Lots of exciting updates:
- We delivered the 100K + petition to the Gates Foundation Headquarters.
- Covered by NPR, Washington Post and 40+ other outlets.
- State University of New York pulled Modi’s invitation to inaugurate the Gandhi Garden.
- Senate Passed the Uighur Bill. Rohingya Bill is up next.
- Please join the rally for love and justice, for Kashmir and Muslims in India against the rally for hate in Houston, celebrating PM Modi, the Butcher of Gujarat. Prominent Muslims scholars such as Shaykh Yasir and Imam Omar Sulieman will be attending.
- Another major rally will take place in New York at the United Nations. Our teams are on the Executive Committee of the rallies and ready to welcome you to Houston and New York.
Here is an update on our efforts on key human rights campaigns by Justice For All.
Save Uighur Campaign: Senate Passed the Bill
The incredible advocacy coming from every corner of the country and from many diverse voices is tangibly making a difference. Advocates have worked hard to gain the full support of the Senate and we won. Every single member voted yes – Democrats and Republicans – and now it is time to thank them. The unanimous support gives the bill a helpful boost for its next hurdle in the House for Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act H.R. 649. Thank you for your tremendous advocacy – and keep it coming. We are closer than we have ever been in passing this important bill. With it, we pray for an end to arbitrary detention, torture, and harassment of Uyghur and other minority communities inside and outside China.
Background: Before we started working on the Senate bill there were only a handful of Senators in support. Thanks to American Muslims supporting the Save Uighur Campaign it increased to 44 Senators co-sponsoring it:
- We built the SaveUighur.org/Congress tool for people to call their Senators and Congresspersons directly with talking points in front of them
- We kept track of everyone co-sponsoring the bills
- We organized a lobbying day and visited 80 plus Congressional offices
- Imam Malik Mujahid personally met the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee after 3 months of efforts
- Imam Malik Mujahid met with Senator Young of Indiana, we persuaded him to speak with Senator Mitch McConnell around the "Hong Kong angle" to urge him to allow a vote on the floor of the Senate. McConnell then tweeted about it within a week and allowed the vote to go through.
- We provided "leave behind memos" for Senators for others in the community to use
- We distributed in print 250,000 pieces of action alerts etc and mailed them to over 3,000 masjids across the country
- We placed 50 banners in the key areas for people to call congress
- We worked with Jewish and other interfaith partners to amplify the message of the largest concentration camps since Nazi Germany
Kashmiri Muslims: 49th Day
Today is the 49th day since 800,000-strong Indian military locked Kashmiris in their homes without access to landlines, mobiles, internet, media and almost no access to food and medicine. Boys, as young as 11, are being picked up and tortured while women are being threatened.
ACTION: Follow and ACT on the DAILY Actions on Free Kashmir Action
Background: After the recent invasion of Kashmir, we launched a new campaign geared at education and advocacy of the American people with regards the state of Muslims in India and occupied Kashmir.
- We have drafted the "Kashmir Human Rights Act," and are now looking for a Congressperson to sponsor it
- We have worked with the office of Senator Cardin of Maryland who has been a strong ally on Rohingya issues. Senator Cardin, along with three other Senators has publicly written to President Trump to put pressure on India to lift the bans immediately
- Had meetings on Congress to update foreign policy staff about the issue
- You can call your Congressperson directly from FreeKashmir.org/Congress to urge them to support Kashmir
- We have produced two 5 minute-documentaries on this issue. Watch on the Justice For All Facebook page.
- To create greater awareness, we distributed 75,000 copies of a 4-page brochure. We are printing 150,000 copies of another 6-page brochure to be mailed to 3,000 masjids
- We built FreeKashmir.org website with daily updated actions on Kashmir. It is now serving as the new hub for Kashmir activism
- We have organized 8 leadership briefings and a thinking retreat on the issue and several protests
- Regular weekly webinars on Free Kashmir Action
Gates Foundation Awarding Modi
- As a result of our efforts, three Nobel Peace Prize Laureates have written to Bill and Melinda Gates to rescind their award to Prime Minister Modi
- Our team in Seattle delivered 2,200 pages of our petition signed by 100,438 people at the time of this writing to the Gates Foundation. This was covered by major newspapers and aired on NPR station throughout the country. You can still sign in at StopGenocide.org
- An interfaith letter which includes Hindus for Human Rights has been delivered to the Gates Foundation
SUNY’s Inauguration of the Gandhi Garden and Modi
- SUNY distances itself from Modi after interfaith pressure from our petition and calls. India Today reported that Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the Gandhi Garden but SUNY-LI officials have informed us that he is not invited.
Media Engagement Training
- To keep media engaged on the Kashmir issue we have trained 400+ volunteers on the better use of Twitter to connect with influencers on this issue
Burma Task Force: House About to Vote
- Alhamdulillah, our efforts are moving forward at a good pace. Our calls for more pressure on Burma is a part of the National Defense Authorization Act
- In 8-10 days the US House of Representatives is slated to vote on the Burma Act for which we organized two lobbying days in Washington DC in just this year. We held an advocacy day in 2018, as well as regular visits to the State department
- Unfortunately, Bangladesh has put more restrictions on Rohingya refugees and the 39 NGOs serving them.
- We are putting pressure through the State Department on the Bangladeshi government to ease those restrictions
As you can see, bringing about policy change and human rights work requires concerted effort that is both strategic and persistent. Our advocacy efforts are slowly shifting the discourse in the direction of peace and justice, but we cannot afford to let up. Lobbying in Washington, DC, building coalitions and engaging the media requires resources. Alhamdulillah, we have been able to accomplish some major achievements despite our modest budget.
We urge you to include us your duas, and to support the effort financially in order to sustain and grow much-needed advocacy on behalf of Muslims around the world. As we have said before, this has implications for our struggle against Islamophobia here in the US as well.
Save The Date in Your Area for The Justice Tour In Support of Our Work
San Diego: Sat. Sept. 21 at 10 AM: Free brunch but RSVP is required.
Anaheim: Sept. 22, 2019 at 11 AM: Free lunch RSVP is required.
Birmingham, Alabama 10/13
Springfield, Virginia, 10/18
Jackson, Missouri 10/19
Boston. Massachusetts 10/26
Chicago, Illinois 11/2
Houston, Texas 11/16