When UNITE-HERE Local 11 has a political interest in an Anaheim City Council council agenda item, it’s a safe bet Shakeel Syed, the executive director of its subsidiary OCCORD, will be there to speak. Last week, for example, he and other UNITE-HERE Local 11 minions joined co-president Ada Briceno speaking against Councilwoman Kris Murray’s proposal to revise the $18 minimum wage initiative ballot question.
Rather than argue the merits of her proposal to include vital and undisputed facts in the ballot question, Syed opted to maliciously vilify Murray personally, assailing her as “heartless.” Working himself up into lather of moral outrage, Syed thundered, “And by God it is time for the vanity and politics of Councilmember Murray and her patrons to be exposed! And by God, I pledge you that we will fight, and fight, until conscience and morality triumphs over the vanity and politics of Councilmember Murray.”
So who is the impresario of virtue signaling? Prior to taking the reins of OCCORD – a political advocacy non-profit funded by unions and progressive non-profits to the tune of $1.4 million a year – Syed was executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California. He is a man of the Left: he has served as chairman of Clergy and Laity United (CLUE), a union-funded, left-wing clergy organization that advocates for progressive political priorities.
Syed’s politics are definitely of the radical variety, as his Twitter feed makes abundantly clear. For example, last month he Tweeted his belief that America is racist:
The primary authors of the bill are three African-American U.S. Senators: Tim Scott, Corey Booker and Kamala Harris. But if Syed had actually read the article he re-tweeted, he’d have learned the bill had sixteen (and now 26) non-African American co-sponsors and the support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
It speaks volumes about Syed’s politics that he reads the headline “3 Black U.S. Senators Introduce Bill to Make Lynching a Federal Hate Crime” and his immediate conclusion is we live in a racist country. No reasonable person with a balanced view of the world would arrive at that conclusion. Syed’s nutty statement results from seeing everything through the lens of identity politics. His tweet speaks volumes about what a dark view he takes of this country.
Earlier this year, Syed re-tweeted about a lawsuit claiming Arizona State University interfered with the free speech rights of a Muslim academic:
A few days later after posting this, Syed himself was disrupting a press conference by opponents of the $18 minimum wage initiative – trying to block them from being heard. The hypocrisy is glaring.
Syed also seems to have missed the #MeToo memo. Earlier this year, he published this tweet calling for the release of Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan.
But Syed wants him freed.
It goes on: denunciations of “apartheid” Israel, calls for an end to deportations, comparing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to ISIS, etc.
Yet, Syed thinks Kris Murray is a villain for trying to ensure Anaheim voters have the opportunity to cast a more informed ballot. Next time Syed decides to yammer on about “conscience and morality” and attack anyone else’s character, he might want to do a reality check on himself.