March 6th, 2011 11:26 EST
Reaction to Hate Mob Helps Bring Sympathy and Understanding to The American Muslim Community
The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today expressed gratitude for the tremendous support expressed by Americans nationwide toward the event-goers at a Muslim charity event and to the American Muslim community.
The support came in response to a video released by CAIR-LA of a protest rally at an ICNA Relief fundraising dinner, which was organized to raise money for women`s shelters and to alleviate homelessness and hunger in the U.S.
The video went viral over the internet and garnered almost 500,000 views in two days.
Watch the video.
Following is a sampling of the messages phoned in and e-mailed to the CAIR-LA office:
"When I saw this tape last night - I was brought to tears. The viciousness of the crowd is outdone only by the ignorance and hate that spews from the mouths of the frightened sheep that call them-selves elected officials...The only thing that was missing in the crowd were the dogs and fire hoses from the Civil Rights movement so many years ago." -Richard C.
"With tears streaming down my cheeks after watching the hateful treatment of your fundraising event, I would like to express my sincere outrage that Americans think and behave in these despicable ways. If I could travel to LA from Georgia today, I would want to personally hug each and every person who had to witness this crowd - who have been convinced by the systematic pounding of media disinformation to fear and hate." - Darlene
"Thank you so much for releasing the video and increasing my awareness of the bigotry and xenophobia in our society. I am deeply grieved and outraged by what I saw. Those protesters do not speak for me and I am deeply shamed that they used patriotism as an excuse to degrade your community." - Anne, Michigan
"It sickens me to witness that much hate so close to my house....We all come from same family tree just on a different branch. Please inform if there`s anything I can do. I`m sorry for writing this email over a situation like this. No one should have to tolerate hatred like this, especially at a dinner benefiting a greater America." - Jesse R.
"I just wanted to communicate my utter disgust. As a Japanese American, I believe my community has much in common with the Muslim community especially in our post 9/11 society. There are a great many of us, from all backgrounds, who are completely disgusted with the protestors and what they did and support the ICNA, CAIR, and the Muslim community." -Daren M.
"As a citizen of the United States I respect the right of others to protest, however I strongly condemn their hateful words, intolerance and ignorance. It is truly an insult to the flag of the United States and all it stands for to be flown behind the hatred of these protestors...As a Catholic Christian and a proud citizen of the United States, I respect and support your right to practice your religion, honor the Prophet, and encourage your members to invest in charitable works in their community." - Anonymous
"The League of United Latin American Citizens of Long Beach condemns the intolerance and bigotry of the people who shouted at and otherwise abused our brother and sister and young ones at the dinner. We firmly pledge to stand with you in this time of need."
"I commend the bravery and steadfastness of those Muslims who had the courage to attend the charity event even while being lashed out at by ignorant and tasteless bigots. Those protesters do not represent the majority of Americans and I do not even see how they can call themselves Americans." - Jonathan A.
"It upset me to see how horrible those protesters were. I am from North Dakota and would just like to extend my friendship and support. Have a great day!" - Dustin
"I`m from Yorba Linda, I`ve lived there all my life, and I`ve never seen anything like this before. I`m away at school right now, and I`m not sure I want to go home for spring break now that I`ve seen what happened. I recently returned to the US from a study abroad program in Cairo, Egypt, where I spent five months living safely and happily surrounded by people who I realize now would be scorned and hated were they to move to my home community." - Anonymous
"I`ve known Muslims all my life. They`re good people. Terrorists don`t represent Islam any more than Tim McVeigh represents Christianity. I am so thankful to my family for raising me to love my fellow humans. I just don`t see how these people get up in the morning with so much poison hatred in their hearts." - Anonymous
"Please take some comfort in knowing that not all non-Muslims are like this. I am going away this summer to help some orphaned Muslim children in another country. My goal is NOT to convert them to anything else. I`ve been studying Islam to be a good role model for them. My goal is to figure out how I can help them. I want to find a way to ensure that they have opportunities to get an education and to DREAM about what they can do with their lives in the future..." - Brandy, Texas
"The ignorance demonstrated by the protesters shown on the YouTube footage does not reflect the views of most Americans. Sadly, as is so often the case, it`s the hatemongers who make their voices most clearly heard. There are many people in this country that are aware of the true nature of Islam, i.e., a religion that promotes peace and tolerance. Sadly, the ignorant few are too easily led." - Alastair
"I`m a white American and disgusted that those people have anything in common with me. The feminist news site I frequent IS spreading the word about what happened, and so am I, and so are my friends. You are not alone. We are bearing witness to what happened to you, and we are upset." - Laura, Oregon
"It`s very unlike me to sit down and write spontaneously but I just saw the video footage of the anti-Muslim `demonstration` in Orange County last month which moved me to tears. Please know that these people demonstrating are only a tiny minority of stupid, stupid ignorant people. I`m so sorry for the way Islam is being made a scape-goat for many of the problems in this world." - Mark, United Kingdom
"I noticed that there is another charity event in Garden Grove this Sunday evening to provide relief for Libya. I am hopeful that there isn`t any anticipated protests, but I would like to offer any help I can to act as a human buffer, escort or counter protest as necessary. I can`t help but remember those in Egypt who protected one another during prayer -- I would be honored to do the same so that folks could practice their faith in offering charity. Blessings to you all." - Leia S.
"I myself, am not religious... I do not believe in an afterlife...I believe in what I see and base my hopes and desires with what I can achieve with my two hands and abilities. Regardless of what I believe... the spewing of illogical hate mongering bigotry in this video has made me feel the need to reach out to you. From a white American born in California please pass my condolences to the families present at the gathering. I support your views of religion and the world." - David D.
SEE: CAIR-LA Statement on the Protest Rally
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.