The cities of Bell and Cudahy in Southeast Los Angeles county, which have fought with corruption and bruising politics for years, are now suffering from defamatory attacks towards Muslim candidates for city council.
Hussein Chahine and Ali Saleh are two of such candidates, who have been smeared as terrorists in addition to having their homes and cars vandalized. Over the weekend, Ali Saleh was alerted that some of his fliers at a local grocery store had been marked with phrases including “Islam will dominate the world.” The vandalized flier also included superimposed pictures of radical Iraqi cleric Muqtada Sadr, the burning twin towers, and a kneeling hostage. At the bottom of the flyer, the message “vote NO Muslims for the City Bell Council 2009” were written.
“Politics can get dirty. But usually they just say something about you,” Saleh said. “But when you come and tell people not to vote for any Muslims, you’re talking about an entire group. I was born in this country. I want to be part of this American democratic system. This is very upsetting,” responded Saleh.