A representative of the California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) testified at a state assembly hearing entitled “Diversity in California: A Conversation About Us.” The hearing was held last Thursday by the Assembly Select Committee on Human Rights, Diversity and Race Relations.
CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush testified alongside representatives from several prominent groups, including Brian Nelson, special assistant attorney general to the California Department of Justice, Robin S. Toma, executive director of the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission, Simran Kaur of the Sikh Coalition, and others.
Ayloush testified on the increasing normalization of civil rights abuses targeting Americans – and in particular – American Muslims. Ayloush highlighted findings from CAIR’s recent report, “Legislating Fear: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States,” which comprehensively examines groups promoting anti-Muslim sentiment in our society and the negative impact those groups have locally and nationally. This includes a rise in mosque opposition cases, the passage of anti-Islam bills in six states, a rise in employment discrimination against Muslims and the creation of America’s secret no-fly list, which disproportionately affects American citizens from Muslim-majority countries.
“It is essential for our state lawmakers to understand that Islamophobia is not only a threat against American Muslims, but it’s a threat to our American values,” said Ayloush. “Through changing and improving policies, we can bring our nation closer to achieving liberty and justice for all individuals.”
Ayloush provided lawmakers with recommendations on how to combat the Islamophobia industry and its efforts to undermine the values in our U.S. constitution.
Obtain the full report here: Legislating Fear
The committee chair, Assembly Member Isadore Hall (D-Compton), Compton Mayor Aja Brown and committee members including Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), Sr., Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), Paul Fong (D-Cupertino), Ian Calderon (D-Whittier), Jimmy Gomez (D-Northeast Los Angeles), Rich Gordon (D-Menlo Park), Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore), V. Manuel Perez (D-Coachella), Katcho Achadjian (R-San Luis Obispo), and others were present at the hearing.
CAIR-CA is a chapter of CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.