The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Munira Syeda, 714-776-1847 or 714-851-4851;

Calif. Tea Party to Use Dogs to Harass Muslim Worshippers

Muslim Civil Rights Group Calls on Officials, Interfaith Leaders to Support Targeted Mosque


The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today denounced a planned
anti-mosque protest by California Tea Party supporters who are being
told to bring dogs to harass Muslim worshippers during a Friday
congregational prayer, or "Jummah."

CAIR-LA called on local officials and interfaith leaders to
show support for the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley, the target of
the July 30 protest by the Southwest Riverside County (SWRC) Tea Party
group. The protest is in opposition to a proposal for a new mosque in
the area.

SEE:Tea Party Anti-Islam Mosque Protest Planned for July 30

An e-mail alert announcing the anti-mosque protest sent to area
newspapers by "a leader of a conservative coalition that has been
active with Republican and Tea Party functions" stated: "An Islamic
Mosque is planned to be built in Temecula. Islam is not a religion. It
is a worldwide political movement meant [sic] on domination of the
world. And it is meant to subjugate all people under Islamic law...Islam
permits lying!...The Islam's [sic] treat women as second class people
and they also hate dogs. Women are forbidden to sing and dogs are
killed. We will not be submissive to Sharia Law. Tennessee was able to
stop the Mosque so bring your Bibles, flags, signs, dogs and singing
voice on Friday."

SEE:Temecula Mosque Proposal Targeted in Pending Protest

"Californians of all faiths should repudiate those who would
target a house of worship using tactics specifically designed to cause
offense," said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush.
"National and state Tea Party leaders should explain why their movement
has apparently deviated from its agenda on fiscal responsibility and
limited government to the promotion of Islamophobia."

Ayloush noted that many Muslims believe the saliva of dogs
invalidates the ritual ablution (wudu) performed before prayer. For this
reason, it has become a cultural norm for individuals not to have dogs
in their houses -- not because the dog is "hated." Islam's Prophet
Muhammad allowed the use of dogs for protection and for hunting, and he
related several traditions (hadith) in which individuals were rewarded
by God for protecting animals, including dogs, and punished for
mistreating them.

In response to the planned protest, the Islamic Center of
Temecula Valley released a statement that read in part: "It has come to
our attention that a group of people seek to disrupt our prayer session
on Friday, July 30th. We are disheartened and saddened that a group of
our neighbors seeks to disrespect and make our community feel

SEE: Temecula-Based Islamic Center Responds to Planned
Mosque Protest

Last week, CAIR called on Florida GOP U.S. Senate candidate
Marco Rubio not to accept an invitation to take part in an August 21 Tea
Party rally featuring an extremist anti-Islam keynote speaker who has
stated that Muslims should not be allowed to hold public office, that an
American Muslim "cannot be a loyal citizen" and that Islam is the "real

SEE: CAIR Asks Fla. U.S. Senate Hopeful Not to Attend
Anti-Islam Rally

Earlier this month, CAIR offered support for an NAACP
resolution asking the Tea Party movement to condemn racism within its

SEE:CAIR Backs NAACP Resolution on Tea Party Racism

Other Islamophobic incidents nationwide indicate a growing
level of anti-Islam sentiment in American society and a trend toward
seeking to restrict American Muslim civil rights.

SEE:Paranoid Politics: The Denial of Islamophobia
Tennessee Gubernatorial Candidate Takes Heat for Islam

Anti-Muslim Bigot and Fanatic Explains Islam to the FBI
and the Tidewater Joint Terrorism Task Force

Fla. Church to Hold Koran Burning
Muslims Attract Suspicion of US Police Over Public

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group. CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

(202) 488-8787