Award to LA Islamic Leader Hathout Sparks Dispute

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LA County's Human Relations Commission has made Dr. Maher Hathout the first Muslim to receive its award for humanitarianism.  The chair of the Islamic Center of Southern California has sponsored inter-faith dialogues between Muslims, Christians and Jews, but the Jewish Community is divided over whether he is an extremist masquerading as a moderate, and some are demanding that the Commission rescind the award. On Monday, the Commission heard a roomful of witnesses for and against its selection, a meeting at which LA Times says supporters outnumbered opponents 2-to-1. Meantime, the commission is looking at videotape, e-mails and letters from all over the country on both sides of the heated controversy. Next Monday, it will decide if it still wants to honor Hathout with the prestigious award.




Warren Olney


Frances Anderton