Press conference Hussam Ayloush Masih Fouladi CA AG Rob Bonta

(LOS ANGELES, CA – 11/04/2021) – On Wednesday, Nov. 3, the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA), along with California Attorney General Rob Bonta, hosted a press conference to announce the launch of the Center for the Prevention of Hate and Bullying (CPHB), which will address, analyze, and work on preventing Islamophobia in Southern California.

Click here to watch a video of the press conference. 

In a statement, California Attorney General Rob Bonta said:

“With the full weight of the authority of the California Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Justice, the statutory law, the constitutional law, I am saying loud and clear that there is no room for hate here in California—not here, not anywhere, not now, not ever—and that includes Islamophobia in all its forms …  I, as a leader of the California Department of Justice, will use my resources, my authority, to help [combat hate].”

“Over the last 20 years, the Muslim community has been facing many challenges due to Islamophobia—which manifests itself through hate crimes and hate incidents against mosques and those who appear visibly Muslim, school bullying, and issues of campus climate in college campuses,” said CAIR California CEO Hussam Ayloush.

“Hate does not occur in a vacuum. Unfortunately, when high profile political leaders engage in rhetoric or policies of hate, our community and other targeted minorities witness and experience increases in hate. Attorney General Bonta’s leadership to proactively combat all forms of hate and his collaboration with Muslim leaders will go a long way in allowing our communities to heal and reach solutions to keep prevent hate and bullying.”

The CPHB will focus its efforts through the end of 2021 on:

  1. Analyzing 10 years of data that has been gathered through CAIR-CA’s school bullying surveys and reports.
  2. Monitoring hate groups and institutions that have historically incited violence in advance of the 2022 primaries and midterm elections.
  3. Collaborating with institutions and law makers to propose legislation and resource allocations to combat hate at the state and local level.

“Dismantling systemic hate requires intentionality and intersectional collaboration,” said Masih Fouladi, Interim Director for the CPHB. “The Muslim community is comprised of the Asian American Pacific Islander, Black, Middle Eastern and North African, and other communities that are most vulnerable to hate. The center will allow us to strategically expand our efforts from legal, policy, organizing, and media perspective in partnership with other NGOs and government institutions. Yesterday’s launch with Attorney General Bonta was a strong step in that direction.”

CAIR-LA, along with the additional three chapters that comprise CAIR California, recently released its 2021 Bullying Report, which showed that the highest-ever percentage of Muslim students (55%) feel unsafe in school.

CAIR also offers a booklet, called “An Educator’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices,” designed to help school officials provide a positive learning environment for Muslim students.

 

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 Social & Digital Manager Enjy El-Kadi, (714) 776-1847 or eelkadi@cair.com