(SAN DIEGO, CA, 10/29/15) â€“ Â The San Diego office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-San Diego) is joining other faith and civil rights leaders in declaring San Diego a hate-free zone.
CAIR-SD took part in a press conference yesterday with the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC) and many other community leaders, faith representatives and civil rights organizations to make that declaration.
The press conference presented a Hate Free San Diego Statement, with specific guidelines for public officials, faith leaders, law enforcement, educators, media, and other community leaders.Â The statement in part read:
â€œAs San Diego community, faith, labor, and legal organizations, we believe that all members of our community deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their racial background, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, or disability. We are deeply concerned about the recent increase in language used by high profile individuals, including politicians and presidential candidates that dehumanizes entire communities. While the First Amendment protects this inflammatory rhetoric, we as a community should recognize its potential harm and condemn the resulting acts of violence.â€
â€œWhile we defend the freedom of speech of all Americans, it is our responsibility to promote a safe environment for all residents and to encourage dignity and respect for all,â€ said Hanif Mohebi, executive director of CAIR-San Diego.
Mohebi; Imam Taha Hassane, imam/director of public/interfaith relations for the Islamic Center of San Diego; Imam Amir Bajlori of Masjid Alsalaam; and Imam Fayaz Nawabi were in attendance representing the American Muslim community in San Diego and Imperial counties.
Others who took part in the news conference included:Â Andrea Guerrero, executive director at Alliance San Diego; Rev. Beth Johnson, co-chair Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice (ICWJ); Pastor Bill Jenkins, Director, Christ Ministry Center; Pedro Rios, chair of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, and director of the American Friends Service Committee San Diego; Oscar Garcia, deputy district attorney /Hate Crimes Unit; Johanna Puno Hester, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance National President & International Vice President of AFSCME, and Rabbi Laurie Coskey, executive director ICWJ.
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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