Although the likelihood of war declines, members of the Orange County Muslim community gathered Friday at Mile Square Regional Park to peacefully protest continued international sanctions against Iraq.
“I am a Muslim, and as Muslims we support our Muslim brothers and sisters,” said William Cross, 42, of Santa Ana. “The children have a right to live.”
Demonstrators said they oppose Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein but wanted to show that their deep commitment and faith extends from Orange County to the Middle East. About 150 people attended.
“Some people thought the demonstration was taking place due to the threat of war,” said organizer Haitham Bundakji, 49, of Fountain Valley. “The threat of war is still there. Sanctions are weapons of destruction.”
More food, medicine and economic opportunity might help Iraqis to rise and force Hussein from power, Bundakji said.
Demonstrators carried signs reading “No Blood for Oil,” “Sanctions Equal Death” and “Let the Children Live.” While some passing motorists honked in support, many more expressed disagreement.