Muslims Take Part in Immigration Rallies

Immigration reform supporters rally in Los Angeles

Anaheim: The Southern California Muslim community participated in two major immigration rallies in Santa Ana and Los Angeles on May 1. According to news reports, an estimated 700,000 people attended the marches, in what has been described as one of the largest rallies in American history.
As people marched down Wilshire Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles and Civic Center Drive in Santa Ana, chants could be heard from blocks away: “Si, se puede! Yes, we can!" Hundreds of thousands of documented and undocumented individuals marched in solidarity, demanding rights for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently residing in the United States.

Representatives from CAIR-LA, Muslim Public Affairs Council and Islamic Shura Council of Southern California were present at the rallies. The message was clear: Muslims stand united with the undocumented immigrants demanding an honorable and fair resolution to the predicament.
“For too long, we have all been standing on the side and watching the abuse taking place against our immigrant brothers and sisters,’’ said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush. “For too long, we have quietly watched them deprived of proper housing, food and medical help. For too long, we have watched them separated from their families and children they left back home while they try to build their American Dream.”

Additionally, Ayloush along with the Rev. Dr. Lewis E. Logan II and Rabbi Mark S. Diamond gave concluding remarks and invocations relating to Islamic, Christian and Jewish traditions.
Mobilizing around an issue that has been at the very heart of congressional debate this year has brought together activists, school teachers, religious figures, and immigrants alike. What started off as a reaction to HR 4437, the anti-immigration legislation bill that passed the House last December, has swept the country in a proactive demand for comprehensive immigration reform.

People initially started protesting the passage of that bill, which seeks to criminalize undocumented immigrants as well as doctors, teachers, and members of the clergy for providing humanitarian assistance to those immigrants. This bill, pending in the US Senate, is one of the most controversial pieces of legislation the Senate has ever faced.
Some of the more problematic provisions of the proposed legislation grant authorities the ability to indefinitely detain individuals, monitor and deny applications for legal status at the slightest behest. They also grant unchecked authority to local law enforcement agents to enforce national immigration laws. To contact your representative, go to:
“It is imperative that we opt for immigration reform measures that are comprehensive,’’ Ayloush said. “No matter what we do, we should never forget to be humane, compassionate, and fair to our fellow human beings.”


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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