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Calif. Theater Cancels Al-Arian Doc After Pressure from ‘Anti-Muslim Bigots’

(ANAHEIM, CA, 4/17/08) – The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) said today that Starplex Cinemas succumbed to pressure by “anti-Muslim bigots” and canceled 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 say Starplex Cinemas breached a signed agreement to screen the documentary.

When the Starplex-owned Woodbridge 5 theater in Irvine, Calif., canceled its contract on Monday, the company released the following statement on a blog: “Starplex Cinemas has no ties or relations with the organization that rented the theater to do a film screening. The intent and content of the film was not disclosed. We have not political affilication [sic] and have canceled the screening. We thank the community for brining [sic] this to our attention. For any questions or comments, please contract [sic] Kristen Wheaton at”

“By succumbing to pressure from anti-Muslim bigots, Starplex Cinemas sends the message that only some points of view deserve to be heard,” CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush. “It is un-American for any group to stifle free speech by seeking to censor political views.”

Ayloush said another theater has agreed to screen the documentary this evening. The theater, also located in Irvine, is a newer facility and is able to accommodate an additional 100 guests. That facility is also coming under pressure from the same anti-Muslim sources.

The event is open to those who have reserved a seat. Those wishing to attend the screening and panel discussion, please e-mail to be put on a waiting list.

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.

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CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Coordinator Munira Syeda at 714-776-1847, 714-851-4851, or E-Mail:


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