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Fundraising drive in LA to aid Palestinian victims
31/12/2008 17:19

Muslim leaders in Los Angeles yesterday joined a US$3 million fundraising drive to provide humanitarian aid to Palestinian victims.
The campaign, initiated by Islamic Relief USA, has won the support of Muslim-American community leaders, organizers said.
More than 70 mosques in Southern California on Friday will dedicate their prayers to victims of the Israeli attacks, the organizers said.
Protests were also scheduled later in the day in some areas, including the Israeli Consulate in downtown Los Angeles.
"The amount of suffering (by Palestinians) is totally unacceptable under any pretext," Maher Hathout, a senior adviser to the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said.
Muslim-American organizations also lashed out at Israel for what they called "barbaric attacks" on Hamas-controlled Gaza.
"Israel's disproportionate response is cruel and unacceptable to any human being by any standards," Hathout said.
Hussam Ayloush, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said: "This is an illegal bombardment by Israel. It is barbaric and it's even more barbaric that it's being done by the Bush Administration.
"There's no doubt that Israel's propaganda machine is working by blaming the victims. Gaza's people are prisoners in their own land. We depend on the help of the American people."
Edina Lekovic of the Muslim Public Affairs Council warned that the attacks will only breed more extremism in the region.
"Instead of curbing extremism, this is going to breed more militancy on the ground. The actions today only guarantee further bloodshed," she said.
There are an estimated 650,000 Muslims living in Southern California.