Thursday, May 2, 2019

Hussam "Hot Air" Ayloush Speaks at UC Irvine: Refuses to Answer Question

"Watch out for those hardball questions, Ayloush"

On May 1, CAIR's Southern California CEO, Hussam "Hot Air" Ayloush, spoke at UC Irvine, sponsored by the UCI Muslim Student Union. The event was attended by 35-40 people, slightly over half being Muslim students and most of the rest being those opposed to Ayloush's point of view including three Israeli Reservists.

I will summarize my interpretation of Ayloush's talk, which centered around immigration and the prejudices that various immigrants have faced throughout American history. Ayloush covered many groups, Mexican immigrants, Japanese-Americans (the World War II relocation) and Muslim Americans to name a few. I would never argue that immigrant groups have faced discrimination, but Ayloush basically painted a picture for the students of an America that was (still) basically racist.

Naturally, he took the requisite shots at President Trump, once referring to him as "the orange man". He also took a shot at Fox News, saying that Fox News would have you believe this or that about Mexicans, Pakistanis, etc, a statement that stands out as a blatant lie.

What was missing in Ayloush's presentation, which was full of talk about human rights (He calls himself a human rights activist.) was any mention of how non-Muslims are persecuted in Muslim-majority countries, Not one word.

If you really want to watch an hour of Ha Ha and his talking points, the video can be watched below.

(There is a short lapse while I switched from my video camera to cell phone.)

As was the case Monday, when CAIR's San Francisco CEO, Zahra Billoo spoke, the ground rules were that q and a would take only questions from students. That was the case again tonight. As it was, after all the students had asked their questions, there was time for one question from an Israeli Reservist. He listed names of CAIR officials who had been imprisoned for terror-related offenses and asked how Ayloush, as a "human rights official" could condone that. Ayloush changed the subject to Palestinian rights in Israel. That led to a back and forth in which the other two reservists weighed in. Ayloush said that he would be available after the presentation to answer other questions. That exchange can be viewed in the videio immediatley above about halfway through.

Thus, after the event had ended and Ayloush had taken a group photo with the MSU, I raised my hand and asked if I could ask a question. He said yes, and we agreed to talk out in the hallway.

A few minutes later, he came out. I extended my hand, we shook hands, and I introduced myself and started the question. My  question was about a statement he had made on January 9, 2015 during a "Crisis  of ISIS" town hall event at the Islamic Center of Orange County. During that event, he asked why people wanted to investigate mosques because 20 or so Muslim American men had gone off to join ISIS, and why didn't anyone investigate synagogues because of the thousands of Jewish-American men who had joined the Israeli Defense Forces "killing the people of Gaza"-a statement he has made on other occasions. If the above is paraphrased, the exact quotes are available here because I was present and videotaped the event and the statement. You can watch and hear what he said for yourself

My exchange with Ayloush was recorded by a friend of mine. I was not able to finish my question because he immediately went on the offense talking about bomb threats against him and his family (as if I had something to do with that) and making insulting references to my humble little blog. As it was, he never answered the question, and refused to even acknowledge me as he became engaged with two of my Jewish friends over the question of Israel and anti-Semitism, again referencing my evil blog. (He also pointedly ignored the questions of  a third Jewish friend, who just happened to be a female.) These exchanges went on the better part of an hour with MSU students, campus police, and the dean of students standing around wishing it would end so they could all go home. At one point, when asked by my colleagues about the meaning of that infamous Palestinian refrain, "From the river to the sea-Palestine will be free," he seemingly feigned ignorance by stating that he was not a Palestinian !!! As it was, I repeated my entire uncompleted question into my friend's cell phone recorder for the record and benefit of those present and periodically reminded Ayloush that he was ducking my question as he continued to debate my colleagues. I also told him that I regarded him as an anti-Semite and a coward and that he represented a despicable organization (CAIR). My final parting shot as he left was, "Keep ducking those hardball questions, Ayloush". (That was not captured on videotape.)

Ayloush has his memorized talking points which consist of reciting a history of racism and discrimination in the US as well as the Palestinian rights issue. Unfortunately for him, he has a history of making intemperate comments-including about Jews. When confronted on his own bigotry, he goes immmeditely into attack mode.

You can watch these exchanges here, and I complement my three Jewish colleagues who confronted Ayloush over his anti-Israel stance and anti-Jewish tropes.



I had hoped after Monday's event that Ayloush, who likes to throw insults at people and bully them, would put on his big boy pants and deal with critical questions-in my case, a question that has led me to conclude that he is just another garden variety Jew hater posing as a human rights activist.  He had an opportunity to convince me otherwise and explain what he really meant by those comments in 2015. Instead, as soon as he knew what the question was, he jumped in his fox hole and started lobbing grenades. That's usually what bullies do when cornered with their own hateful statements.

Hussam Ayloush is a pathetic coward.

*Update: Here is how Ayloush describes the evening on his Facebook page.

"The toughest job is a Zionist trying to explain why it's ok for Israel to build towns for Jews-only, to be an apartheid state with special privileges for Jews-only, and to deny Palestinian refugees the right to return to their towns because they are not Jewish.
I don't envy anyone having to justify such bigotry. I had to listen to three old Zionists at UCI trying to do that. It was painful. "

"Three old Zionists". Class.


Ted said...

For a man who wouldn’t shut up and for most of his time on campus and interrupted constantly, I say that calling me an “Zionist” was the most intelligent thing to have come out of his mouth. If you are reading this Ayloush, thank you for the compliment.

Gary Fouse said...


No doubt he is reading this, Ted. He told me himself that he reads my blog. Maybe Ayloush would care to add his own comments here. I will be happy to publish whatever he has to say, but given his performance Wednesday night, I seriously doubt he has the courage.