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USA Sheriff Lee Baca Honored By Ethnic, Religious Groups

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1947-2014 (Archived)
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Jun 17, 2004
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Sheriff Lee Baca Honored by Ethnic, Religious Groups
By PARIMAL M. ROHIT



ANAHEIM, Calif. — Nearly 250 people helped the Council of Pakistan American Chamber of Commerce and members of various local churches, synagogues, gurudwaras, temples and Islamic Centers to commemorate Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy “Lee” Baca at a May 15 town hall meeting officially sponsored by JFK Realty, Inc., at the Heritage Forum here.

Baca was honored for his continuous efforts in supporting the Pakistani and South Asian communities and making a concerted effort to protect the rights of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Catholics, Jews and other faiths throughout Los Angeles County and Southern California.

“Under the command of Sheriff Lee Baca, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has long been a leader in development of excellent relationships with the various…ethnic, cultural, and religious communities, many of whom are represented here today,” CPACC president Arif Mansuri said.

“Nowhere is that relationship more positive and meaningful than that which exists between Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Pakistani American and Muslim American communities.”

Humbled by the town hall meeting held in his honor, Baca stressed that it was important to maintain integrity while pursuing diplomatic relations with Muslims in the United States and around the globe during a “War on Terror” that has affected members of the faith domestically and internationally.

“It is critical to build mutually respectful relationships with Muslim American communities who endeavor to work together to protect all Americans,” Baca said.

“The vast majority of Muslim community members within my jurisdiction are fiercely proud of their American identity and display their patriotism on a daily basis. When I made critical outreach to the community after 9/11, I was overwhelmed by the number of Muslims who were ready and willing to connect with law enforcement.”

Baca emphasized that equal protection of religious rights is supreme in the United States and that it is crucial to ensure that all faiths are equally protected.

“This nation cannot afford to have elected leaders who condemn a religion without knowing even what the religion’s tenets are,” Baca added. “In the Bill of Rights, this country has avowed, since its founding, points of law that all religions will be protected. People who refuse to protect a religion should not hold a public office.”

CPACC chairman Waqar Ali Khan said that Baca was truly one of kind who had made a name for himself within the Muslim American community when he spoke in favor of the group’s civil rights and liberties during Senate hearings last March that brought anti-Muslim bigotry to the forefront.

“He is always there to support us…and to voice about fairness. We are here to together to salute him, to bear tribute about his fairness,” Khan said.

Niranjan Singh Khalsa of the California Sikh Council also commended Baca for his efforts to educate the American public in the distinction between Sikhs and Muslims while advocating for their rights and liberties.

Riffat Masood, the consul general of Pakistan in Los Angeles, was impressed with Baca’s willingness to take a stand in support of the Muslim American community.

“I have known the sheriff a very short time…but I know of the work he is doing. I know of the trust and the compassion he generates to the Muslim American community here,” Masood said. “At a time when all the Muslims of the world are facing such innumerable challenges…to have a man like Sheriff Lee Baca at the helm of affairs, it is a sigh of relief for all of us, because we all know, whenever we need help or assistance, he’ll be there to speak for us.”

http://www.indiawest.com/readmore.aspx?id=3358&sid=1
 

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