Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Racial Issues: California Tea Party supporters told to bring dogs to harass Muslim worshippers

The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today denounced a planned anti-mosque protest by California Tea Party supporters who are being told to bring dogs to harass Muslim worshippers during a Friday congregational prayer, or "Jummah."

CAIR-LA called on local officials and interfaith leaders to show support for the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley, the target of the July 30 protest by the Southwest Riverside County (SWRC) Tea Party group. The protest is in opposition to a proposal for a new mosque in the area.

SEE: Tea Party Anti-Islam Mosque Protest Planned for July 30

An e-mail alert announcing the anti-mosque protest sent to area newspapers by "a leader of a conservative coalition that has been active with Republican and Tea Party functions" stated: "An Islamic Mosque is planned to be built in Temecula. Islam is not a religion. It is a worldwide political movement meant [sic] on domination of the world. And it is meant to subjugate all people under Islamic law. . .Islam permits lying!. . .The Islam's [sic] treat women as second class people and they also hate dogs. Women are forbidden to sing and dogs are killed. We will not be submissive to Sharia Law. Tennessee was able to stop the Mosque so bring your Bibles, flags, signs, dogs and singing voice on Friday."

SEE: Temecula Mosque Proposal Targeted in Pending Protest

"Californians of all faiths should repudiate those who would target a house of worship using tactics specifically designed to cause offense," said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush. "National and state Tea Party leaders should explain why their movement has apparently deviated from its agenda on fiscal responsibility and limited government to the promotion of Islamophobia."

Ayloush noted that many Muslims believe the saliva of dogs invalidates the ritual ablution (wudu) performed before prayer. For this reason, it has become a cultural norm for individuals not to have dogs in their houses -- not because the dog is "hated." Islam's Prophet Muhammad allowed the use of dogs for protection and for hunting, and he related several traditions (hadith) in which individuals were rewarded by God for protecting animals, including dogs, and punished for mistreating them.

In response to the planned protest, the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley released a statement that read in part: "It has come to our attention that a group of people seek to disrupt our prayer session on Friday, July 30th. We are disheartened and saddened that a group of our neighbors seeks to disrespect and make our community feel unwelcome."

SEE: Temecula-Based Islamic Center Responds to Planned Mosque Protest

Last week, CAIR called on Florida GOP U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio not to accept an invitation to take part in an August 21 Tea Party rally featuring an extremist anti-Islam keynote speaker who has stated that Muslims should not be allowed to hold public office, that an American Muslim "cannot be a loyal citizen" and that Islam is the "real enemy.

Source: Council on American-Islamic Relations