February 29, 2024

(SAN DIEGO, CA, 02/13/24) – The San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-San Diego) today calls for Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer to meet with Imam Taha Hassane and the Muslim Community to discuss and resolve recent concerns she expressed about the reappointment of Imam Taha Hassane to the Leon Williams Human Relations Commission.

Hassane’s reappointment to the Human Relations Commission was brought into question after public commenters expressed opposition at a regular meeting of San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors on Feb. 6, claiming Imam Hassane had promoted antisemitism and hate on social media and in sermons after the events of Oct. 7. The board later approved Hassane’s reappointment 3-0, with Supervisors Jim Desmond and Joel Anderson abstaining. 

Despite voting in favor of Hassane’s appointment, Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer released a statement on Feb. 7 stating she regrets her decision to support Hassane after watching a full video of Hassane’s sermon. The outcry on Feb. 6 has encouraged further hateful commentary directed towards Hassane, who received malicious messages and death threats via phone at the Islamic Center of San Diego, where he serves as Imam. 

“We are saddened to read the supervisor’s statements and want to assure her that her vote to appoint the Imam to the HRC was just and necessary. Imam Taha represents the Muslim Community at the HRC, and removing him based on misinformation diminishes the input of the San Diego Muslim community and will be considered an insult to the community,” said CAIR San Diego Executive Director Tazheen Nizam. “Supervisor Lawson-Remer has been invited for dialogue with Imam Taha and the Muslim Community to deepen her understanding of the plight of the Palestinian-American community in San Diego and the civil rights violations that San Diego’s Arab, Muslim, and Palestinian communities have been facing over the past several months,” added Nizam. 

CAIR-San Deigo is an office of CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.