Wednesday | Rabiuth Thani 27, 1438 AH | January 25, 2017
Silence is not neither an option nor a solution.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Muhammad Ali were not known for silence. They were all religious people motivated by the Prophetic ideals of justice, peace, equality and fairness. They all took America forward.
It is important that each Masjid and local Muslim Council in the United States issue a press advisory to their local media that Muslim spokespersons are available for interview. You can prepare yourself using the following talking points. If you do not have a spokesperson, please select one. We prefer a sister to speak up for our community.
If you need media training, sign up here, we can offer a quick webinar-based training. Otherwise, you can join us on February 15th in Michigan, where Sound Vision is organizing a media training workshop.
It is important to invite your interfaith coalition partners and allies to speak up as well.
Each of you in your individual capacity should use social media to speak up.
There are media reports that a major announcement will be made today regarding the Mexican wall, as well as ban on Muslims immigrating to the US from certain countries. In case such orders come into effect, here are some useful talking points and thinking points.
- Once the American factories in Mexico are shut down and moved to the US, Mexicans will be seeking to enter the US to provide cheap labor. Erecting a wall and denying Latinos entry to the US would lead to an economic and a humanitarian crisis.
- America must always side with freedom, liberty, and democracy. This is what these refugees were looking for in their countries, and are now seeking in other countries.
- We must not take America back to the time when Anne Frank was denied a U.S. visa. The Nazis ultimately murdered her.
- Turning refugees away reminds us of the MS St. Louis, a German ocean liner which brought over 900 Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust to America in 1939. They were denied entry. Upon returning to Europe, Nazis killed at least a quarter of them.
- All refugees and immigrants entering the U.S. must be equally scrutinized by law enforcement, instead of being selected for vetting based on a religious test.
- While we are pleased that persecuted minorities are welcome, discriminating against Muslims who are equal victims of the cycle of war and terrorism is unAmerican.
- The war in Syria began after Syrians were peacefully demonstrating for basic freedoms, fair elections, and democracy. In response, Syrian regime started a campaign of arrests, bombings, and torture, unleashing the largest refugee crisis in the world today.
- See this essay to understand the struggle for democracy in the Muslim world.
A great new American movement is developing. Let us plan what action we can take month by month. Here are a few ideas and suggestions:
January 21st saw Muslim women marching left, right, and center in the great Women's March on Washington.
There may be other causes coming up later. But these are solid action items emerging, each providing an opportunity to learn, to work in solidarity with others, and to strengthen the movement that has already began. Intersectionality and diversity defines this new movement.
- January: It was defined by women's rights, which highlighted the diversity and outspokenness of the movement
- February is Black History Month: Participate and bring forth major focus to anti-racism and reform of criminal justice system. There is a great deal of learning from the civil rights struggle.
- March: Say no to the Muslim registry. Say no to secret evidence. Say no to indefinite detention without a trial. A whole plan is being developed. Please sign up here if you would like to be a part of it.
- April: Climate change marches and Earth Day, as we continue to work in solidarity with the native Americans of Standing Rock.
- May will be Latino and labor rights month, as we stand with the working families for their rights and dignity.
Each month the movement to liberate America from fear, hate, and anger will be growing.
The plan is to fill up the month of March to bring focus on the challenges Muslims face.
But you don't have to wait for March. Be a part of each coalition, support their actions, while requesting the addition of a line against the Muslim registry. Remember that the registry threat is not just against Muslims entering the U.S., but it is also against American Muslims born and/or raised here.
We will be releasing a list of suggested action items pretty soon for each of these months. Sign up your community leaders, Imams, spokespersons here so that they receive exclusive information and resources.
Sign up your community leaders.
Let us keep seeking help from Sabr and Salat (patience and prayer), as Allah advises us in the Quran (2:153).
God controls the world. We don't. But our actions for His Sake, based on the methods He approves of, will be rewarded in this world and in the world to come. We must put our trust in Allah, but we must act as well. Both are necessary for us to build closeness to Him and to succeed.
Abdul Malik Mujahid
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