AWARD CONFIRMED MUSLIM TO KEEP HUMANITARIAN HONOR.
Byline: BRAD A. GREENBERG Staff Writer
The county Commission on Human Relations human relations npl → relaciones fpl humanas on Monday affirmed a decision to honor the humanitarian efforts of a local Muslim who has promoted interfaith dialogue but also called Israel an ``apartheid state'' run by ``butchers.''
The commission's decision this summer to recognize Maher Hathout with the prestigious John Allen John Allen may refer to:
During the past three weeks, Hathout has steadfastly defended his right to freely speak his mind, and his interfaith work has been strongly supported by a broad cross section of Angelenos, including some Jews.
``They are actually supporting America, the American way The American way of life is an expression that refers to the "life style" of people living in the United States of America. It is an example of a behavioral modality, developed from the 17th century until today. ,'' Hathout, chairman of the L.A.-based Islamic Center of Southern California Southern California, also colloquially known as SoCal, is the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. Centered on the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Southern California is home to nearly 24 million people and is the nation's second most populated region, , said after a sometimes vitriolic 2 1/2-hour hearing. ``We will not allow untouchable untouchable
Former classification of various low-status persons and those outside the Hindu caste system in Indian society. The term Dalit is now used for such people (in preference to Mohandas K. sacred cows in the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost of our democracy.''
L.A.'s largest Jewish advocacy and community groups expressed regret after Monday's vote.
``The mandate of the county Commission on Human Relations speaks very clearly in terms of building bridges and creating harmonious relationships in a very, very diverse, often fragmented, pluralistic Los Angeles County,'' said John R. Fischel, president of the Jewish Federation A Jewish Federation is a confederation of various Jewish social agencies, volunteer programs, educational bodies, and related organizations, found within most cities in North America that host a viable Jewish community. of Greater Los Angeles. ``The man has taken positions that are divisive.''
``A true humanitarian and man of peace does not have to worry about his words or actions being used by someone, however misguided, as a justification for violence,'' Sherry Weinman, president of the L.A. chapter of the American Jewish Committee
Monday's hearing was a showdown between Hathout's right to criticize governmental policies and the discretion and sensitivity that would be employed by the kind of bridge-builders the commission seeks to honor.
Unity was clearly absent in the Supervisors Hearing Room at the Hall of Administration. A metal detector screened attendants as they entered. Hathout was flanked as he sat near the dais by two bodyguards wearing bulletproof Refers to extremely stable hardware and/or software that cannot be brought down no matter what unusual conditions arise. See industrial strength.
bulletproof - Used of an algorithm or implementation considered extremely robust; lossage-resistant; capable of correctly vests under their suits. There was a sense that Jews who supported Hathout were traitors. And the audience responded to most public comments from the speakers, called to the lectern in about 20 pairs of pro and con PRO AND CON. For and against. For example, affidavits are taken pro and con. , with boos or applause.
``We should count our blessings that we have people like Dr. Hathout espousing mainstream Islamic-American ideals,'' said Maha Youness, 36, of Pasadena.
That sentiment sickened Marsha Roseman, who is Jewish.
``Throughout the centuries, people have said things like Mr. Hathout against us, and we have been slaughtered because of it,'' the 61-year-old Van Nuys woman said.
But Dan Wolf, whose father received the commission's first annual John Anson Ford Award for human relations in 1972, said Hathout was one of only two nonfamily members or rabbis at Rabbi Alfred Wolf's funeral two years ago.
``Were he alive today, my father would be here instead of me, speaking far more eloquently than I on behalf of Dr. Hathout and his life as a fellow builder of bridges,'' said Wolf of Glendale, later adding, ``To be sure, Dad and Dr. Hathout did not agree on everything -- what brothers do? But brothers they were.''
A 70-year-old native of Egypt who immigrated 35 years ago and practiced cardiology cardiology
Medical specialty dealing with heart diseases and disorders. It began with the 1749 publication by Jean Baptiste de Sénac of contemporary knowledge of the heart. Diagnostic methods improved in the 19th century, and in 1905 the electrocardiograph was invented. , Hathout is the first Muslim to receive the Buggs award. He was nominated for the award after the commission learned that its first choice, the Rev. James M. Lawson Jr., was unavailable to accept.
Hathout was selected, and all was quiet until The New Republic Online ran a story Aug. 31 that included a 2000 speech Hathout gave in a park across from the White House.
``At the moment you come to demonstrate, this means you are taking your message to the streets of America. So the message we have should be clear, should be crisp and should be consistent,'' Hathout said to a group in Lafayette Park Lafayette Park may refer to:
After the vote Monday, Hathout said he regretted ``the use of harsh language'' but stood by his criticism of Israel's treatment of Palestinians.
The Rev. Zedar E. Broadous, one of the four commissioners to affirm Hathout's selection, said those opinions should not disqualify To deprive of eligibility or render unfit; to disable or incapacitate.
To be disqualified is to be stripped of legal capacity. A wife would be disqualified as a juror in her husband's trial for murder due to the nature of their relationship. him from receiving the award.
``If you look at the whole man and the whole landscape of his life, you can see the great things he has done and the great things he continues to do,'' said Broadous, senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Pacoima.
In all, four commissioners supported Hathout, five abstained and five were absent. None voted against him.
The commissioners are appointed by the Board of Supervisors. The others who supported Hathout were Susanne Cumming, Albert DeBlanc and Tong Suk SUK Sveriges Unga Katoliker (Swedens Young Catholics) Chun. Those abstaining were Eleanor Montano, Mario Ceballos, Rebecca Issacs and two commissioners who said they did not believe Hathout should receive the award but withheld their votes nonetheless, Vito Canella and Donna Bojarsky.
``Our duty is to create harmony, and maybe in this issue we failed and should accept the responsibility,'' Canella said before suggesting that no one receive the award this year.
Bojarsky, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, said she would rather invite Hathout to be the keynote speaker at the John Anson Ford dinner at which the Buggs award would have been presented.
She then abstained because she said she ``thought it was the better human-relations decision. We need to move forward.''
(color) Local Muslim leader Maher Hathout looks on Monday during a special session of the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission.
Gus Ruelas/Staff Photographer