Concern About Retribution In Lodi

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(Lodi, CA)
Thursday, June 9, 2005

Muslims in Lodi have reason to be concerned about acts of retribution. Their mosque was desecrated in the early 1990's during the war in the Middle East. Immediately following the nine-eleven attacks there were a number of incidents of verbal abuse.

Following a cross burning at a Lodi area high school in 1997, an organization called the Breakthrough Project was established to address intolerance and hate crimes. The Breakthrough Project is made up of about 50 citizens from all sectors of the Lodi community, including the Islamic population. 

The current President, Pastor David Hill says there's no question the recent arrests have increased tensions between the community at large and Muslims.
" I'm sure the majority of the people will want to maintain peace and tranquility, I would hope everybody would see the importance of that, and I believe that will happen. But that doesn't mean there won't be some isolated incidents, and that's what I'm kind of concerned about."
Pastor Hill says the organization has scheduled a special meeting for next Monday night. In the interim he's urging fellow clergy to use the pulpit to plead for tolerance.
During a meeting, Lodi Mayor John Beckman assured Muslim leaders the city would not tolerate any hate-related acts.