The mayor of Lancaster has urged its residents to approve Christian-specific prayers at public meetings in an effort to "grow" the sixth-largest city in Los Angeles County into a "Christian community."
Lancaster residents were urged by Mayor R. Rex Parris in a state-of-the-city speech to support a city ballot measure that would authorize daily prayers at city council meetings.
"We are growing a Christian community, and don't let anybody shy away from that," he said in his speech, according to the Antelope Valley Press.
In a later interview with the Daily News, Parris expressed surprise that some religious leaders object to prayers to Jesus at city meetings, and blamed opposition on activists who "want a fight," the newspaper reported. "They want their 15 minutes of fame."
"This is not what America is all about," Al-Khatob said. "America is for everybody."
One week ago, Lancaster city council member Sherry Marquez wrote on her Facebook page that the beheading murder of an Islamic woman by her husband in New York shows that vicious murders are what Muslims embrace.
"This is what the Muslim religion is all about -- the beheadings, honor killings are just the beginning of what is about to come to the USA," she reportedly wrote on the Web Jan. 23. "We are told this is a small minority of Muslim's (sic) in America, but it is truly what they are all about."
Activists said equating that murder with the tenets of Islam is as wrong as saying all Christians are murderers because an extremist was convicted of murdering an abortion doctor.
The Lancaster mayor is running for re-election and supports the prayer ordinance, the newspaper reported. The city council has already placed a large "In God We Trust" motto across the wall in the city council chambers.