CAIR-LA 16th Anniversary Gala a Success

Anaheim, CA: About 1800 people turned out for the Council on American-Islamic Relations Greater Los Angeles Area (CAIR-LA) 16th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, November 5. The event helped raise about $425,000 in support of CAIR-LA's civil rights and advocacy work.

 Themed "Upholding Our Constitution, Defending Our Faith," this year's banquet honored several notable figures for their dedication to challenging injustice and protecting freedom for all communities.

 Among them was Senator Ted W. Lieu (D-Torrance), who was presented with the "Excellence in Leadership" Award for consistently supporting legislation aimed at preserving civil rights, such as the Workplace Religious Freedom Act (AB1964), which protects employees' religious rights in the workplace.

In addition, Japanese American filmmaker Kondrad Aderer was presented with the "Courage in Media" award and author Nathan Lean with the "Bridge Builder" award. Aderer dedicated his award to the subject of his most recent film titled " Enemy Alien," Palestinian activist Farouk Abdul Muhti, who was detained by the Dept. of Homeland Security after 9/11. Lean was recognized for his latest book, "The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims." Pre-signed copies of the book sold out at the event. 

Renowned human rights lawyer Michael Ratner delivered an earnest keynote address in which he described the "assault" of Islamophobia on civil liberties in America, and the importance of CAIR's work in safeguarding those liberties and upholding the constitutional rights of all citizens.

 Also in the evening, Executive Director Hussam Ayloush expounded on the importance of ensuring the implementation of the US Constitution. 

 "Such an important task requires the work of a vigilant, committed, organized and empowered community, and that can only happen through institutions." 

 Attendees also heard from three Southland mosque communities which faced vehement opposition. Youth from those communities expounded on the importance a house of worship serves in their lives.

 Imam Siraj Wahhaj, religious director of At-Taqwa Mosque in New York, inspired American Muslims to continue to support civil rights advocacy work.

    CAIR is 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.   

 

 

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