July 8, 2024

Photo Credit: David Swanson/AFP

(LOS ANGELES, CA – 07/8/2024) –The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today called on federal officials to ensure a fair and transparent investigation into the recent violence that broke out during a protest opposing a real estate marketing event hosted by an organization that has reportedly promoted the sale of illegally occupied Palestinian land. CAIR-LA also called on officials to ensure that the investigation addresses the violent attacks against pro-Palestinian demonstrators by pro-Israel counter-protesters. 

SEE: Feds investigating violence during pro-Palestinian protest outside Los Angeles synagogue 

On June 27, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and the FBI have begun collecting evidence and are launching an official investigation into the violence that occurred outside the Adas Torah synagogue in Los Angeles. 

Pro-Palestinian protesters gathered to oppose a marketing event hosted by the synagogue that reportedly promoted the sale of property in the illegally occupied West Bank. Many of the protesters were confronted, harassed, and violently attacked by pro-Israel counter-protesters. Multiple journalists also report that their equipment was destroyed, and their phones were stolen by pro-Israel supporters.   

In a statement, CAIR-LA Legal Director Amr Shabaik, Esq. said: 

“While we welcome the investigation into the violence that occurred against demonstrators outside the Adas Torah synagogue, we also call on Attorney General Garland, and other federal officials, to ensure that the investigation is not colored by the false narrative surrounding the protest. The politicization of this event has followed a consistent pattern that we have seen over the past several months in which pro-Palestinian protesters are defamed and harmfully labeled as violent antisemites. 

“Across the country and in Los Angeles we have witnessed an unprecedented number of violent attacks against Muslims, Palestinians, Arabs, and the diverse group of individuals that advocate for Palestinian human rights by individuals who have been emboldened by the lack of accountability by all levels of our government and law enforcement when it comes to addressing violence and hate against them. We look forward to the perpetrators of the violent attacks against protesters being held accountable.” 

Federal and local elected officials, including Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, released statements following the events framing the pro-Palestinian protesters as antisemitic. These statements do not mention the violence instigated by pro-Israel counter-protesters. 

Since Oct. 7, CAIR-LA has seen a 2,650% increase in hate crimes and hate incidents targeting the Muslim, Palestinian, and Arab communities in Los Angeles from October 2023 to June 2024, as compared to the same period the previous year. 

SEE ALSO: New CAIR Civil Rights Report Reveals Highest Number of Complaints in Group’s 30-Year History

Earlier this year, CAIR’s national office published its 2024 Civil Rights Report, revealing a 56% increase in nationwide anti-Muslim incidents from the previous year—the highest number of complaints in its 30-year history.

CAIR-LA sent a letter to Attorney General Garland, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, FBI Assistant Director in Charge Akil Davis, and U.S. Attorney E. Martin Estrada calling on them to ensure a transparent, thorough, and fair investigation into the attacks and to hold the perpetrators of violence against pro-Palestinian supporters accountable. 

CAIR-LA is Southern California’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice and empower American Muslims.   

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CONTACT: CAIR-LA Digital Communications Manager Enjy El-Kadi, (714) 851-4851 or eelkadi@cair.com; CAIR-LA Communications Coordinator Madi Morse-Hameed, mmorse-hameed@cair.com