—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
JAMAICA, New York (May 6, 2011) – In a press release issued today the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) commended the Orange County Human Relations Commission for its recognition of Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi for his interfaith and community work in Orange County in the past 30 years.
“Last night the Orange County Human Relations Commission presented Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi with the Community Leader Award for his commitment to human relations in Orange County. We welcome the OCHRC’s choice and join them in congratulating Dr. Siddiqi and the ten other award recipients for their outstanding contribution to Orange County.
“Dr. Siddiqi’s numerous achievements make him a natural choice for the Community Leader Award. He has worked tirelessly to promote tolerance and understanding between religious groups, drawing attention to the parallels between all faiths. He previously received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the National Council of Christians and Jews in 1999, and in 2005 was recognized by the Orange County Register as one of the 100 most influential people in Orange County in the past twenty-five years. In 2006, the LA Times featured him in “The West 100,” highlighting that ‘the White House invited [Siddiqi] to preside over interfaith services at the National Cathedral [after September 11]’ and describing him as ‘a leader in driving home the point that Muslims in the U.S. are peace-loving.’
“Individuals protesting the OCHRC’s announcement attempted to paint Dr. Siddiqi as someone other than a peace-loving, American-Muslim who has accomplished much for interfaith and community relations in the past 30 years. This group of individuals was also responsible for the hateful anti-Muslim remarks made with regard to an ICNA Relief fundraising dinner in Yorba Linda in early February. ICNA commends the OCHRC for standing firm in its decision to honor Dr. Siddiqi despite such ludicrous opposition. We also thank Interfaith Witnesses for their show of solidarity in support of Dr. Siddiqi. We proudly support their work and urge communities nationwide to follow their example in fighting hate across the country.”
Photo Credits: Ana Venegas, The Orange County Register