COPAA and Community Honor Los Angeles Sheriff Leroy D. Baca
By Tami Shaikh

On Jan 25th the Council of Pakistani American Affairs (COPAA) held a colorful evening in honor of Sheriff Leroy Baca. A large number of dignitaries and members of the community attended the function to honor the Sheriff.

The event began with a recitation from the Holy Qur'an by Sana Shah. A Pledge of Allegiance ceremony, led by LAPD officer Jim Buck, followed. The national anthems of the United States and Pakistan were subsequently played. The guests were then welcomed by Nighat Kardar who was the master of ceremonies that evening.

Speaking on the occasion, COPAA President Adnan Khan applauded Sheriff Baca's efforts for building bridges of understanding between communities and said the Sheriff had not just been a great friend to the Pakistani-American community but also a great supporter of all immigrants in his jurisdiction. Sheriff Baca respects all religions and has been a great advocate of the Muslims living in the United States.

Tim Watkins, CEO of Watts Labor Action Committee where the event took place, also recognized Sheriff Baca's efforts. Salam Al-Marayati, Executive Director of MPAC, also spoke at the event and lauded Sheriff Baca for speaking out at the Peter King's hearings on behalf of the Muslims of America. Mr Tasawar Khan, Consul General of Pakistan, thanked Sheriff Lee Baca on behalf of all Pakistani Americans for his work and his commitment to bring these communities together.

Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters thanked COPAA President and board members for organizing such a beautiful evening. Congresswoman Waters also appreciated Sherriff Lee Baca's effort and thanked him for his friendship. Republican Congressman Ed Royce, who was also present, said that Sherriff Baca was a man who had defended the First Amendment, just as the founding fathers of this country had done. John Chiang, Controller State of California, said that COPAA had organized a wonderfully powerful evening that was attended by so many people from diverse backgrounds who had come together to celebrate Sherriff Baca's achievements. Mr Chiang said that the gathering was a reflection of the man Sheriff Baca was.

Last but not least the chief guest of the evening Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca came on the stage. He thanked everyone for coming and taking the time out to be there. He observed, "The founding fathers didn't come up with a nation to divide people but a nation to unite people, which is why it's called The United States of America". Sheriff Baca ended his speech by saying that what really drove him was not his title, nor his power, but the power of God.

Sheriff Baca was presented awards by AMWEC, MONA, Mary Su the council woman of Walnut, COPAA board members and Sheriff Advisory of Hollywood CA.

PL adds: Mohammed Khan, Director and Founder of STOPP (Society To Offer Prosperity And Peace), made a few remarks and introduced his guest Congressman Edward Royce, the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Mr Khan also brought as a guest, Congressman Andre Carson from Indiana, who is the second elected American Muslim Congressman.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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