PALMDALE — An educational forum for 25th Congressional District seat candidates sponsored by the American Islamic Institute of Antelope Valley and Council on American-Islamic Relations Greater Los Angeles Area Chapter, ended prematurely Saturday night after a group of pro-Trump, anti-Muslim agitators disrupted it.

Only four candidates, Democrats Anibal Valdéz-Ortega, Cenk Uygur, Getro Elize and David Rudnick, attended the forum, held in the in the cafeteria of the former Guidance Charter School.

“They wouldn’t let anybody speak,” Kamal Al-Khatib, president of American Islamic Institute of AV, said.

He estimated the group numbered between seven to 10 people.

Some members of the group held Trump 2020 signs or wore Trump T-shirts.

One woman could be heard shouting in a video of the event, “You are not an American,” as Al-Khatib tried to calm the crowd.

“They came in to disrupt the event,” Al-Khatib said.

He was concerned for the safety of the people who were there.

“I didn’t want people to start fighting and then people get hurt,” Al-Khatib said.

The agitators called Muslims un-American and tried to remove a woman’s hijab, he said.

“We were not talking about any religion,” Al-Khatib said. “They didn’t want the event to be located in a mosque, I guess. But we have the right to do that.”

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies responded after the group refused to be quiet.

“They told me you cannot take these people unless you shut down the party,” Al-Khatib said. “I wanted to stop it instead of continue to fight this hate because these guys will not reason with you.”

(6) comments

NoCorporatePersonhood

Problem with the comment system and no way to edit. Sorry for the duplicates.

NoCorporatePersonhood

We can not have a democracy in the USA now because the police refuse to hold Trump thugs accountable?

NoCorporatePersonhood

"held" accountable

NoCorporatePersonhood

So now we are not allowed to have democracy in the USA because the police are going to enable Trump thugs? This is disgusting and the police need to be help accountable.

LH

Council on American-Islamic Relations has a pattern of discriminating against and mistreating their own employees, especially #women.

There are issues of religious #discrimination, sexual #harassment, #retaliation, #hostile work environment, #union busting, financial #mismanagement (including losing their 501c3 status and questions around international funding through their Washington Trust Foundation), lack of board oversight, board #incompetence, and other serious issues at CAIR. Donor funds are directly going to pay for attorneys to suppress, silence, and intimidate those who have been treated unjustly.

There are many people who have been directly harmed by #CAIR. The CAIR Sexism Documentation Project currently has 35 members, mostly women, who share their experiences of facing discrimination, and other abuses, by CAIR.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2228298364100050/

There were several lawsuits in 2019 by former employees/board members. Employment discrimination lawsuit filed against CAIR-CA. SEE:

https://www.docdroid.net/FjATdM9/onlinedocument.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1uMMCaznSystmODEn10py3_qHMJsye9r4fkLKCYyecJ4dYzKVIWbbrVGI

Some of the local funds that chapters raise goes directly to National as part of chapter affiliation fees. And when, for 25 years, you are the national founder, national board member with no term limits, and national executive director, you have immense power on how that money is spent- including buying a brand new SUV for the executive director, paying expensive DC lawyers to shut down staff efforts to unionize, hiring attorneys to harass and intimidate women who ask for equal pay and report abuse and sexual harassment, etc. Chapters are aware of the issues but look the other way and do nothing.

This review was posted by the former executive director of a chapter: “I do not recommend donating your money to CAIR-NJ. I believe there may be a warrant out for the arrest of a former CAIR-NJ board member, who served as this organization's treasurer, for stealing CAIR-NJ money by writing himself checks. Donors should definitely question whether their charity is legitimately being used to do civil rights advocacy, how this was allowed to happen, and whether the organization is being fully transparent. Full disclosure: I am a former Executive Director of CAIR-NJ and found the board leadership to be quite inadequate and corrupt at the expense of the community and even moreso at the expense of its staff.”

CAIR creates more victims than it helps. It does more harm than good, whether it's the continuous negative portrayal of Muslims as victims in the media, lack of strategy, making serious mistakes on people's cases, providing inconsistent services, the all-male press conferences, failure to build a legitimate nationwide infrastructure, lack of community engagement on the national level, not having a seat at many tables despite being around for 25 years and having an office a few blocks from the US Capitol, and so much more.

Ultimately, nothing good can come out of corruption and injustice. The community deserves a legitimate civil rights and Muslim organization that treats all people with the respect and dignity they deserve.

NoCorporatePersonhood

What does any of that have to do with A democratic forum not being allowed to happen because the police refused to do their job and let a bunch of Trump supporters shut it down?

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