I've known Hussam Ayloush, executive director for the Greater Los Angeles Area chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA, even though they're based in Anaheim—go figure) for over a decade. He's a good guy, and one gracious enough to have hired my former editorial assistant as his spokesperson. He's been involved with the Democratic Party, interfaith councils, and will patiently answer any and all questions people may have about Islam. Hussam loves tacos, for chrissakes—and anyone who loves tacos is a good person (unless you're a Republican Hispandering for votes, of course).
Yet this morning, Ayloush is one of the most loathed men in America for doing something anyone in America with a heart is doing: condemning the horrific mass murder yesterday in San Bernardino that left 14 people dead and 17 injured. Authorities have so far identified two suspects; one of them, Syed Farook, died in a shootout with seemingly half of Inland Empire law enforcement yesterday.
As with any act of terror involving someone that was Muslim or had an Arabic name that has happened since Ayloush became head of CAIR-LA in 1998, he put out a press release condemning the San Bernardino massacre and reminding folks that Muslims don't like terrorists, either. "We condemn this horrific and revolting attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured," it read. "The Muslim community stands shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Americans in repudiating any twisted mindset that would claim to justify such sickening acts of violence."
If that didn't prove Ayloush's hatred of terrorism, he tweeted out the following from his personal account shortly after authorities revealed Farook's name (bear with us if the embed doesn't show; we're still kicking the tires on this new website of ours...):
And if peoplestill
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didn't get the hint, Ayloush also organized a press conference at the CAIR-LA offices in Anaheim's Little Arabia neighborhood, even finding a brother-in-law of Farook to condemn his acts specifically and terrorism in general in the most vehement words imaginable.
None of that matter, of course. Even as the press conference went on, the haters got a'tweetin. I won't bother with the random losers, but deserving a shout-out is Pamela Geller, a notorious anti-Muslim pendeja who once called this infernal rag an "enemedia tool"—so here you go, honey!
In the meanwhile, Hussam: Allahspeed. Keep up the good work. And stand strong against the haters who dare defile your proud religion...