Nader Elhuzayel and Muhanad Badawi Plead Not Guilty to Fraud and Aiding ISIL Counts

Nader Elhuzayel is accused of bank fraud and providing material support to ISIL.
UPDATE, OCT. 26, 1:39 P.M.: Nader Elhuzayel and Muhanad Badawi of Anaheim pleaded not guilty last week at the Reagan courthouse to all the charges against them.

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Loretta Sanchez Presses Attorney General for Answers in Alex Odeh Murder Case

Courtesy of the Odeh family
Alex Odeh busy at work for the ADC
You remember our cover story earlier this month on the unsolved assassination of Arab-American activist Alex Odeh? Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez sure does. On Friday, she wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch requesting an update on the case while offering to host a closed briefing on it with her department.

"If the FBI knowingly admits that this is the oldest open counter-terrorism investigation they have on file, then we must ensure that justice delayed will not be justice denied," Sanchez wrote Lynch. "The Odeh family deserves closure."

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"Day of Rage" Protest Planned in Anaheim Over Israeli Violence Against Palestinians

Gabriel San Roman / OC Weekly
Anaheim protest last year against Israeli ground invasion of Gaza
A peaceful but angry "Day of Rage" protest decrying a surge in violence by Israelis against Palestinians is set for Sunday afternoon in Anaheim's Little Arabia neighborhood. Organizers promise a vocal turnout of community members, activists and academics calling on an end of US aid to Israel in light of the recent bloodshed.

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OC Vietnamese and Syrian Communities Team for Syrian Refugee Relief Abroad

Yasmin Nouh's great cover story published three years ago this month

The tragic image of lifeless toddler Aylan Kurdi on the shores of a Turkish beach has come to symbolize the Syrian refugee crisis. The photo galvanized people across the world to act on behalf of Syrians fleeing their homeland torn by years of civil war. In Orange County, where a growing number of Syrians are arriving, Vietnamese and Arab-Americans are joining together to #Walk4Refugees this Sunday.

"The Vietnamese and Arab community share the same struggle in our countries back home," says Asian Pacific Cultural Foundation's Dr. Jonathan Bao Huynh. "We are connected by the refugee story here in Orange County."

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Deborah Pauly Can't Even Escape Anti-Muslim Controversy in DUI Arrest

City of Villa Park
Madame Hot Mess Assemblywoman Pauly?
Deborah Pauly, who aims to get elected to the state Assembly out of the 68th District in 2016, was recently arrested for allegedly driving under the influence in Anaheim, where police claim she made anti-Muslim remarks while getting popped.

Thought not the type of behavior many want in an elected representative, trashing Islam and an embarrassing DUI incident are not foreign to the former Villa Park city councilwoman. In 2011, she attained national notoriety for telling a rabid crowd that tried unsuccessfully to shut down a Muslim charity event in Yorba Linda, "I know quite a few Marines who would be very happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise."

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CAIR Applauds OC High School's Pledge to Correct its Islamic Inaccuracies

flickr user ~crystalina~
The Qur'an
An Orange County high school agreed to change its lesson plans on Islam after pressure from parents and a Muslim civil rights group. The Anaheim-based local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) applauded the swift decision made yesterday by the school and the publisher of the texts.

"Such bias in the curriculum exposes Muslim students to contempt and ridicule among their peers and subjects them to unnecessary marginalization," says CAIR-LA Senior Civil Rights Attorney Fatima Dadabhoy.

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Refurbished Statue of Alex Odeh, Slain Arab-American Activist, To Be Unveiled Today


Alex Odeh's statue has been part of Santa Ana's civic center identity for years, standing outside the city's public library with a book in one of Odeh's hands and a dove perched atop the other.

The Palestinian activist worked for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) as its Southern California regional director. But on October 11, 1985 a rigged bomb exploded when Odeh opened the door to his Santa Ana workplace, instantly killing him.

Time had left the memorial with rust and chipped edges. In keeping Odeh's memory pristine, his refurbished statue will be revealed in a noontime ceremony today.

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CAIR Condemns al Qaeda Attack in France as CAIR-LA to Warn Locals About "Crisis of ISIS"

Photo by flickr user TZA
As France deals with Wednesday's terrorism blamed on al Qaeda sympathizers, Orange County Muslims will conduct a free community forum Friday night to address another deadly group: ISIS.

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Rachel Corrie's Mother to Deliver Keynote Address at Annual Alex Odeh Banquet

Alex Odeh statue in Santa Ana

Alex Odeh and Rachel Corrie share an unfortunate thing in common: both political activists suffered tragic, violent deaths.

Odeh, a Palestinian-American activist, died in 1985 when a rigged bomb exploded as he opened the door to his work office in Santa Ana. Nearly 20 years later an Israeli army Caterpillar bulldozer crushed Palestinian solidarity activist Rachel Corrie to death in the Gaza Strip.

Their shared legacy and deaths will intertwine this Sunday when Cindy Corrie, Rachel's mother, delivers the keynote address during the annual Alex Odeh memorial banquet in Anaheim.

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Cussing at Muslim Woman and Removal of Her Hijab Probed as Hate Crime in Long Beach

Courtesy of the Long Beach Police Department
Artist's sketch of man who removed woman's hijab.
Long Beach's police chief says a hate crime happened when a man cursed at and pulled the head covering--known as a hijab--off a Muslim woman in a shopping center.

The Anaheim-based greater Los Angeles area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) is working with police to find the mystery man, calling on the public to out him.

The incident happened around 4:30 p.m. July 2 in a shopping center parking lot in the 4000 block of Atlantic Avenue, according to Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell. As the 32-year-old woman loaded her car, the hater came up from behind and twisted and pulled off her black hijab, which he referred to by name while cussing her out. That indicates he's familiar with Muslim culture in McDonnell's eyes.

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