[UPDATE: OC Democrats Blast Pauly] Video Captures Protesters, Politicians Berating Muslims at Yorba Linda Charity Function
- CLICK HERE FOR SENTENCE FOR MAKER OF THREATS AGAINST DEBORAH PAULY
The Democratic Party of Orange County has weighed in on Villa Park City Councilwoman'sDeborah Pauly
's harsh remarks at an anti-Muslim rally in Yorba Linda last month. (Welcome to the party, folks!)
As you might expect from a party philosophically opposite of a teabagger and Orange County Republican Party vice chairwoman like Pauly, they don't exactly applaud her in the statement after the jump . . .
Statement Condemning Comments Made by Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly
The Democratic Party of Orange County (DPOC) strongly condemns the venomous words and threats spoken on Feb. 13, 2011, by Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly, at a rally protesting an ICNA relief event in Yorba Linda. Ms. Pauly also serves as the First Vice President of the Orange County Republican Party.
Councilwoman Pauly characterized the event and those who attended (some with small children) as "sheer, unadulterated evil." She further threatened the attendees by stating that her US Marine Corps son and other Marines would be willing to "help those terrorists to an early meeting in Paradise."
The foundation of our democracy lies in the people's freedom of speech and certainly Ms. Pauly's reprehensible remarks are included in those rights.
However, the Constitution also provides the right of people to peacefully assemble without threat or intimidation by the government. The Constitution also provides the right of people to exercise their religion without interference by the government by threat or intimidation.
Ms. Pauly was allowed to speak at the rally only because of her official position as an elected councilwoman and as an officer of the Republican Party. So her comments were more than rhetoric by a mere person who chose to inflame and to incite.
As an elected official, Councilwoman Deborah Pauly acted under the color of State law to threaten and intimidate citizens who have constitutional rights, privileges and immunities of assembly and religion. Her actions constitute a misuse of authority and maybe a violation of both federal and state law.
UPDATE, MARCH 23, 5:42 P.M.: Video is up of a Villa Park resident and proud American reading a letter to her City Council Tuesday night.
When Nadia Hassan, wearing a hijab, gets to the part in her letter (previously presented in this post; scroll down some) in which she mentions Councilwoman and Orange County GOP Vice Chairwoman Deborah Pauly "disgraced our city, our country and our United States Marines," Hassan offers an aside.
She discloses she is the daughter of a U.S. Marine who fought for this country in Korea.
Watch Hassan's address to the Villa Park City Council below:
UPDATE, MARCH 23, 8:530 A.M.: The final tally of demonstrators from last night's media circus inside and around the Villa Park City Council chambers was 500. Does tiny Villa Park even have 500 residents?
About 50 of those shoutin' and sign-holdin' were there to support poison-tongued City Councilwoman and Orange County GOP Vice Chairwoman Deborah Pauly, who started all this with an appearance in a video posted on YouTube by the Council of American Islamic Relations-LA (CAIR-LA) office in Anaheim. It shows her spewing hate and death wishes at Americans of the Islamic persuasion.
But that's not what Pauly meant to say, she doth protested, claiming she regretted people have taken her comments out of context because what she was trying to say was she only wished death on two Muslim speakers at a charity event.
That's as close as you're getting to an apology, folks. The Islamic Circle of North America, which hosted February's Yorba Linda charity event whose speakers produced the rally outside that Pauly helped to lead, says that's not enough.
A formal apology and official city reprimand are what some protesters demanded, although CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush says the main point of the march, vigil and seizure of the public-comments section of the council meeting was to show Pauly, her colleagues and the world that Muslims enjoy community support.
The City Council met earlier this month and did pass a resolution making it clear the remarks council members make in public do not reflect the beliefs or desires of the city--except when they do.
Pauly's name was removed from the final draft.
As for Tuesday night's spectacle, there was a lot of shouting back and forth, with words getting as heated as those hurled during February's Muslim hate rally, but no arrests were made by the more than 20 sheriff's deputies on hand to keep the peace.
UPDATE, MARCH 22, 11:30 P.M.: Here's a slideshow of the night's activities: Protesters, counterprotesters, Councilwoman Pauly herself and everyone in between.
UPDATE, MARCH 22, 6:55 P.M.: We're out here at the march, and our photographer Christopher Victorio estimates around 300 protesters have showed up, along with 30-plus deputies. Here is a photo:
Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly
UPDATE, MARCH 22, 5:29 P.M.: Tonight's Villa Park City Council meeting is not scheduled to open to the public until 7 p.m., but things are already heating up.
The Orange County district attorney's office (OCDA) announced this afternoon that a San Pedro man has been charged with threatening violence against City Councilwoman Deborah Pauly via Facebook.
Meanwhile, an Islamic-rights group released a transcript of Pauly's death wish for Muslims at a Yorba Linda rally in February.
Paul Dean Andrews, 27, of San Pedro, faces one felony count of threatening a public official and a maximum sentence of three years in state prison, if convicted. He was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail before a pretrial hearing scheduled for March 30 in Santa Ana.
"A protective order has been issued prohibiting Andrews from having any contact with the victim [Pauly]," adds the OCDA.
Andrews, angered by Pauly's remarks, allegedly sent her a message via Facebook threatening violence with weapons, according to prosecutors, who say the councilwoman and county GOP vice chairwoman reported the threats to the Orange County Sheriff's Department, which placed Andrews under arrest Monday.
The OCDA statement on the charges follows:
March 22, 2011
MAN ARRAIGNED ON CHARGES OF THREATENING VIOLENCE AGAINST VILLA PARK CITY COUNCILWOMAN IN WRITING OVER FACEBOOK
SANTA ANA - A man has been arraigned on charges of threatening violence against a Villa Park City Councilwoman by sending her a message on Facebook. Paul Dean Andrews, 27, San Pedro, is charged with one felony count of threatening a public official and faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison if convicted. Andrews is being held on $100,000 bail and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on March 30, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-57, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. A protective order has been issued prohibiting Andrews from having any contact with the victim.
On Feb. 13, 2011, Villa Park City Councilwoman D. Pauly was among many protesters who gathered outside a benefit for Islamic Circle of North American Relief USA, being held at a Yorba Linda community center. Other public officials including Congressmen Ed Royce (R-CA40) and Gary Miller (R-CA42) also spoke and attended the rally. The protest was covered by the media and the public officials'' comments were posted on various websites including YouTube and REDDIT.
Pauly is serving her second term as Villa Park City Councilwoman. She was last elected in November 2010. She is also an elected Republican Member of the County Central Committee of the 60th Assembly District. She was last elected to that position in June 2010.
On March 3, 2011, Andrews is accused of becoming angry at Pauly over comments she had made at the February 2011 protest. The defendant is accused of threatening Pauly by sending her a message on Facebook, including threatening violence against her with weapons. He is accused of making the threats using his personal Facebook account with his picture.
The victim, fearing for her safety, reported the threat to the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD), who investigated this case. Andrews was arrested yesterday, March 21, 2011, by OCSD.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Olivieri of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.
Here are the Pauly statements that allegedly riled up Andrews, courtesy of the Council on American Islamic Relations-LA (CAIR-LA) office in Anaheim:
UPDATE, MARCH 22, 9:58 A.M.:
Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly's Speech at the Yorba Linda Community Center Rally
Feb. 13, 2011
Transcript courtesy of CAIR-LA
"Thank you, Karen, I'm not married to a 25-year old. I'm really glad to be here, and I'm very glad to see all of you here. The first thing I want to do is I want to commend the City of Yorba Linda, yes, their mayor Nancy Rikel and my good friend John Anderson, they're both good friends of mine, actually are handling a very difficult situation with a lot of grace and dignity and really more tolerance then these unwelcomed invaders deserve.
"The timing of this is no accident, I believe that, it has a lot to do with them feeling very emboldened by what's going on in the world right now, and by the 11 members of the Muslim Student Union who disrupted a peaceful gathering at UCI being charged by the District Attorney and having to answer for their actions. I want to commend you all for being here because you realize the seriousness of the situation we're facing. It's no accident also that they are here in Yorba Linda in the heart of conservative territory. They are here for a reason. They are baiting us, they are baiting us and they are daring us to challenge them and to call them out for what they are doing. That's the way they operate. I remember as a young Airman stationed at Clark Airbase, the Muslim extremist were up in the mountains of Mindanao training at that time in early 1980s and every once in a while, out of nowhere, they would come down out of the mountains and the one road between Clark Airbase and Carmenville where most of the officers and their families lived. They would just take somebody out, target practice, if you will. What a chilling experience that is. But you know that was 30 years ago, that was on the other side of the world and so it just didn't seem to matter that much to me it was over there, right? Folks, it is now right here on our doorstep and we better take a stand. This is a very scary time. I'm going to tell you something I have known about this, and it has been on my heart for a long time but I have been afraid to speak up because they want you to be afraid. They want you to be afraid of them, they want you to be afraid of being called intolerant or prejudiced or crazy. That's exactly how they operate with intimidation, oppression, threats of violence, rumors of violence, violence, well-publicized beheadings, stoning of women who are disobedient, disobedient women how many of you are out there (raises her hand ). They operate by instilling fear which is the antithesis of the freedom and everything that America stands for, the America I know stands for freedom, not fear. Fear our Creator, the same creator referenced in our Declaration of Independence tells us repeatedly in the Holy Scriptures to fear not, fear not. Why does God have to say that so often because he knows the world can be a very scary place where good is pitted against evil. Let me tell you what's going over there right now make no bones about it that is pure unadulterated evil.
"When you are confronting evil, fear not. I turn to the Lord for strength and courage and I say I can't be quiet anymore and neither can you. Make no mistake my friends. Exactly what we are confronting here is evil and the weapons of evil, including lies and deception. You saw this flier [holds up flier for Muslim charity event], look at this flier. They're talking about, uhhhh, protecting disaster response and relief and women's housing and hunger prevention and family counseling, medical aid and emergency financial support and funeral and burial assistance. Oh my goodness, aren't they wonderful? Let me tell you, $25 a head for 300 people, that's $7,500. They had to rent the community center. They're providing dinner and babysitting. How much money are they actually going to be raising? That's not what they're here for, that is not! They won't even be able to provide for even one burial. It's really disgusting to me that they use deception but we shouldn't be surprised by that at all. The flier is deceptive. You know what? This is the bad seed [points to Yorba Linda Community Center] make no mistake and you all know what I'm talking about. This is the bad seed, and we are in the middle of a fight for our lives, the fight for the future of our country. If these people that are gathering right now as I'm speaking to you were the altruistic, peace-loving relief agency that this flier claims them to be, they would be condemning these terrorist instigators and instead of inviting them to be their keynote speakers. Those of you who are gathered here you know what's going on but I want to tell you something, you are rare in America. Most Americans have no idea what's going on right now and part of the reason why we have been quiet, those of us who know what's going on have been cowed, cowed into silence out of fear. And I'm telling you, we cannot afford to do that anymore. We have to go out and speak to our friends and our neighbors.
"We need to make sure everyone knows and I don't even care. I don't even care if you think I'm crazy anymore because I have, I have a beautiful daughter I have a wonderful 19-year old son who's a United States Marine. As a matter of fact, I know quite a few Marines who will be very happy to help these terrorists to an early, uh, meeting in paradise. The thing that really scares me, this is the thing that really bothers me because they are using the goodness that is America against us. Our freedom of religion, we believe in freedom, you can practice religion or not, this one or that, we don't care or you can practice no religion at all. That is fine. But that is not what they believe. You will be Muslim or you won't be anymore. That is not freedom. They use our freedom of assembly against us. They are using that freedom to invade the peaceful City of Yorba Linda on a Sunday knowing fully well what they're doing. They are using our freedom of speech against us. They are free to speak but if we say anything about it, they claim that we are suppressing their right to free speech. Make no mistake my friends, these who are assembling are enemies of America. They are your enemy. They are my enemy because they seek to destroy it, they seek to destroy our way of life and everything we stand for. Radical Muslims warned us before 9/11, I don't know how many of you remember that but they told us they were going to destroy us from within and they are doing that, that's exactly what they're doing. Because America is more than its buildings or its monuments or its economy or its resources, it's even more than its people. America is an ideal. It's the ideal of freedom, freedom, freedom. And, it is a freedom worth fighting to protect. It is a freedom worth fighting to defend and everyone here right now needs to pick a side. We must stand strong together. We must speak the truth boldly. We must resist evil because if you resist it, it will flee from you. I pray at 6 p.m. everyday, and I invite you all to stop wherever you are and pray that God keeps his hand of protection over our country, that he protects all of our men and women in the military, that he protects you for speaking out, that he protects me and everyone who stood on this stage today. God bless you, God bless America, thank you for your time."
Learning the Orange County Sheriff's Department will beef up police presence at today's Villa Park City Council meeting, it would be easy to assume that came at the request of Islamaspooked Councilwoman Deborah Pauly.
After all, a whopping two Muslim residents of Villa Park announced they will confront her during public comments over her death-to-Muslims remarks at February's anti-Muslim rally in Yorba Linda.
Good lord, break out the riot gear!
But the police protection is actually aimed at ensuring safe entry for the residents. That's right: Citizens will need a police escort into enter their city's council chambers to address their representatives, especially after the ugly display outside the charity event in Yorba Linda.
God bless Deborah Pauly's America!
UPDATE, MARCH 21, 9:18 P.M.: Two Villa Park residents will lead a "silent march" at 4 p.m. Tuesday to the town's City Council meeting "to demand action against the hate sanctioned by our Orange County elected officials."
Deborah Pauly, a Villa Park councilwoman and Orange County Republican Central Committee vice chairwoman, sparked outrage by wishing death on Orange Countians entering a February Muslim charity event in Yorba Linda. She labeled the men, women and children "terrorists" and "enemies of America."
"We were disturbed to learn of your anti-American comments, captured by video on Feb. 13, 2011, in Yorba Linda, California, which now has all of us feeling unsafe, as we are concerned for the safety of our family members and our children who frequent the local schools," Villa Park residents Nadia Hassan and Shais Khan write in a letter to Pauly and copied to the councilwoman's colleagues. "Your hateful remarks have drawn nationwide criticism and have brought condemnation from both Republicans and Democrats alike."
The pair's flier for the march is titled, "SAY 'NO' TO HATE" and features an illustration with a map of central Orange County, the word "Islamaphobia" with a red slash through it, and photos of Pauly and Representatives Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) and Gary Miller (R-Diamond Bar) speaking. The congressmen also participated in the protest against the charity event.
The letter to Pauly follows:
March 14, 2011
City of Villa Park
17855 Santiago Blvd.
Villa Park, CA 92861
RE: Yorba Linda Protest of February 13, 2011
Dear Ms. Pauly:
Although we have never personally met, we hoped to be writing under more favorable terms. We, the undersigned constituents, have been long time residents of Villa Park, most of us for more than 30 years. Amongst this group are patriotic children of a United States Marine, who faithfully served this country in the Korean War with great honor. Villa Park is a place that we have always been proud to call home.
We were disturbed to learn of your anti-American comments, captured by video on Feb 13, 2011 in Yorba Linda, CA, which now has all of us feeling unsafe as we are concerned for the safety of our family members and our children who frequent the local schools. Your hateful remarks have drawn nationwide criticism and have brought condemnation from both Republicans and Democrats alike. Villa Park has always been regarded as "the hidden jewel" of Orange County but now the media is quick to label the city of Villa Park as "the hidden hatred" as a result of your statements. In our town, we do not want to hear our elected officials making blatant calls for violence against fellow Americans irrespective of party affiliation, political views or religious beliefs.
Your speech incited hate and undermined the very essence of American values in which we pride ourselves. In Villa Park, we have always supported religious pluralism as we have always enjoyed a peaceful co-existence amongst our constituents. On Feb 13, you stated that, "I know quite a few Marines who would be very happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise." Ms. Pauly is your statement a threat or is it a fact, and as Americans, should we be concerned for the lives of our fellow Americans? And were the US Marines aware of this? You have done a disservice to your colleagues and you have disgraced not only the respectable office of a Villa Park Councilmember, but you have also disgraced our city, our country, and our United States Marines. In this great land, there is no longer any room for hate and bigotry.
We want to know whether your actions of Feb 13 reflect the position of the Villa Park City Council, and if not, we would like to call on you to publicly retract your hateful, un-American statements and restore integrity to the office of Villa Park's City Council. As an elected official, it is your job to promote healthy dialogue amongst the masses in the face of disparity. We understand that protestors have every right to voice their concerns by way of "freedom of speech", however; freedom of speech does not embody the humiliation of innocent civilians, yelling at and heckling children, or the degradation of a world religion and the faith of millions of law abiding citizens. As an elected official, you should know better than to condemn a vast world religion such as Islam, or any other religion for that matter, based on the actions of a few misguided people.
We are calling on you to reconsider and rethink your statements of February 13. If you are willing to take responsibility for your actions and create dialogue with your fellow Villa Parkian constituents, then we are ready to take a leap of good faith and listen to what you have to say. We understand that, sometimes, people make mistakes and we are fully ready to forgive you and support you to remain in office as our Villa Park City Councilmember if you agree to rectify the situation as follows:
Publicly retract your statements,
Make a public apology, and
Get to know the American Muslim constituents of Villa Park.
We kindly would like to request a response to this letter no later than March 18, 2011 by 5pm. We look forward to a speedy response from you.
Villa Park Constituents
Nadia Hassan, Villa Park, CA
Shais Khan, Villa Park, CA
cc: Mayor W. Bill Mac Aloney
Mayor Pro Tem W. Richard Ulmer
Councilmember Brad Reese
Council Member James Rheins
The Villa Park City Council meets at 17855 Santiago Blvd., Villa Park.UPDATE, MARCH 15, 3:49 P.M.:
During the public comments that are taken near the beginning of tonight's 6:30 p.m. Yorba Linda City Council meeting, concerned locals will address the anti-Muslim rallies outside the city Community Center on Feb. 13.
Video from the protests posted on YouTube have led to international condemnation of the spectacle and politicians who cheered on ralliers. In particular, calls are being made to reign in a top Orange County Republican Party official, Deborah Pauly.
"The longtime leaders of Orange County's Republican Party were given a rude awakening in January when Villa Park Councilwoman and self-described "blended" Tea Partier Deborah Pauly bested establishment candidateJon Fleischman
in the election for first vice chairperson of the GOP Central Committee," reportsVoice of OC.*
(*Attribution corrected; hat tip to Islamophobia Watch.)
"Just how rude this awakening could end up being for the party's establishment became apparent in mid-February when Pauly stood outside of a Muslim charity event in Yorba Linda and said to cheering protestors: 'Make no mistake, my friends, these who are assembling are enemies of America.' She added: 'I know quite a few Marines who would be very happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise.'"
Pauly's vitriol was credited with helping spur death threats reported to the Orange County Human Relations Commission and possible censure from her council colleagues. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) chose to appeal to Pauly's party.
"Time and again, Republican leaders have shown a lack of leadership and irresponsible behavior in upholding the oath that they took," Munira Syeda, the CAIR-LA spokeswoman, told the Voice of OC. "It's time for the Republican party to come out and say this is un-American."
="center">Imam Siraj Wahaj got that rap (repeated in posts below) from federal prosecutors in the first World Trade Center bombing, while CAIR earned the dubious distinction from a Hamas-funding case involving the Holy Land Foundation. Neither was ever charged with a crime.
Now we have Congressman Peter King (R-New York) to thank for helping to put
unindicted co-conspirator in context. It was bandied about in reference to CAIR so often during the recent House Homeland Security Hearings on Islamic Radicalization led by King thatWashington Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler
decided to define it.
These claims lack context. CAIR is an aggressive Muslim civil-liberties organization, modeled on the Anti Defamation League, that has made it a target for criticism. It was indeed named as an "unindicted co-conspirator or joint venturer" in the Holy Land Foundation case--an Islamic charity that in 2008 was convicted of funding Islamic militant groups. But CAIR was not alone in that designation; nearly 250 other organizations and individuals were also named.
The federal government said the organizations were included on the list in order to produce evidence at the trial, but the district court and a federal appeals court later ruled that it had been a mistake to make the list public.
As the appeals court summed up last year, "The court held that the government did not argue or establish any legitimate government interest that warranted publicly identifying [one of the organizations] and 245 other individuals and entities as unindicted co-conspirators or joint venturers and that the government had less injurious means than those employed, such as anonymously designating the unindicted co-conspirators as 'other persons,' asking the court to file the document under seal, or disclosing the information to the defendants pursuant to a protective order."
However, federal Judge Jorge A. Solis denied CAIR's request that its name be publicly striken from the list. He said the government "has produced ample evidence" to establish the association of CAIR and other organizations with entities such as the Holy Land Foundation, the Islamic Association for Palestine and with the Hamas militant group. Solis acknowledged CAIR's claim that evidence produced by the government "largely predates" the official designation of these groups as terror organizations, but he said the "evidence is nonetheless sufficient to show the association of these entities with HLF, IAP and Hamas."
The appeals court, in a ruling involving another Muslim organization on the list, criticized Solis for this statement, saying it "went beyond what was relevant to any hypothetical evidentiary issue and may have obfuscated the underlying Fifth Amendment issue."
. . .
The repeated references to CAIR being an "unindicted co-conspirator" is one of those true facts that ultimately gives a false impression.
Video of an anti-Muslim rally in Yorba Linda last month that was pulled down from YouTube Tuesday has been reposted online.
Meanwhile, Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the nonprofit Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) Greater Los Angeles office in Anaheim that produced the video, responds exclusively to the Weekly this morning to Rabbi David Eliezrie's allegations that CAIR-LA "lied" and "doctored" the footage. Ayloush accuses the leader of the North County Chabad Center of being the one who is lying, draws a "sad parallel" between the protesters' "demonizing and dehumanizing rhetoric and that of 1930s Nazi Germany that later led to the horrors of the Holocaust" and ends by offering "reconciliation."
YouTube removed the video yesterday amid "copyright infringement" allegations by Santa Ana gadfly and mayoral candidate George Collins, who shot some of the footage for his Santa Ana TV website.
Today, one can view the CAIR-LA video via Vimeo:
Hate Comes to Orange County
The following note appears below the video:
Note: Please do no leave hateful comments. The bigotry shown in this video only represents the persons engaging in it. This is not a reflection on Christians, Jews, or fellow Americans. We can't fight bigotry and ignorance with the same. We can't stoop to the same level of hatemongers. We have to increase our efforts to promote dialogue and mutual respect.
Speaking of messages, Ayloush shared the following with the Weekly in response to Eliezrie's claim that the Muslim advocacy nonprofit "lied" by having "spliced together video from two separate events." The North County Chabad Center rabbi, who attended and helped organize the rally, draws a distinction between demonstrators he was with 100 yards away from the Yorba Linda Community Center and those near the facility's entrance.
Ayloush's full statement:
Instead of rewriting the history of the anti-Muslim protest on Feb. 13 in Yorba Linda, Rabbi David Eliezrie should have the integrity to take responsibility for participating in and enabling this shameful and hateful incident against peaceful families, including many children. He needs to clearly condemn the hate-filled rhetoric at every stage in the rally and apologize to the Muslim American community and all Orange County residents for the pain and embarrassment that he caused by his irresponsible behavior, which is un-befitting a faith leader.
At the rally, which Rabbi Eliezrie says he attended and labeled as a "peaceful protest," speakers made a barrage of anti-Muslim comments. Karen Lugo, a Chapman Law School professor, advocated discriminating against Muslims, saying, "When we have a group that is asking for special preferences and special treatment, it is not a matter of discrimination to say no when a group is less than 1 percent of our population." Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly spoke at the same "peaceful protest" and said, "I know quite a few Marines who will be happy to help these terrorists [Pauly pointed toward the community center where the fund-raising event was held] to an early meeting in paradise." She added, "These who are assembling are enemies of America. They are your enemy. They are my enemy because they seek to destroy it." The full video of the speeches is available to watch on the Internet. A Jewish Journal article on the anti-Muslim protest states that Rabbi Eliezrie was one of the speakers at that rally. (The article, which is sympathetic to the protesters, contradicts the lie that there were two separate protests.)
Once the hate speeches and provocation by the rally speakers ended and Muslim attendees started arriving to the fund-raising dinner, a group of protesters formed a mob, yelling insults and threats against Muslims, as seen in videos and news reports. Comments included slurs such as: "Muhammad was a pervert," "Muhammad was a fraud," "Go home and beat your wife," and "Go home, terrorist." Witnesses and videos from the rally show some protesters even blowing shofars, declaring a battle against Muslims.
Does Rabbi Eliezrie, especially as a Jewish leader, not see the sad parallel between this demonizing and dehumanizing rhetoric and that of 1930s Nazi Germany, which later led to the horrors of the Holocaust?
Instead of insulting the intelligence of Americans and blaming CAIR's video for exposing the hate fest, Rabbi Eliezrie and other protest organizers and public officials who participated in and spoke at the rally and incited protesters should condemn the hate that resulted. It would be better to begin a process of reconciliation by becoming agents of unity, peace and tolerance, rather than engaging in McCarthyesque tactics to demonize and marginalize American Muslims under the pretext of protesting controversial speakers (which would have been and is acceptable). American Muslims are willing to forgive and have their arms genuinely open to all fellow Americans, including Rabbi Eliezrie, for such a partnership against all forms of violence, bigotry and bias.
Rumors were flying this morning that video of an anti-Muslim rally in Yorba Linda last month was pulled down from YouTube due to allegations the Council on American-Islamic Relations spliced together footage from two separate protests.
But an official with nonprofit CAIR's Greater Los Angeles office in Anaheim tells the Weekly this afternoon that the video was taken down due to a copyright infringement claim by a videographer.
"The owner of the video clips in question contacted YouTube, in what appears to be an attempt to shut down a widely viewed video of the intense hate promotion at the protest, by wrongfully claiming 'copyright infringement,'" explains Munira Syeda, CAIR-LA's communications manager. "Use of these clips is a permitted fair use, and we're confident this issue will be resolved quickly and our video will be up soon."
A card that comes up near the beginning of the video, which theWeekly
linked to in this update's original post, identifies the footage CAIR used of having been culled from theOrange County Register
, KABC/Channel 7 andSanta Ana TV
, a website owned by George Collins.)
A mayoral candidate and local gadfly often seen riding around downtown Santa Ana on a Segway. Collins previously declared he's running for mayor again next year.
In the previous update to this post, Rabbi David Eliezrie, who leads the North County Chabad Center and attended what he called the more-peaceful of two overlapping protests of a Muslim charity event in Yorba Linda on Feb. 13, claimed CAIR "spliced together video from two separate events. They lied."
Since Eliezrie is now drawing a distinction between rally participants 100 yards from the Yorba Linda Community Center and others who were near the facility's entrance, he was asked if the other protesters were, in his opinion, engaging in hate speech.
"There is no question that those near the building spoke in a hateful manner," Eliezrie told the Weekly in an email. "Personally, I was deeply offended by their expressions at the time and told people not go over there."
But he believes there is a "vast chasm" between what the hate speech makers were saying "and supporting a group" that advocates "murders of innocent civilians"--a reference to Hamas and Amir Abdel Malik Ali, one of the invited speakers at the Muslim charity event that was protested.
"I heard Ali a few months ago saying on 'I support Hamas,'" Eliezrie explained. "Just last week missiles hit the town of Beer Sheva from Hamas. I have witnessed the horror of a suicide bombing [with] seven killed. The Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the war with Jews the world over."
Eliezrie holds similar disdain for CAIR. Besides issuing a "doctored" video and press release that "whitewashed these terror supporters"--the other, in his view, being another invited speaker, Imam Siraj Wahaj--CAIR had a "run-in" with the rabbi a few years ago when he says the group refused to condemn suicide bombing.UPDATE, MARCH 7, 6:16 P.M.:
Rabbi David Eliezrie, whom the Council on American-Islamic Relations identified as having participated in a Yorba Linda anti-Muslim rally last month, e-mailed theWeekly
this morning to allege CAIR "lied" about a video now firing up the Interwebs.
The video that you can see farther down in this post features footage CAIR says it culled from The Orange County Register, KABC/Channel 7 and Santa Ana TV, but the North County Chabad Center leader claims the Muslim-advocacy organization "spliced together video from two separate events. They lied."
The video shows people with American flags and signs behind a barricade a relatively safe distance away from the entrance to the Yorba Linda Community Center as mostly Muslim men, women and scared-looking children enter and leave a charity fund-raiser. Spliced in are close-ups of Villa Park City Councilwoman Deborah Pauly and U.S. RepresentativesEd Royce (R-Fullerton) and Gary Miller (R-Diamond Bar) firing up a crowd. Pauly even seems to advocate death for American citizens who happen to be Muslim.
It's obvious from the video that the politicians spoke during the daylight hours, and that the crowd gathered near the community center entrance grew smaller and nastier as the sun went down. (Whether entering during the day or leaving at night, the kids sticking close to their parents appear frightened, though.)
Eliezrie's contention is there were two separate events, one about 100 yards away from the center and the other near the entrance. "Those in the second rally spoke harshly, as indicated on the video," the rabbi said. "We did not join them; in fact, we told people not to go there."
The "peaceful protest" the rabbi attended featured Yorba Linda's mayor, City Council members and congressional representatives speaking to those rallying against the Islamic Circle of North America having invited as speakers Amir Abdel Malik Ali and Imam Siraj Wahaj. Eliezrie called Malik Ali "a supporter of Hamas that demands Israel be eradicated and Jews killed all over the world" and says Wahaj is "an un-indicted co-conspirator in the first World Trade Center bombing."
"This video spliced images from the two events," Eliezrie writes. "It does not show me or other speakers with this group near the building entrance since I did not join them. Nor does it mention that the speakers at this event for a Muslim organization have a long history of supporting terror."
He claimed the video plays into CAIR's "long history of distorting the truth." Another distortion, according to the rabbi, was not fully identifying the speakers for what was billed as a charity event.
Eliezrie also took issue with CAIR's "Hate Comes to Orange County" headline with the video.
"Peaceful protest against those who call for the murder of Jews is not hatred," Eliezrie counters. "If we don't speak out, then we allow these to spew hatred against Jews to do so freely. The Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel. It also states that 'The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews [and kill them], until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: Oh, Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me; come on and kill him!'"
Eliezrie also posted a statement about the video on the North County Chabad Center site.
Now living in Monterey and formerly having worked as the public policy director for the Courage Campaign,Robert Cruickshank
grew up in Orange County.
He's also a contributing editor to Calitics, a site dedicated to spreading progressive ideas.
Writing there (and getting picked up by California Progressive Report) today, Cruickshank says of the video he viewed of protesters spewing hate at men, women and scared-looking children at a Muslim charity event in Yorba Linda, "That is NOT my Orange County."
Yeah, he knows about the conservative bastion reputation and the John Birch Society having flourished here in the 1950s and '60s and the hatred directed at Latinos today. He even outs himself as a former member of the Rush Limbaugh fan club at 14 and Young Republicans at 15 and 16. Thankfully, he grew out of it.
But the Orange County he saw on display on that video was not the OC he was raised in or taught to believe in.
My Orange County is a deeply diverse place - and is a place that welcomes and embraces that diversity. My Orange County would say to a Muslim family "welcome home" and never "go back home" - because my Orange County knows that they already are home. My Orange County takes pride in its Latino community and heritage. My Orange County knows the important role African Americans continue to play in our neighborhoods. My Orange County welcomed Asian Americans with open arms, as equals.
Cruickshank surmises what was shown on that video (besides a case for kicking Ed Royce and Gary Miller out of Congress) was the last grasp of white, conservative Orange County to hold onto what it once had, and what it is in the process of losing. Cruickshank believes he will live to see Orange County turn blue. And when that happens, those haters in the video will really have something to scream about.
UPDATE, MARCH 4, 9:46 A.M.:
I hope and expect my Orange County to tell every single person who participated in that hateful rally to go back to that Islamic community, get on their knees and beg for forgiveness.
And if they don't, my Orange County will tell those right-wing bigots to "go back home"--because they don't have any place in my Orange County. Because they are not welcome in my Orange County. Because my Orange County moved on from that kind of hate a long, long time ago.
Among the scores who have reacted and linked to video theWeekly
shared Thursday morning exposing protesters hurling hate and threats at men, women and scared-looking children entering and leaving a Muslim charity event in Yorba Linda last month wasWalid Zafar
of progressive media watchdogMedia Matters
The firestorm sparked by the video's release also produced a statement from Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton, shown at right), who defends the rally and calls criticism of his participation an "attack."
Now Zafar has reacted to Royce's reaction, both of which follow. ...
The title of Zafar's update? "Rep. Royce Plays the Victim, Suggests Children Support Controversial Imam."
Zafar found Royce's statement worse than if the congressman said nothing at all about the matter. Here's an excerpt from the Media Matters post:
Towards the very end of the statement, Royce did acknowledge the hate explosion, but said nothing more than, "It is regrettable that some protesters at the community center yelled insults at Imam Wahhaj's supporters."
The statement is worse than if Royce had said nothing at all. The video very clearly shows that children were among those who were screamed at, called "terrorist-lovers," and told to go home.
Royce's statement indicates that he has no problem with a crowd coming together to attack peaceful audience members. Nor is he upset with adults who scream insults at small children. Worse, he suggests that everyone who attended the fundraiser, including the young children, supported the controversial speakers.
Zafar indicated that he spoke this morning with Audra McGeorge, Royce's spokeswoman, and "pointed out that these are the unfortunate impressions anyone could get from her boss's statement."
Representative Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) issued a statement today responding to a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) "attack" on him for participating in an anti-Muslim rally in Yorba Linda last month.
The group's Anaheim office released video last night of protesters yelling hateful things at Muslims entering and leaving a charity event, as well as of politicians, including Royce, seeming to support the haters.
In his explanation, Royce claims he appeared at the rally to "reject" two speakers who have been painted as extremists and says it was "regrettable that some protesters at the community center yelled insults" at the guest's supporters.
As you'll see by reading Royce's full statement below, he ends by taking a shot at CAIR:
ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 3, 8:29 A.M.:
"The Council on American-Islamic Relations this week attacked my calling attention to the two individuals keynoting a fund-raiser for a New York-based Muslim group held at the Yorba Linda Community Center.
"I have had many conversations with my Muslim constituents over the years, and I know they reject these two individuals:
"One speaker, Imam Siraj Wahhaj, advocates replacing our democracy with sharia law and refuses to criticize Osama bin Laden. There is nothing peaceful about him.
"Imam Siraj Wahhaj was linked by investigators to the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. A few years later, he stood as a character witness for Sheik Omar Abel-Rahman and for three other terrorists convicted in the attack. The "Blind Sheik" is now serving a life sentence for conspiring to bomb a series of New York City landmarks in 1995.
"Wahhaj warns, 'If Allah says cut off their hand, you cut off their hand. If Allah says stone them to death ... then you stone them to death because it's the obedience of Allah and his messenger--nothing personal.' This worldview is incompatible with American democracy, to say the least.
"The second speaker, Amir Abdel Malik-Ali, is a vocal supporter of Hezbollah, a terrorist group once called the 'A-team' of terrorists by a top U.S. government official.
"Faced with Wahhaj's ideology, we can go one of two ways. One, ignore expressions of extremism, essentially deem them acceptable, and undermine our values and government.
"Or two, we can speak out about Wahhaj and Malik-Ali's extremism. For me, looking at the growth of terrorism overseas, and in our country, silence isn't an option. Silence leads to the tragic mistake of denying that the Fort Hood shooter was a radical, advocating terrorist acts, despite his years of known adherence to such views.
"What's wrong with the Holocaust survivor we heard speak about not wanting to live under sharia law? I think he had a point when he argued for the lessons of the Enlightenment and his preference for the U.S. Constitution. He knows that bad ideas can have bad consequences.
"We spoke at the park adjacent to the community center. It is regrettable that some protesters at the community center yelled insults at Imam Wahhaj's supporters. Nothing, though, should deflect from the radicalism of Wahhaj and Malik-Ali.
"As to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, my experience is that it isn't interested in bringing together Americans. If they were, they would be calling attention to Imam Wahhaj and Amir Abdel Malik Ali's radicalism, not advancing their cause."
Men, women and scared-looking children file into a North County community center as people with signs and megaphones shout disgusting remarks at them. A Villa Park city councilwoman says into a microphone that she knows some Marines who would love to send these Americans, whom she labels "terrorists," "to paradise." One U.S. congressman who represents some of those walking into the center says tolerance of them has "paralyzed America." Another tells the vicious protesters he is "proud" of them and what they are doing.
What they were doing was sick-making, based on the video below culled from footage shot by KABC/Channel 7, The Orange County Register and Santa Ana TV.
The Queens, New York-based group Islamic Circle of North America Relief USA (ICNA) held a fund-raiser inside the Yorba Linda Community Center the afternoon of Feb. 13. The event hoped to raise $350,000 for the hungry, homeless and women's shelters in the area.
But announcements for the gathering noted two keynote speakers were Imam Siraj Wahhaj and Amir Abdel Malik Ali. Wahhaj was among 180 people named in a letterby a U.S. attorney as a potential un-indicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; Wahhaj was never charged and has denied involvement. Malik Ali is a Bay Area Islamic activist who spoke at the Muslim Student Union's 2010 "Israeli Apartheid Week" at UC Irvine and has said he supports Hezbollah, which the United States has labeled a terrorist group.
Therefore, despite organizers' insistence the event was for charity, the speakers made all the men, women and scared-looking children walking into the community center "terrorists" in the small minds of many protesters gathered behind police barriers. "ICNA supports Hamas and Hezbollah," read one sign. The Muslims were told their Prophet Muhammad was "a child molester," "a pervert," "a fraud" and "a false prophet."
"Take your Sharia. Go home. Eat sand," one man yelled in a voice eerily similar to one heard regularly on South Park.
A presumably Muslim cameraman who was filming the protesters was serenaded with, "You beat your women?" "You rape your children?" "Why don't you go beat up your wife like you do every night?" and "She needs a good beating."
"I'm being told to go back home," Adel Syed later told an Eyewitness News reporter. "I'm actually from Fullerton."
In a statement titled "Hate Comes to Orange County," which accompanies the video, Anaheim's Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) identifies some of the protesters as Rabbi David Eliezrie of Chabad Yorba Linda; Pamela Geller, whose Stop the Islamization of America group has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center; and members of ACT! for America, North Orange County Conservative Coalition and the local teabagger offshoot We Surround Them OC 912.
Cheering them on were nutbar Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly and Representatives Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) and Gary Miller (R-Diamond Bar).
"Let me tell you what's going on over there is pure, unadulterated evil," Pauly told the crowd as she pointed at the center. "And I don't care. ... I don't even care if you think I'm crazy anymore. I have a beautiful daughter. I have a wonderful 19-year-old son who is a U.S. Marine. In fact, I know quite a few Marines who would be happy to send these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise."
After he presumably climbed onto a wooden box to reach the microphone, Royce said, "A big part of the problem we face today is our children are taught in schools that every idea is right, and no one should criticize others' positions no matter how odious. And ... that's. ... What do we call it? We call it multiculturalism, and it has paralyzed too many of our fellow citizens to make the critical judgments we need to make to be a prosperous society."
"I'm proud of you," slickster Miller informed the blood-seeking crowd. "I'm proud of what you are doing."
Here is what they were doing, as CAIR sees it: "As the video shows, the rhetoric of the protesters became increasingly venomous toward the families and children who came to attend the ICNA fund-raising dinner."
"Even more disturbing was the participation and encouragement of elected officials in promoting the hateful protest rally." The Muslim advocacy group found Miller's participation "a clear surprise, since he previously has engaged with all constituents, including Muslims, toward a better America."
While saying CAIR believes in free speech and recognizes that right often allows hate speech, it ended the statement with a plea to the politicians:
"We strongly urge all elected officials in attendance to distance themselves from such an exhibition of hate and bigotry. We further ask residents and elected officials of Yorba Linda, Orange County and other parts of our nation to speak out against such hateful rhetoric and the continued Islamophobia that plagues our nation."
Don't hold your breath.
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