Source: United Press International
On August 7, 2006 the United Press International reported, "The mayor of Los Angeles, criticized by local Islamic groups for visiting a Jewish rally but not meeting with them, has agreed to be more visible among Muslims. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who met with the Muslim leaders Sunday, apologized for not answering their e-mails about the crisis in Lebanon, reports The Los Angeles Times. 'It was gracious of him to say I apologize for the lack of communication,' said Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, which represents mosques and organizations of about 500,000 Muslims. Syed said he hoped the mayor's meeting with 10 Muslim leaders would help head off the kind of divisiveness that has roiled Arab and Jewish communities in the Detroit area, the report said. The mayor earlier had been criticized by local Muslims for attending a rally by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles but that he had failed to respond to the Muslim's repeated invitations to interfaith vigils for those killed on both sides in Lebanon."