Press Releases

Muslims Demand Apology for ADL’s ‘Hate-Filled Rhetoric’

The Southern California office of the Council
on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today demanded that a prominent
national Jewish advocacy group apologize to Muslims for “hate-filled
Islamophobic rhetoric” distributed by one of its California offices.

A news release distributed Friday by the Orange County/Long Beach Regional
Office of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith (ADL) referred to the
Islamic declaration of faith, or shahada, as an “expression of hate” that
is “closely identified” with terrorism and is “offensive to Jewish
Students.” The release also said the color green, commonly associated with
the faith of Islam, “is the color of Hamas.”

The shahada, “There is no god but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of
God,” is the core Muslim belief in the oneness of God and is one of the
“five pillars,” of Islam. No person can be a Muslim without believing in
the shahada. (Ironically, the Jewish declaration of faith, the Shema
Yisrael similarly states: “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.”)

The ADL made its bigoted statements in reference to a controversy started
by right-wing and pro-Israel groups over the decision by Muslim students at
the University of California, Irvine (UCI) to wear stoles bearing the
shahada at weekend graduation ceremonies. The stoles in question also say
in Arabic: “God, increase my knowledge.” Opponents falsely claim that the
stoles are an expression of support for terrorism.



“The ADL’s hate-filled Islamophobic rhetoric labels all Muslims as
terrorists, because every Muslim believes in the declaration of faith as
the essence of Islam,” said CAIR-LA Communications Director Sabiha Khan.
“It is truly sad that an organization that once fought for religious
tolerance has sunk to exploiting anti-Muslim ignorance and prejudice to
advance the brutal agenda of a foreign nation.”

Just last month, unknown arsonists torched a UCI student display set up to
challenge the wall Israel is building on Palestinian land. The Orange
County Human Relations Commission recently released its 2003 annual report
that showed a 50 percent increase in hate incidents directed at members of
the Muslim and Arab-American community. (UCI is located in Orange County.)
In April, CAIR’s own annual report on the status of American Muslim civil
rights showed a 70 percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide in
2003, with the largest number of incidents occurring in California.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter