CPACC Honors Sheriff Leroy Baca at Town Hall Meeting
By Arshia Ghani
Anaheim, CA: The Council of Pakistani-American Chamber of Commerce (CPACC) sponsored a Town Hall Meeting on Sunday, May 15 th to honor the Sheriff of Los Angeles County, Mr. Leroy Baca.
Approximately 250 people attended the panel discussion, which took place at the Heritage Forum in Anaheim, CA. The main sponsor of the program was JFK Realty, Inc.
The purpose of the Town Hall meeting was to highlight the work being done by Sheriff Baca and his office to foster understanding and dispel stereotypes about Muslims, Pakistani-Americans and other minority groups in Los Angeles.
Sunday’s historic event was co-emceed by Jamal Khawaja, President of CPAAC and JFK Realty Group and Arif Mansuri, co-Chair of CPAAC. The program began with a formal flag ceremony and pledge of allegiance lead by members from the Sheriff’s department. It was followed by a patriotic video and music presentation.
Local officials, heads of organizations, dignitaries and politicians were invited to attend and pay tribute to Mr. Baca for his dedication to his duties and his tireless efforts in establishing peace among all races and religions in America. Sheriff Baca is a staunch follower of “One Nation, One America”, to make it free from crime and terrorism.
The distinguished panel of speakers included Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, President of Fiqh Council of North Americaand Director of the Islamic Society of Orange County; Mrs. Riffat Masood, Consul General of Pakistan; Bishop Edward Turner, Field Deputy to Sheriff; Mr. Niranjin Singh Khalsa; Mr. Waqar Ali Khan, Chairman of CPAAC; Mr. Samin Faruqui, President of UFPID; Dr. Manzoor Tariq, President of APPNA; Mr. Dr Asif Mahmood; Chair of Sheriff’s Pakistan Advisory Committee; Ahmed Ali, President of NED Alumni Association, and Adil Sayeed, CAIR representative.
Sheriff Lee Baca gave the keynote address which was a touching and well-received speech on a range of topics affecting minority communities and Pakistani Americans in particular. He recounted stories of his trip to Pakistan and spoke about respect and understanding for all religions. At the conclusion of his speech, the Sheriff was presented with a custom-made etched glass display of the US Constitution by Arshad Kazmi and Jamal Khawaja of JFK Electronics.
The Town Hall meeting was made possible by the hard work of the CPACC team and JFK Host Committee including Jamal Khawaja, Arif Mansuri, Samin Faruqi, Fatima Khan, Asif Mehmood, Kamal Zafar, Arshad Kazmi, Waqar Ali Khan, Mohammad Khan, Arshia Ghani, Abida Almas, Mohammad Kalam, Fawzia Khawaja, Sadia Sohail, Irfan Murtaza, Naveed Nizami, and Saif Saifullah.
Sheriff Baca’s nationalistic and patriotic approach toward the country was vividly witnessed in his briefing at the Peter King hearings in Washington DC. During the hearing, Mr. Baca stated that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department had long been a leader in the development of relationships with the various ethnic, cultural and religious communities that thrive in the greater Los Angeles area. The relationship between the Sheriff’s Department and the American Muslim Community is stronger than ever before and solid bonds have been established through continuing outreach and physical presence at events important to the community and law enforcement.
Mr. Baca also spoke up on behalf of thousands of innocent Muslims at the House Homeland Security Committee's Hearing on US Muslim radicalization. He was the only law-enforcement official invited to speak and he made his views clear to all. In his speech, Mr. Baca focused on the understanding of Muslims in America and their contribution at the national level.
In his introductory remarks, Mr Arif Mansuri, co-chairman of CPACC and President/Managing Editor of Pakistan Link, stated, “As you know, we are gathered here today to honor our hero, our beloved sheriff, the Sheriff of Los Angeles County, Honorable Leroy Baca. Under the command of Sheriff Lee Baca, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has long been a leader in the development of excellent relationships with the various Los Angeles based ethnic, cultural and religious communities, many of whom are well represented here today. Nowhere is that relationship more positive and meaningful than that which exists between Los County sheriff’s Department and the Pakistani American and the Muslim American communities. John F Kennedy once said and I quote, ‘ A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors’. Today we are honoring a hero who has dedicated his life for making the world a safer place for you and me, our children and our generations to come, and who has made Los Angeles community the most tolerant and civil community in the entire nation.”