The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) is honored to recognize at its 16th Annual Banquet three mosques in Southern California that have demonstrated extraordinary resolve despite challenges to help promote our religious freedoms that our nation was founded on and our Constitution protects.
The following communities will be recognized on Saturday, November 3.
Islamic Center of South Bay, Lomita:
After a series of Islamophobic complaints from the mosque’s neighbors, the City of Lomita denied an application by the Islamic Center of South Bay (ICSB) to renovate its facilities, although a study from city staff had previously concluded that the project would improve parking and traffic flow to surrounding streets. In March, CAIR-LA and the law firm of Hadsell and Stormer filed a lawsuit on behalf of ICSB against the city’s discriminatory rejection. In the meantime, congregants at the mosque continue to pray, gather, and worship in their current disjointed and aging facilities.
Al-Nur Islamic Center, Ontario:
The Al-Nur Islamic Center community has faced a two-year battle in its attempt to secure a conditional use permit to build a mosque. Besides residents expressing concerns about traffic and noise, a petition opposing the mosque building was also circulated. The project gained the Planning Commission and San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors’ approval, only later to be held up by a lawsuit filed by some local opponents. Moreover, in Ramadan, worshippers discovered three pig legs thrown onto the proposed mosque site’s driveway. Together, CAIR-LA and Al Nur reached out to law enforcement, urging an investigation on the local, state, and national level to help address anti-Muslim hate incidents.
Islamic Center of Temecula Valley, Temecula:
Brandishing signs which read “No more mosques in America,” a cohort of protestors stood outside the current Islamic Center of Temecula Valley (ICTV) in summer of 2010 to attempt to halt the mosque’s application process with slogans of bigotry. These efforts were in conjunction with efforts of canvassers who went from house to house, collecting signatures in the local neighborhood for a petition to stop the construction of ICTV. And, a pastor at the church across the street preached that Islam was “intolerant at its core” and that a local mosque would attract aggressive and violent individuals seeking to repress religious freedoms.
With the support and counsel of CAIR-LA, worshippers and representatives at ICTV stood strong in the face of opposition, pushing city officials to approve the site plans and establishing a positive, educational exchange with its neighbors and the local community.