From: DailyBreeze.com | September 22, 2011
San Juan Capistrano Mayor Sam Allevato and the Council on American-Islamic Relations criticized City Councilman Derek Reeve today for saying at a council meeting that he named his dog after Muhammad, the Muslim prophet.
"The distasteful remark is unbefitting of a public office," said CAIR- LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush.
"We ask Councilman Derek Reeve to apologize to the Muslim community for his derisive remark. Surely the councilman knows that as an elected official, he is sworn to represent the interests of a diversity of constituents, including Muslim Americans. While we all have the right to free speech, elected officials have the additional responsibility to exercise that freedom in a way that protects America's pluralism and inclusivity."
Allevato also had harsh words for Reeve, who did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
"I personally don't care what he names his dog, that's his business, but when you're a city councilman you're there to represent all of your constituents," Allevato told City News Service. "I believe you need to treat everybody with respect."
Allevato noted a resident, who is Muslim, was in the audience at Tuesday night's meeting appealing a decision from the city's planning commission. The appeal was upheld by a 4-1 vote, with Reeve dissenting, Allevato said.
If Reeve had cast the deciding vote against the resident it might have left the city open to legal action, Allevato said.
"It's our job to conduct the people's business without bias or even the appearance of bias," Allevato said.
Reeve said he named his dog Muhammad as a political statement, The Orange County Register reported.