David Cole is a Professor at Georgetown University Law Center.
CAIR 10th Anniversary Banquet
Circa 2004, some 2,100 people turned out for the annual fundraising banquet of the Council on American-Islamic Relations - Southern California (CAIR-LA) office on Saturday. The Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group said the dinner, which marks a decade of its service, raised $450,000.
At the dinner, held in California's largest banquet facility at the Anaheim Convention Center, speakers congratulated CAIR on ten years of service, and praised CAIR's efforts to combat anti-Muslim prejudice and to promote civil rights for all Americans. The annual report for CAIR-California, which includes the year's financial report, was also distributed at the event.
Speakers and attendees included Professor David Cole from Georgetown University Law Center, Honorable Curt Pringle, Mayor of the City of Anaheim, Bill Lockyer, Attorney General of the State of California, Orange Country Sheriff Michael Corona, Congressman Gary Miller (R-42), Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy Baca, Judge James Gray, Orange County Superior Court, Honorable Judy Chu, Member of the California State Assembly, and Honorable John Chiang, Member of the California Board of Equalization. Representatives from most Southern California Islamic centers and Muslim organizations also attended the dinner. Mayors, city council members and chiefs of police from various cities were also present.
Keeping with the theme of "Restoring the American Dream", Keynote speaker David Cole emphasized the importance of challenging post 9/11 policies which unfairly target American Muslims, including ethnic profiling, preventive detention, the Patriot Act, and maltreatment of foreign nationals.
Attorney General Bill Lockyer, one of the authors of the anti-hate crime legislation AJR 64, assured Muslims that hate crimes against members of any faith community will not be tolerated. He said, "As California's top cop I will not allow it." Gary Miller urged Muslims to reach out and educate other members of the community. Sheriff Baca thanked CAIR for its advertising campaign condemning terrorism. Judge Gray urged that the "the Patriot Act...be repealed by all."
One of the highlights of the event, CAIR presented its annual Civil Rights Leadership Award to Assemblywoman Judy Chu, for her effort and dedication in passing legislation against hate crimes, and especially for sponsoring the historic AJR 64 Hate Crimes Bill condemning hate against Muslims, Arabs, South Asians and Sikhs. Chu commended CAIR for its outstanding support in proposing and garnering support for the bill.
Assemblyman Lou Correa and the office of Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. presented the Muslim Youth Activism Awards for the positive civic, religious and social contributions made by people in the community The Muslim Activist of the Year award went to Imam Saadiq Saafir for his commitment to building bridges between the Muslim and larger community.
CAIR Chairman Omar Ahmad, CAIR-California Chairman Fouad Khatib, and CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush provided an overview of the civil rights group in its ten years of service, and a vision for an even better future. Commenting on the recent survey which shows that 1 in 4 Americans polled hold an anti-Muslim sentiment, Chairman Ahmad stated the need to present Islam in the correct way to Americans. California Chairman Khatib highlighted CAIR's progress and achievements such its public service announcements on radios, its library project which sends fair and balanced books about Islam to libraries, its activism in support of AJR 64, and many more. Executive Director Ayloush pointed out that through CAIR's efforts, accurate information about Islam was shared with 3.3 million people in Southern California.
List of Attending Guests:
- Bill Lockyer, State Attorney General, California Department of Justice
- Congressman Gary Miller, Member of Congress
- Assemblyman Lou Correa California State Assembly
- Assemblywoman Judy Chu, California State Assembly
- John Chiang, CA Board of Equalization
- Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney, Orange County, CA
- Sheriff Leroy Baca, Los Angeles County Sheriff Dept.
- Sheriff Michael Carona, Orange County Sheriff Dept.
- Judge Jim P. Gray, Orange County Superior Court and candidate for U.S. Senate
- Many chiefs of police and their reps. from various So. Calif. Cities (including Anaheim, Long Beach, Irvine, Los Angeles, Laguna Niguel, ...)
- Mayor Larry Agran, City of Irvine
- Mayor Curt Pringle, City of Anaheim
- Mayor Pro Tem Andy Quach, City of Westminster
- Mayor Bruce Broadwater, City of Garden Grove
- Councilman Van Tran, Esq, City of Garden Grove
- Councilman Kermit Marsh, City of Westminster
- Dr. Karen Torjesen, Dean of Religion, Claremont College
- Dr. Thomas McFadden, President of Marymount College
- Dr. Ananda Guruge, Dean of Academic Affairs, Hsi Las University Los Angeles
- Bishop Murray Finck, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
- Rev. Dennis Short, Harbor Christian Church
- The Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith, Director of Ecumenical & Interreligious Affairs, LA Catholic Archdiocese
- Rev. Leonard Jackson, First AME Church, Los Angeles & LAPD Religious Forum
- Rev. Ginny Wagener, Executive Director of South Coast Interfaith Council
- Rev. Reese Riley, Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Tustin,
- Sr. Marie Gaillac, from Sisters of St. Joseph
- Rev. Roy Riggs, United Methodist Church, Corona
- Bishop Edward Turner, HOPE for LIFE Foundation
- Rev Alexia Salvatierra, Executive Director of CLUE
- Preston Wood Executive Director of ANSWER
- Karin Pally from Women in Black
- Alison Weir from If Americans Knew