September 24, 2011 – A California councilman named Derek Reeve is under fire for he avowed in a council meeting on Sept. 6 that he named one of his two dogs after Muhammad– the Muslim prophet. However, Muslims regard dog as unclean. The other dog is named “America”.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has asked Reeve for an apology. Executive director of CAIR in greater Los Angeles said, as an elected official, Reeve should have not given the “distasteful remark” though he has the right to free speech.
Mayor of San Juan Capistrano Sam Allevato, along with another councilman Larry Kramer criticized Reeve.
“It’s a shame that now it’s become a media circus,” Mayor Sam Allevato said. “It’s an embarrassment for the city.”
“As leaders we should be setting a higher standard of behavior.” Kramer said.
Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) issued a statement on Wednesday supporting Kramer.
“ICNA-SC commends Mayor Pro Tem Larry Kramer for his letter distancing himself from such comments and for calling them what they are: ‘offensive.’ As all Americans, ICNA has always firmly supported the fundamental American value of freedom of speech for all, including elected officials,” the statement said.
“While it reminds that elected officials, due to the nature of their office, also have the responsibility of representing all their constituents and of observing a higher standard of morality than private citizens.”
Waqas Syed, deputy secretary general of ICNA, appealed other councilman of the City Council to “clearly state their positions”. But no other councilman give any comments on this issue by Tuesday night.
“We employ Muslim workers, who were offended by the statement, especially in the manner it was delivered. Who is to speak for them? They won’t speak up for themselves as they obviously fear retaliation,” Frank Mickadeit reports in the Orange County Register.
“I know that a ‘hostile work environment’ has to be a pervasive culture or pattern of behavior within an organization. But could not a ‘pattern’ of a hostile work environment begin with one statement made by the highest ranking member of the city?” he said.
Meanwhile, some people have labeled ICNA, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other Muslim organizations as terrorist fronts.
“Mr. Kramer is criticizing me on how I raise my children,” Reeve said. “I will teach them and educate them on these principles (free speech) until the day I die,” Reeve fought back and refused to give any apology.
About twenty residents supported Reeve by saying he has a right to free speech at the City Council meeting on Sep 20. The council kept silent after Reeve and several people defended the criticism.
Article Courtesy: International Business Times, San Francisco