Al-Marayati Joins Hate Crime Community Dialogue

August 7, 2014

Last week, the South Coast Interfaith Council (SCIC) invited MPAC as well as other interfaith organizations and members of the Long Beach Police Department to participate in a special “Community Dialogue on Hate Crime,” which came in response to a recent hate crime against an Iraqi American woman in a local shopping center parking lot. MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati spoke about the importance of all communities joining hands to effectively condemn all hate crimes. Only with the unity of all communities can there be a strong momentum of change.

Al-Marayati suggested that grassroots organizing is one of the most effective ways of influence. In a discussion about how we as a community can help prevent these crimes from occuring, Al-Marayati emphasized that these hate crimes are the defective upbringings of these young individuals. As caring and loving people, we must come together to educate young minds and train them to learn how to grow into peaceful community members.

This kind of community work at the grassroots level is the first step in putting an end to these acts of hate. Commander Robert Luman of the Long Beach Police Department was also among the speakers that evening. “Everything happens for a reason, and if this happened to bring us together, make us stronger, then we are here to do that.”

"This hate crime does not involve only one community," said Al-Marayati. “This involves all races and religions. This is why synagogues, churches, and mosques all need to take part in putting closure to this crime."

Al-Marayati also stressed the importance members of the local community offering support to the victim’s family. It was remarkable to hear from the victim that she is thankful for the warm and encouraging support her family has received from MPAC, as well as the Long Beach Police Department.

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