November 11, 2007
IECOC Opposes the Proposal to Map Muslim Communities
The Islamic Educational Center of Orange County joins in the efforts by Muslim advocacy groups and civil libertarians to denounce the Los Angeles Police Department to map Muslim communities in the greater Los Angeles area.
Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Michael P. Downing, who heads the counter-terrorism bureau, testified before a United States Senate committee on Oct. 30, 2007 that “we want to map the locations of these closed, vulnerable communities [Muslims].”
“To do this, we need to go into the community and get to know peoples’ names. We need to walk into homes, neighborhoods, mosques and businesses,” he said.
If the mapping project goes forward then we fear that over 500,000 American Muslim families in the greater Los Angeles area could automatically become suspects as “risk factors.”
Targeting peaceful Muslim communities reminds us of how the Jews first began being identified by the Nazis during the Holocaust and the American Japanese internment camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
The mapping project strikes at the heart of the American constitution and the civil liberties of its citizens.
Let us not run on fear factors but on sound facts.
Let not our leaders compromise the very essence of “justice for all” and innocence before guilt.
American Muslims are peaceful and law-abiding citizens who care for the safety of their homeland and their neighbors.
The Islamic Educational Center of Orange County welcomes all forms of dialogue and cooperative effort in getting to know the American Muslim community. The doors of our mosque have always been open to the public and law enforcement agencies, we have held numerous interfaith and civic functions, and generously extended our hands to help our neighbors in need. We earnestly work towards the betterment of our nation and its national security for all people.
IECOC will continue to update and inform the community on this issue.
Imam Sayed Moustafa al-Qazwini
Islamic Educational Center of Orange County (IECOC)
3194-B Airport Loop Dr.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626