"A Mighty Heart" Screening & Panel Discussion
a Success

Panelists Rev. Peter Laarman (Progressive Christians Uniting), Rabbi Haim Beliak (JewsOnFirst), and CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush discuss how Mariane and Daniel Pearl’s message can be promoted by various faith observers

Anaheim, CA: About 300 people of diverse faiths attended “A Mighty Heart” Screening and Panel Discussion Thursday, June 21, hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greater Los Angeles Area (CAIR-LA), Progressive Christians Uniting (PCU) and Paramount Vantage.
The movie, which was released nationwide recently, portrays the intense search for and subsequent horrific murder of Wall Street Journal writer Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, through the eyes of his wife Mariane Pearl.
Based on Mariane Pearl’s memoir, the movie was made by “The Road to Guantanamo ” Director Michael Winterbottom and stars Academy Award Winner Angelina Jolie and Dan Futterman.
The evening was meant to celebrate Daniel Pearl’s commitment to global truth and understanding. In a discussion following the exclusive screening at Paramount Studios, four panelists shared their thoughts behind Mariane Pearl’s vision for peace and tolerance, and how that vision could be furthered by people of faith -- Christians, Jews, Muslims, and those of other beliefs.
"It is important to reiterate that Muslims all around the world condemned the horrific murder of Daniel Pearl...and it pains me to see that there are criminals out there who misuse the name of Islam to justify violent acts against innocent people," said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush before a packed theater. “We need to use this film and the tragedy depicted in this film to spread the message that we need more dialogue, and end the culture of violence, the culture of bombs, the culture of occupation, the culture of torture."
Reverend Peter Laarman, executive director of Progressive Christians Uniting, agreed. “I think there is a need for people to respond in real time to canards, to slurs and to sweeping generalizations,” he said.
Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, a board member with Progressive Jewish Alliance and co-founder of www.JewsOnFirst.org, also spoke about increasing dialogue and bridge-building. “I want to commend CAIR for the courage it took to undertake this evening,” Belaik said.
The Pakistani Consul General based in Los Angeles, Syed Ibne Abbas, attended the program. In a short speech, he intimated to the audience that the murder of Daniel Pearl was unfortunate and that the government of Pakistan tried to do everything it could to save his life. “Some misguided people are using the religion of Islam, a religion that believes in compassion and peace,“ said the consul general. “I am not a preacher but I can say with all confidence that, in the Qur’an, it says, “Killing one innocent person is tantamount to killing the whole humanity.””
CAIR-LA invited the Pearl family to join the event. They, however, apologized due to their busy schedule.
To watch the entire panel discussion, go to http://youtube.com/profile?user=cairsocal.
For more information, please contact CAIR-LA Communications Coordinator Munira Syeda at (714) 776-1847 or socal@cair.com.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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