October 28th, 2009 12:00 EST
Muslims Take Stand Against Neo-Nazis
The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA), along with members of the Riverside Muslim community, joined a rally on Saturday against neo-Nazis who had gathered to protest undocumented day laborers.
The organizers of the counter-protest said more than 600 members of diverse faiths and backgrounds joined the rally to speak out against the hatred and bigotry espoused by the neo-Nazis.
CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush, who attended the rally with his children, said:
It`s important for all Americans -- whether Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Asian, Latino, African-American, or other -- to strongly and vehemently speak out against the hatred and bigotry of those who seek to dehumanize others.
I brought my teenage children with me to the counter-protest to make sure they never take for granted the sacrifices of early civil rights activists such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Cesar Chavez.
With the continued economic downturn, anti-immigrant and racist groups are increasingly promoting anti-immigrant sentiment by unfairly blaming immigrants documented or otherwise for "stealing` American jobs.
CAIR-LA rejects such scapegoating and calls for immigration reforms that preserve the dignity and respect of immigrants and their families. "
SEE: A Muslim Perspective on Illegal Immigration
SEE: Neo-Nazi Demonstration in Riverside Spurs Confrontations
SEE: Neo-Nazi Group Rallies in Riverside as Hundreds of Counter-Demonstrators Protest
The neo-Nazi group, National Socialist Movement, held a rally last month but was met with hundreds of counter-protesters. Earlier this month, Jewish worshipers at Temple Beth El in Riverside were intimidated and harassed by neo-Nazis who held signs and flags bearing Nazi swastikas in front of the synagogue.
SEE: Calif. Muslims Condemn Neo-Nazi Harassment
The counter-protest was organized by 50 community organizations, including CAIR-LA and the Islamic Center of Riverside.
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.