WATCH ONLINE: "The Now Arizona" will have the latest on the planned protest outside the Phoenix Islamic Community Center, its security plan, as well as how police will work to ensure this activity remains safe coming up at 4 p.m. on ABC15. WATCH LIVE: www.abc15.com/live
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-AZ) held a press conference Friday morning to discuss tonight's protest.
Operations Coordinator for CAIR Kristy Sabbah, Board President Imraan Siddiqi, and board member Dr. Yasir Shareef addressed the media, denounced the anticipated violence of the planned protest, and asked community members to stay away.
Siddiqi said he was sad that a press conference had to be called to "state the obvious, [that] we here in 2015, in America are reminding Americans that bigotry is a bad thing."
STATEMENT FROM THE CITY OF PHOENIX HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION:
Our Federal and State Constitutions give us very broad rights to freedom of
speech, which the City of Phoenix Human Relations Commission will support and
defend in every instance. At the same time, our constitutions also protect freedom
of religion, which we also will support and defend in every instance. When
freedom of speech is used to vilify entire groups of people because of who they are
or what they believe, the Human Relations Commission must speak. It may be
legally permissible to protest the Islamic community in Phoenix, but it is hateful
and ill-conceived conduct that hurts our entire community and creates the
misimpression that Phoenix is intolerant and unwelcoming. The City of Phoenix
Human Relations Commission welcomes our Muslim neighbors as full and equal
participants in the civic life of our City.