Today, the City of Temecula and its people have re-affirmed the constitutional values of religious freedom and equality for all Americans,” said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush. “Conscientious Americans have spoken up and must continue to speak up against the hateful and bigoted elements that seek to marginalize American Muslims and their houses of worship.”
“We are grateful for the strong support and friendship shown by the community of Temecula Valley and community organizations such as CAIR, MPAC, the Shura Council and the ACLU,” said Imam Mahmoud Harmoush of the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley. “The Temecula community has shown its true colors of tolerance and mutual respect. The presence of Christians, Jews and Muslims and others at the hearing in support of the mosque also reflected the unity of the community at large.”
CAIR-LA thanked the many groups and individuals from interfaith circles across the state who have stood in solidarity with the Temecula Muslim community, including sending in letters of support and attending a counter-protest at the mosque in summer. The Interfaith Council of Temecula Valley has consistently spoken out in support of the mosque and held an interfaith forum.
The group was recognized by CAIR-LA at its annual Oct. 30 banquet for extraordinary outreach on behalf of the Muslim community. The Progressive Jewish Alliance also sent a group of nine activists who spoke in support of the Temecula mosque before the commissioners at the hearing last night.
The new mosque, planned by the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley to accommodate the growing Muslim community, has been a target of intense Islamophobic opposition since earlier this year.
In July, an e-mail alert encouraged state’s Tea Party supporters to bring dogs to harass Muslim worshipers during a Friday congregational prayer, or “Jummah.”
The alert on the anti-mosque protest sent to area newspapers by “a leader of a conservative coalition that has been active with Republican and Tea Party functions” stated: “An Islamic Mosque is planned to be built in Temecula. Islam is not a religion. It is a worldwide political movement meant [sic] on domination of the world. And it is meant to subjugate all people under Islamic law … Islam permits lying! … The Islam’s [sic] treat women as second class people and they also hate dogs. Women are forbidden to sing and dogs are killed. We will not be submissive to Sharia Law. Tennessee was able to stop the Mosque so bring your Bibles, flags, signs, dogs and singing voice on Friday.”
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. 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.
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CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Manager Munira Syeda, 714-776-1847 or 714-851-4851, E-mail: email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: email@example.com