The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations gave an interfaith award to a prominent Southern California Muslim leader despite strong objections from Jewish organizations who criticized him for comments made about Israel.
Dr. Maher Hathout received the John Allen Buggs Award on Thursday for his contributions to relations between religions.
Hathout, 70, is a retired cardiologist who is chairman the Islamic Center of Southern California.
The commission called him "an inspired and tireless voice for greater interfaith understanding and alliances."
The decision drew bitter criticism from some Jewish leaders, who pointed to comments the Egyptian-born Hathout made at a rally in Washington, D.C., in 2000.