Muslims Take Part in
Immigration reform supporters
rally in Los Angeles
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
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
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: http://www.cair.com/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=412&theType=AA
“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.”