March 19th, 2009 10:21 EST
Islamophobia Is a Lucrative Business
A leading national media watch group, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, listed Emerson as one of the top 12 Islamophobes in America. These Islamophobes, together, form a network that teaches Americans to see Islam in fearful terms and their Muslim neighbors as suspects, " (www.smearcasting.com).
It is no wonder Emerson attempts to marginalize American Muslims and their leading organizations and label them as terrorist-sympathizers. It is puzzling that Emerson gets to promote his bigotry, unchallenged, at the invitation of an esteemed institution such as the World Affairs Council or in the pages of The Desert Sun.
CAIR is one of the most respected Muslim advocacy organizations in America. We work closely with our nation`s interfaith leaders, elected officials, media professionals and law enforcement agencies to provide them with the Muslim community`s perspective on issues varying from national security to civil rights and to promote tolerance and mutual understanding.
CAIR and the Muslim community repeatedly and unequivocally condemn all forms of terrorism because Islam teaches us to value life - every life.
Emerson is entitled to free speech, including hate speech.
But residents of the desert cities deserved better than hate-mongering.
As our country and world face the challenges of polarization, extremism and terrorism, we need voices of understanding, peace and moderation from all faith communities.
[Hussam Ayloush is executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greater Los Angeles Area office.]