Interfaith Iftar Graciously Hosted by LAPD Chief Mike Downing

For more than a decade now, LAPD's Chief Mike Downing has led his team to build a very trusting relationship with the Muslim communities in Southern California. 

He and his team's outreach has become the model for Muslim Outreach Programs in the United States. As a gesture of goodwill, the LAPD hosted an iftar for Muslim leaders across SoCal at the LAPD headquarters.

The iftar was attended by American Muslim Women's Empowerment Council's president, Anila Ali, COPAA's president Nasir Javed, and many other leaders from mosques and Islamic centers in Socal. The gracious welcome and goodwill shown by Chief Downing is what has helped build the resilience in the Muslim communities.

The Muslim forum that Chief Downing holds every few months gives Muslims an opportunity to discuss issues their communities are facing and help find solutions.

After welcoming the Muslim leaders, Chief Downing asked Rushdie Cader, Physicist and community activist from San Diego, and ILM Foundation-Umar Hakim, and Ahmad Azam from Shura Council to say a few words. 

Anila Ali, AMWEC's president, gave a thought-provoking presentation of Women's Rights in Islam. It focused on the misconceptions that exist about women's rights in Islam. Islam gives equal rights to women. "The Prophet of Islam (PBUH) broke all taboos. He married twice divorced woman with children, she was 15 years his senior and she asked for his hand in marriage. Moreover, she was his boss and a very successful and affluent businesswoman."

Anila Ali explained cultural practices have helped spread misconceptions about the progressive role of women in Islam. "I was happy to have voted for the first woman prime minister in Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto," and now the US as a Hillary delegate. 

On the issue of wife-beating in Islam, she said she always looks to the example of the Prophet of Islam. How did he treat his wives? He treated his wives with utmost respect and reminded men that the best amongst you is the one who treats his wife the best. 

"When people ask me if wife-beating is Islamic - I look back at the example of the Prophet of Islam. I ask the question: Did the Prophet beat his wife? The answer is no. Therefore, Muslim men must follow his example."


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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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