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Candidate for 39th District Claims Ed Royce Attended "Hate Rally" Last Year

Jay Chen, a Hacienda-La Puente school board president and small business owner running for the 39th Congressional District covering Diamond Bar, Walnut and Fullerton, made the claims against Royce, his Republican opponent and longtime congressman.

Jay Chen, the Democratic candidate campaigning for the newly drawn 39th District's House of Representatives seat this year, claimed his Republican opponent Ed Royce attended a "hate rally" aimed at an Islamic fundraising group in Yorba Linda last year.

In a phone interview, Chen also alleged that Royce, a 20-year veteran in the House and representative from the former 40th District covering parts of north and central Orange County, made comments at that rally rejecting multiculturalism in the United States. 

"We want to let voters know who he is, because that's just not going to fly in a district that is 30 percent Latino, 30 percent Asian. We can't have that kind of representative," Chen said.

"He's made comments about wanting all federal service to be English only, including balloting, so he wants voting restrictions. And that's a clear attack on minorities and those for who English is a second language…He attended the Muslim hate rally in Yorba Linda, and he spoke out about multiculturalism."

Dave Gilliard, a consultant for the Royce campaign, responded to the comments from Chen, saying that, "if Jay Chen wants to call that a 'hate rally' then it shows a very shallow understanding of global terrorism."

Last February, the rally outside the Yorba Linda Community Center drew hundreds of flag-waving demonstrators from all over Orange County protesting a fundraiser held by the Islamic Circle of North American Relief USA. 

The vitriolic nature of a small group of the rally's attendees garnered criticism of the protest across the Internet, and helped the YouTube video titled "Hate Comes to Orange County," which depicted parts of the protest, amass hundreds of thousands of views. 

Protesters in the group shouted slogans like "go home,"  and "no Sharia law," at some of the fundraiser's supporters, who included women and children. Others hurled insults at people filming the protest.

According to the Orange County Register, many of the protesters were angry with the group's choice of two keynote speakers for the event: Imam Siraj Wahhaj, an imam at a mosque in Brooklyn, and Amir Abdel Malik Ali, a Bay Area Islamic activist.

A U.S. attorney named Wahhaj as a co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He has since denied all involvement, and he was never charged.

Ali made statements at the University of California, Irvine in 2010 in which he supported the militant group Hezbollah.

Royce was invited to the Yorba Linda protest along with other Orange and Los Angeles county lawmakers like Rep. Gary Miller, the Republican congressman from the former 42nd District.

Royce spoke out against the two speakers, identifying them as radical Islamists.

"A big part of the problem we face today is that our children have been taught in schools that every idea is right, that no one should criticize others' positions no matter how odious," Royce said at the rally.

"And what do we call that? They call it multiculturalism. And it has paralyzed too many of our fellow citizens to make the critical judgement we need to make to prosper as a society."

However, after the rally, Royce also denounced the protesters who hurled insensitive remarks at the fundraiser attendees. 

"I disavow the remarks and conduct of those protesters outside the entrance of the Yorba Linda Community Center who were yelling insults at those entering the center to hear Siraj Wahhaj and Abdel Malik-Ali. It was wrong," Royce said in a statement on his website.

According to Gilliard, Royce was there to speak because "these people are open advocates of terrorism against America."

Gilliard also responded to Chen's claims that Royce has supported legislation proposing English-only federal programs and voting restrictions.

Royce co-sponsored H.R. 997, the "English Language Unity Act of 2011," a bill that would have established the English language as the official language of the United States.

Royce has made comments supporting such legislation, saying that the federal government should also defund resources for Americans for whom English is not their first language.

"[English-only legislation] is also beneficial because right now we provide services for so many different languages," Royce said in a YouTube interview. "There's 300 languages, for example, that are spoken in California. Now think for a minute the resources that go into that, that instead could be deployed in order to teach young people English early, through immersion, effectively. How much would that save our state of California and the nation?"

Gilliard said that Royce is not against multiculturalism in the U.S., and that he has a track record of working with ethnic communities.

"He's been very involved with the Vietnamese community, he's been very involved with the Korean community, he's been very involved in the Indian-American community," Gilliard said. "And we don't give up one inch of ground to Jay Chen on any of those. It's sad and telling that he's trying to run a racial campaign here."

bob therrien April 20, 2012 at 01:02 PM
i have never voted republican but i like this republican...it's already too late..islam has already taken away our free speach...i hate islam..i should be able to say that out loud...not be killed or threatened...islamaphob:why?islam..that's why....
Lydia Plunk April 20, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Being the daughter of a Hispanic ESL parent I am qualified to state that Jay Chen is misguided in many of his conclusions. My mother, who didn't speak English on a daily basis until her mid-twenties, believed that the most important skill a person needed to have in this country is English. She believed that a single unified language, not subject to the subtleties of interpretation, is good for society and the individual. She worked hard her entire life to master her adopted tongue- she retired as an English teacher. I was invited to attend the protest and am glad I passed. That being said Ed Royce was neither an organizer nor supportive of several rude people who formed a gauntlet outside what was advertised as a family event in Yorba Linda. Those who wished to make an issue of the speakers would have been wiser to buy a ticket- take a tape recorder inside- then factually report if sedition or terror was a thread in what was said.
Joseph Steiner April 20, 2012 at 03:43 PM
It seems strange that Mr. Chen is using the same technique that most Imams use of call that which is bad, good and that which is good, bad when it comes to rallies about Islam. The so called religion of peace that all Muslims follow has Sha'ria Law as its legal foundation. Sha'ria allows honor killings of those that leave the religion, the killing of Muslim women that marry outside the religion, even though Muslim men can marry Christians, and the killing of gays, Jews, and Christians. Desecration of non-Muslim graves and burning of churches are also part of the peaceful religion. Unfortunately, the United States has become more of a tossed salad than a melting pot these days since we immigrated here and became citizens. I do not speak with my Asian neighbors nor do they speak with me, most can hardly communicate in English, and I cannot remember the last time we had a block party which used be a tradition here. Personally, I grow weary of politicians that take the same oath that I took when I became a citizen and then break it time and again.
Linda Russell April 20, 2012 at 04:07 PM
I became an American citizen 16 years ago! I had to prove that I could read, write and speak English proficiently so I cannot understand why anyone would complain about English as our unifying national language. I am confused as to why we spend so much money to print voter material and other government paperwork in anything but English! And as for pointing out that Mr Royce was standing up AGAINST advocates of terrorism ...now I know who I will be voting for (: as I am also against people who hate this country and want to turn it into the one they left to take advantage of the freedoms we have here. My two cents (:
JSB April 20, 2012 at 05:07 PM
I'm surprised that Mr. Chen is starting off his campaign by attacking his opponent. Business as usual for a Democratic candidate? Disappointing VERY disappointing! Is this the platform you are running on -- anyone but a Republican for the 39th District at any cost!!!! Is this the type of representation that our District needs? I am also surprised that Mr Chen isn't more supportive of English only. I was under the impression that when someone is naturalized they need to show that they have an understanding of the English language. And if they aren't a US citizen yet they can't vote in US elections to begin with. If that is the case then why would there be an issue with English being the language of Federal services? Why then wouldn't people be proficient enough to vote or get a driver license? When I lived in Rome Italy last summer I had to speak Italian people were actually lecturing me that if I was going to live there I had to learn the language. Why is it that everywhere but here that is true?? And it makes me very nervous when I have voted and an elderly parent is voting but the son is telling the parent who to vote for and says this is because the parent doesn't understand the ballot? The sample ballot is printed as it will be at the voting box take the sample ballot with you!!! Everything we do in this country is based on English but for some reason we can't have a national language that connects us all as Americans because this is seen as being racist!
Greg Diamond April 20, 2012 at 05:54 PM
What an amazing group of comments. Ed Royce attacks multiculturalism -- except of course for the cultures of his previous voting constituencies such as the Vietnamese, which is OK -- and Jay Chen objects to it. And people say that THAT is the problem? Royce is putting down large segments of the population with his attacks on "multiculturalism" -- and he's smart enough to know that he's doing it. He's perfectly happy to profit from others bigotry so long as it gets him elected. You're absolutely right that we Democrats are going to call him on it. @bob therrien -- with those attitudes, for whom did you vote before, if not the Republicans? No one is saying that you can't hate Islam (or Christianity, or anything else) and say so out loud -- but you have to expect that people who tolerate others' creeds are going to think that you're making the world worse. If you like to stir up hatred between the U.S. and the rest of the world and then send in other people to fight the ensuing wars, then Republican is the right vote for you.
Judy Duvall April 20, 2012 at 08:24 PM
The former contituents of the Honorable Ed Royce are very disappointed they will not be able to vote for him in the upcoming election, & that most certainly includes the Viet Namese group as they are a freedom loving, free market capitalist group of patriot Americans - and yes, usually Republican's. I admire Royce for his steadfast support and work for his consituents and the American public against the rising tide of anti-Americanism primarily from the radical Islamists. Two of those such radicals who have publically supported the terrorists were the speakers at that event. Where do you think that hate begins on their part if not at meetings where they are trying to rev up other Muslims to their radicalism? If our Founding Fathers had thought like you, Greg, and your fellow Democrats think today, I doubt we would have ever been the great freedom loving country that so many other countries chose to emulate. And that is why, today, I'm a former Democrat!
James Lee April 20, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Look at these comedic comments from Ed Royce's Campaign. It's also NOT ATTACKING when your own consultant confirms he was there! And did people forget what kind of disgusting crap comes out of republican mouths when they talk about Obama (the biggest negative campaign in US history)? This is merely pointing out the facts. Royce attended the event. People should know about a candidate attending such activities in a community where hating Muslims and protecting religious freedom is a contentious issue. English only. Really? This country is the most diverse country in the world, but the majority wants to cut assistance to the minority just because they don't use it. Most of use don't go to parks, or drive down your street, so lets cut funding to pay for your neighborhood roads and the parks near you. You also assume learning English is easy. How many of you can learn Japanese in 1 year with enough comprehensions to go to understand the Japanese legal system? Now how many can do this when your 30 or older? 99% of us could not make that happen. Just because one person can do it doesn't mean everyone else should be able to. You learn languages the best when your a child because your brain is developing. Past 25, mental capacity stalls and learning a new way to thinking is extremely hard. So should we just punish these new citizens from other countries?
James Lee April 20, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Nice try Ed Royce
James Lee April 20, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Royce's consultant confirmed he was there. And good for your mom, unfortunately, not every immigrant can make that happen. Life is tough as an immigrant in the states. We put children in English classes for 12 years, do we really expect immigrants to go to 12 years of adult school to learn English to become a citizen? Does any other country have such policy?
James Lee April 20, 2012 at 08:49 PM
It doesn't cost us that much in the budget to print extra materials in another language. Most departments in the government spend at most 3% on paper and supplies. This can't be about fiscal issues, you will have better luck attacking plan parenthood.
Greg Diamond April 20, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Lots of the younger Vietnamese are increasingly becoming Democrats, Judy. That's what happens when people enter American culture and get a look at how Republicans look at minorities when they aren't trying to get their votes. Now Judy: even if the previous statements of the two speakers could POSSIBLY justify ranting at people's children and telling them that they were terrorists and should leave the country, do you think that those two speakers ARE terrorists? Obama has shown that he's more than just lip service when it comes to terrorism. The charge against one speaker was that he was charged with being part of the earlier WTC attacks and then the charges were dropped. Do you think that maybe he's not in jail (or dead) because there wasn't a basis for the charges? Here in America, July, we actually do believe in the presumption of innocence. You accuse people of terrorism like you don't even care to think through whether it's true, like it's some sort of reflex. Facts don't seem to matter to you. You want to know what really revs up anti-Americanism, Judy? People who treat their fellow American citizens like you do here. That's why our enemies thank their lucky stars for the likes of Ed Royce. He's practically a recruiting officer for them.
Greg Diamond April 20, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Some people think it as easy because, after all, they did it themselves as infants! English and Chinese are generally considered to be the hardest languages to learn. Why English? Because it's so multicultural -- influences from everywhere. Just like the U.S.
Richard Reeves April 20, 2012 at 09:36 PM
I think, Sue, that there's a very big difference between expecting someone to learn English through the naturalization process, and saying we should have English ONLY. A lot of people who put an honest and dedicated effort to learning English may continue to struggle with the language years, and even decades after they begin learning. That does not mean that good law abiding naturalized citizens should be stripped of their access to government services simply because they don't have a perfect grasp of the language.
Judy Duvall April 20, 2012 at 09:55 PM
I wonder how u comprehend the Eng language yourself. My comments weren't comedic! You assume I'm w/the Royce campaign; I am not. I've never lived in his district. I have friends in DB area. I do not believe the protest was a hating issue by the folks protesting. It was their valid concern about what is happening in the area reg, RADICAL ISLAMIST HATRED. Maybe, there was a few out of control attendees, there always are on BOTH sides! I think the great concern was what has happened 2 other western countries b/c people didn't stand up to the fanatics 4/Sharia soon enough. France has almost lost it's country, London's a hotbed w/those demanding Sharia. Cops in Dearborne can't do anything now except appease Muslim community & in so doing have stricken other Americans their rights. Want to live under Sharia law? I don't! Yes, we're a diverse cntry, however if it becomes so diverse that we loose our common language we are doomed. A country that loose's common lang is one of the 10 things that happens b/4 a civiization falls. So yes, it's important to speak a min of Eng. Those that don't are likely 2 wind up in welfare system. Average is 4 yrs 2/become a naturalized citizen. Lots of time to learn Eng! After all, only 26 letters in our alphabet, 33 in Russian and 28 in Welsh, a hard one. If you come here to succeed in this country, learn Eng! So this is MORE than about Royce attending the event. It's an attempted smear job, but most normal thinking peole can see through it.
Judy Duvall April 20, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Greg, way behind schedule for store, washing car, etc, but did want to tell you that just yesterday, a doctor, Russian naturalized American told me Russian was much harder to learn than English. I thought that was informative as he learned Russian as an infant!
Lydia Plunk April 21, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Dear Mr Lee- My mother taught us 3 things are needed for success. Hard work, a good education and a willing heart. As a teacher she did not believe that allowing students to slack in any subject was helpful. She set the bar high- was willing to help any student who asked for extra help. At the end of the school term- the students got the grade they earned- whether it was easy of difficult to attain- she taught that results matter. When someone failed- she also taught that people deserve a fresh start. Honestly- No second language comes easily. I know of no other country with as generous an immigration policy as ours. I know of no other country that goes so far to accomodate people of different backgrounds- including language. I believe you stated that translation is cheap. Why would you think two languages is not twice as expensive to produce as one? Then multiply that by the number of languages spoken in our country by the number of departments by the number of documents. Many students from Diamond Bar have gone on to college- and when they came out they have gone to many countries to teach English. Learning a different language is never easy. But what of value is?
Greg Diamond April 21, 2012 at 01:21 AM
I understand that you don't like Muslims. How you get the sense that Jay Chen has anything to do with supporting Sharia Law, let alone honor killings, is mystifying. As my previous attempt at addressing your comment was deleted, I had better stop there.
Greg Diamond April 21, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Did I ever assert that you were with the Royce campaign? There were two somewhat controversial speakers there, one who was once accused of complicity in terrorism and who then was apparently exonerated with charges dropped. People responded by screaming at families including young children that they were terrorists and should leave the country. There was no indication that they were radicals; they were there for a charity event for battered women. Your justifying it based on some fever dream of what might have been happening there is flat-out wrong. If you could imagine ever being on the other side of such an event, you might get it.
Joseph Steiner April 21, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Greg; I never said that Chen was in or was not in support of Sha'ria, you are insinuating that on your own. No I do not hate Muslims, I hate evil and there is a big difference. I have years of study on the Middle East and honestly I do not care to argue here about what Islam is or is not. What I stated is a fact, although brief, of Islam and I nor you can change that is nature of the beast. History has shown it to be true and it might even take place here in the US before it is over. Ahmed Omar, the past president of CAIR, once said, "Islam is not here to be equal with any other religion in the United States, but it is here to dominate." I think that pretty well says it without me going into more detail which you no doubt attempt to refute.
Linda Russell April 21, 2012 at 05:18 AM
Joshua Cain..thank you by the way for a fair and balanced article...the way it should be. Good to see good journalism still exists (:
topgun April 28, 2012 at 07:18 AM
Ed Royce is a throwback to a bygone era in north orange county. He wants to return to a time when a white-only, male-dominated, good-old boys club of elite insiders ran absolutely everything. Sorry, but change has long come. Mr. Chen is well-educated, has served his country in uniform, and knows three important languages fluently. He also understands the needs of the citizens and voters in his district.
topgun April 28, 2012 at 07:21 AM
nice, republican plant. Tri lernin to spel
Andrew Fung Yip April 28, 2012 at 07:56 AM
I wonder why there's a double standard then when it comes to bilingualism. US ranks lowest out of industrialized countries. I guess handwork doesn't really exist for Americans when going abroad.
Andrew Fung Yip April 28, 2012 at 07:59 AM
I've been a Republican since high school. After several years of being an American-Chinese Republican, I'm done with it. Same with everything you said about how minorities get to see the real qualities of the GOP, I'm getting out. Judy Duvall is a part of the bigger problem in America. Scream the loudest, scare the majority and ask questions later.
Andrew Fung Yip April 28, 2012 at 08:01 AM
Business as usual? Looks like you either have watched Fox too much and zoned out of the insults and vulgarities of the Republicans OR you don't understand that this is a very important election.
Andrew Fung Yip April 28, 2012 at 08:04 AM
I'm not going to question people who decide who and what to give their votes to on the whim of an online blog post/article. The only thing that can keep the GOP's head above water is to focus on hot button social issues. If they're not hot enough, they'll make it so to piss off as many people as they can.
Andrew Fung Yip April 28, 2012 at 08:05 AM
Lol, he was there...besides, he refused to apologize along with Gary Miller(?)
Andrew Fung Yip April 28, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Yea, okay Mr. King. I can't show you my "immigration papers" but I'm a student at Azusa Pacific University, resident of Hacienda Heights. But it's okay, you can speak of all the people like me but who is to say you're not a fake.
Molly Simmons May 07, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Jay Chen is a compulsive liar. While he was running for his current position as HLPUSD School Board President, he repeatedly stated to constituents and his opponents that he would not stand for election for Congress. This man cannot be trusted. I can't trust him as far as I can throw him. He also shows no understanding of the current problems faced by our country and offers no REAL solutions. He's just as bad as any other career politician! He will end up being a lap dog to the entire Democratic machine. I will NOT be voting for him on election day.

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