The Anaheim-based Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) is jumping into the controversy involving neo-Nazis harassing worshipers at a Jewish synagogue in Riverside.
As the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports, more than 20 organizations, including CAIR-LA, plan to stage a counter-protest to a neo-Nazi rally scheduled for Oct. 24. The Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization joined the Islamic Center of Riverside and the Islamic Society of Corona/Norco today in condemning the neo-Nazis who recently displayed flags with Nazi swastikas to harass and intimidate worshipers attending services at Temple Beth El.
"We condemn any attempts to intimidate or harass peaceful worshipers who were practicing their right to freely worship at Temple Beth El," said Hussam Ayloush, CAIR-LA executive director, in a statement from his organization. "We stand by our Jewish neighbors and reiterate our offer of sympathy, support and friendship."
Ayloush said Muslim community leaders and representatives also plan to visit Temple Beth El to show their support for the congregants.
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"The City of Riverside and its residents remain united in the face of such bigotry," added Dr. Mustafa Kuko, religious director of the Islamic Center of Riverside, in the same statement.
Members of the National Socialist Movement are planning to protest illegal immigration at a Riverside day-labor site on Oct. 24. A previous rally there Sept. 26 led to scuffles between neo-Nazis and counterprotesters, the Press-Enterprise has previously reported.
The daily newspaper's follow-up report on the planned counter-protest quotes rabbi Suzanne Singer, whose mother survived Auschwitz, saying the neo-Nazis' demonstration outside her temple was "totally sickening and really scary."
She also expressed fears that, as in economically struggling Germany of the 1930s, people in recession-plauged inland areas are looking for someone to blame for their economic difficulties and may thus be drawn to the neo-Nazi ideology.