Mayor Denounced for Saying Lancaster is a “Growing Christian Community”

January 31, 2010 |  2:17 pm

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris drew criticism from a leading Muslim group today after saying in his annual State of the City address that the high desert town was “growing a Christian community.”

“We’re growing a Christian community, and don’t let anybody shy away from that,” Parris told the audience of ministers gathered for his address.

“I need [Lancaster residents] standing up and saying we’re a Christian community, and we’re proud of that,” the mayor said.

The Greater Los Angeles area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations denounced the statement and said it plans to file a complaint about the mayor’s remarks with the civil rights division of the U.S. Justice Department.

“Elected officials should not use their public positions to impose their religious beliefs on others,” said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of CAIR.



One thought on “Mayor Denounced for Saying Lancaster is a “Growing Christian Community”

  1. Re: Face Book Comments/Councilwoman Sherry Marquez
    & Related Commentary

    As a tax paying citizen of Lancaster, I’m shocked and disappointed at the bias, divisive, and injurious

    comments made by our elected officials and clergy vilifying Muslims and the religion Al-Islam due to

    heinous acts committed by a few people who happen to be Muslims. Is it fair or just to judge a billion

    good Muslims by this standard? Would it be fair to judge the Christian faith based on Christians who

    funded and initiated the enslavement of countless millions of Africans for free labor and the establishment

    of a new land that was originally inhabited by the Native American people?

    History bears witness that after the landing of the ‘Good Ship Jesus’ on the shores of North America, the

    most vile and inhumane treatment was administered on a people by Bible toting, G’d loving (extremist).

    The selling and separation of families, parading women in the nude before the public auctions as livestock,

    the burning, lynching, and raping of women with no consequences from the Law does this reflect the

    Gospel of Jesus Christ? Then there is the infamous home-grown terrorist group, KKK (The Christian

    Knights of the Ku Klux Klan) whose symbol is a burning cross, set a blaze to symbolizes the wrath of

    G-d on all who are different and who dare to insist on equal rights as human beings. Many of them

    attended church services by day and terrorized, burned, and lynched innocent people by night. Again, Is it

    just To judge all Christians by such horrendous acts?

    There are those Who say, “That was then and this is now”. Let’s examine recent history viz.,

    The brutal murder of Emett Till, the bombing of four innocent little black girls, while in church in Selma Alabama. Let’s not

    forget the mass murdering of innocent Christians by their Pastor, the Reverend Jim Jones.The heinous acts

    of terrorism committed against innocent men, women, and children by the likes of Timothy Mcveigh,

    David Koresh, all who profess to be good Christians. Then we have some Catholic Priest, found guilty of

    child molestation and having their superiors guilty of covering up these horrific acts By transferring them to

    other Parishes only to commit these terrible acts again. So I ask the Councilwoman and the Leadership of

    Our community, would non Christians (Jews, Buddhist, Hindus, Muslims Native Americans, and Atheist)

    be fair in judging over a billion good, Loving Christians in the world by The actions of a small majority?

    Would this be any different than judging a billion good loving Muslims by the same standard?

    Historically, there is in fact always a small minority that misinterpret the Scriptures, whether , Qur’anic Or

    Biblical, viz., “I say to you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not

    have, even what he does have shall be taken away. As for my enemies who do not want me to reign over

    them, bring them here and kill them in my presence”. Jesus Christ, (Luke 19:26-27)

    “Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately. But spare for

    yourselves all virgin maidens”. Old Testament (Book of Numbers 31:17-18).

    “Do not think that I have come to send peace on Earth. I did not come to send peace, but a sword. I am

    sent to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her

    mother-in-law”. (Matthew 10:34-35).

    These Biblical verses, taken out of historical and symbolic context, can easily lead one to believe that the

    Bible is promoting unrestricted violence, coercion, and abuse, specifically against women. Thus, the same

    rule applies to Qur’anic verses, taken out of context and recently quoted in our area Newspaper. I quote:

    ……. the Qur‘an Surah 5:51 “ O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as

    allies” (Antelope Valley Press. Page A-13 1/30/10). The key word here is ‘allies‘ The Arabic word in the

    text of the Qur’an for this word is ‘Awliyaa’ which has a broad range of meanings. Depending on the

    context in which it is used, it can mean friend, protector, guardian, patron, overseer, manager, etc. Hence,

    “….take not the Jews and the Christians as the managers of your affairs or interest” is a more correct

    translation. The main idea here, is that, its not uncommon for Jews, Christians, Muslims, etc. to look out for

    their own interest; this doesn’t mean that they cant’ be friends and allies, especially when it comes to

    issues of common interest.

    Case in point, Muhammed the Prophet sent the first community of Muslims (his Followers) fleeing religious

    persecution in Mecca to seek asylum with the Christian king Najashi (Negus) of Ethiopia. Upon listening to

    their Testimony and recognizing commonalities between the two faiths, he refused to allow the pursing

    Meccan pagans to return them to certain death. Most Muslims, world-wide, recognize this historical event

    as significant, in that it marks the beginning of friendship and mutual support between Muslims and other

    religious communities.

    Secondly, quoting the reference: ……. “ beating wives (Surah 4:34) and killing is only a small part of

    the horrors of Islam” (‘Muslim liberals fundamentalist’ Antelope Valley Press, Page A-13 ,1/30/10).

    “…….as to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty, admonish them (first) (next) refuse to share

    Their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly);…..”. Muhammed came to end culturally sanctioned honor

    killings and abuse of women. This verse is in reference to how men are prohibited from using their wealth

    and physical strength to abuse women and how these gifts should be used to protect and maintain (establish)

    them. Providing these conditions are met and there exist non cooperation of the wife with her husband due

    to disloyalty or ill conduct, then steps given in the above verse are to be taken. The Arabic word used in

    translating’ beat them lightly, is da/ra/ba (daraba) which means to strike, to impose, to heal, to avoid. These

    steps are designed to solve marital problems and resume a normal and healthy relationship. Prophet

    Muhammed nor any of his Disciples (Companions) ever beat their wives under any circumstances. Once

    there was serious disagreement between the Prophet and his wives wherein he simply avoided verbal and

    physical contact with them for thirty days. Given time to think and reflect, the Prophet and his wives began

    healthy dialogue and cleared up all misunderstandings. The more accurate English word or expression

    that reflects the spirit and context of this verse would be ’avoid and heal’ for that is the idea of this verse is

    to reconcile strained relationships between husband and wife.

    Let us as responsible leaders, promote the healthy recognition and utilization of our diversity to improve

    and enhance community life.

    The wisdom and keen foresight of the Founding Fathers of this great nation guided them in their pursuit for

    liberty and justice for all of its citizens, present and future to omitt, the specific idea or notion of any

    preferred religion. Peace be on all of you and G-d bless America!

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