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I Stand With Ilhan

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I Stand With Ilhan

This week marked International Women’s Day. Among other things, the day provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the amazing contributions women make to our lives, families and societies. With their grace, dignity, forbearance, sacrifice and courage, women enrich our lives in countless ways.

Speaking of courage, what better day to mention the immense courage being displayed by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. By being a voice for the voiceless, long-suffering masses of Palestine, she has exposed herself to death threats, demonization, character assassination and other hazards that usually befall those who raise their voices to call for fairness and balance in how the Israeli/Palestinian issue is represented and adjudicated in this country.

How many more bombardments of Gaza; how many more targeted assassinations; how many more intentionally murdered and maimed unarmed protesters; how many more babies euphemistically “put on a diet” or systematically starved; how many more checkpoints; how many more political prisoners; how much more humiliation, great and small, before someone in the halls of power in this country raised their voice to say enough is enough?

Ilhan Omar had the courage to raise her voice, despite the risks, and for that I salute her. While I would not endorse everything she advocates, I will say during this time when she needs the support of our community, that I stand with Ilhan. May God bless and protect her.

Imam Zaid Shakir

Original Facebook post here. 



I’m not feeling the, “I know she said some hurtful stuff but…” messages surrounding Ilhan Omar from some of those claiming to support her. She never accused American Jews of double loyalty or used any anti-semitic words. She spoke to AIPAC’s crazy influence in DC and how politicians are expected to be uncritical of our relationship with Israel even as it continues to expand its occupation and pass more apartheid laws. Let’s stop pretending like there is any legitimacy to the attacks on her that are not only racist, dangerous, and Islamophobic, but meant to send a message to other young elected officials that they better not step out of line or else… which is actually proving her point.

Imam Omar Suleiman

Original Facebook post here.



Anyone informed about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will tell you that nothing Ihan Omar said about the issue, in the last week or before that, was inaccurate, controversial, racist or exaggerated. These criticisms of Israel are relatively tame by any standards.Had anyone else made these comments, especially at some small event at a bookstore in Washington, those words wouldn’t have left that room.

But Ihan Omar isn’t just anyone. For the first time, there are members of US congress, who are opening up for debate the unquestionable support Israel gets from the US. There are lawmakers, with powers to introduce bills on the House floor, who are not afraid to call for boycotts and sanctions against Israel. Up until now, the most any US politician ever did was criticize Israel – ‘as a friend’. No one would ever dare to question if that friendship was a healthy one or if it was in US interests.

Ihan Omar, along with Rashida Tlaib, are going where no one in US politics has gone before. This has gotten Israel and its supporters extremely worried and threatened.The uproar has nothing to do with what they say. It has everything to do with what they represent and the potential consequences of them questioning a political alliance that everyone assumed is unshakable. These tactics of putting them under intense pressure and scrutiny are nothing more but an attempt to shut them out. The only appropriate response is to keep speaking, keep protesting and keep fighting for Palestinian rights.

Waleed Ahmed



Anti-Semitism is a hateful and dangerous ideology which must be vigorously opposed in the United States and around the world. We must not, however, equate anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel. Rather, we must develop an even-handed Middle East policy which brings Israelis and Palestinians together for a lasting peace.

What I fear is going on in the House now is an effort to target Congresswoman Omar as a way of stifling that debate. That’s wrong.

Congressman Bernie Sanders

Source here


This is why I am a lower case democrat. I said this before and I will say it again – you are either consistent standing up against all forms of racism including islamophobia or you are just a hypocrite.

Nancy & Chuck puffed their chest against a Black Muslim Congresswoman to put her in her place but when the same Congresswoman is being called a terrorist and receiving public and private death threats – silence.

We stand with Congresswoman Ilhan Omar ALWAYS. The silence from Democratic leadership is DEAFENING. Islamophobia is also unacceptable and until that’s the case, the Democrats cannot claim higher moral ground.

Linda Sarsour

Original Facebook post here.


To regard any criticism of Israel as a criticism of Judaism, and therefore racism – is a superficial attempt to shut down the conversation on the human rights violation that is the occupation of Palestine.

Ilhan Omar isn’t criticizing Judaism, she’s criticizing a political ideology that allows one people to occupy, imprison, and oppress another on the basis on their religion. Condemning that oppression is not racism, it is human decency.

Zeba Khan

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#Current Affairs

Coronavirus And The Impetus To Close The Chinese-Run Concentration Camps

My Appeal to the International Community to Save the Lives of 3+ Million Uyghurs in China’s Concentration Camps

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According to Dr. Adrian Zenz, an independent researcher based in Germany who has testified on several occasions on Capitol Hill, the concentration camps in East Turkestan number up to 1,400 (8 Nov 2019, [1]). It has been estimated that the number of the Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Turkic minorities being held in those concentration camps can add up to more than 3 million.

On February 5th, 2020, when the official Chinese government’s media were reporting that coronavirus death toll on mainland China was 600 – 700 [2], Tencent briefly listed 154,023 infections and 24,589 deaths from Wuhan coronavirus [3]. That is, the actual death toll is about 40 times higher than what the Chinese government reported. East Turkestan (known as Xinjiang) is far from the epicenter of the outbreak and just 55 cases have been reported in the region so far [4]. We can easily believe that the actual number of the people who fell victim to coronavirus in East Turkestan is tens of times more than the above figure.

Among those who died in Wuhan, 61% died in their homes. Currently, almost all the Uyghur population in East Turkestan is locked up in their homes. 

The situation of the 3+ million Uyghur concentration camp detainees is worse by several degrees. Keeping 3+ million Uyghur alive detainees is a complex, expensive and extremely difficult project. Are the 3+ million detainees still alive? Are they still being fed? How and from where? 

There is a real reason to fear a rapid spread of coronavirus in the controversial Chinese camps. “The virus spreads from person to person through droplets disseminated by sneezing or coughing, and confining large groups of people together, possibly without adequate access to germ-killing soap and water, will increase the likelihood of an outbreak.” [4] 

I have started to panic. Most Uyghurs in the United States have families there, and they are dealing with the camps and the virus, and we do not know if they have enough to eat, have masks and enough heat to survive.

“If the international community fails to pressure China to take adequate actions to prevent outbreaks in the region, the nature of its mass network of concentration and forced labor camps will add an entirely new dimension to China’s ongoing genocide against the Uyghurs.” [5]

“Uyghurs in the diaspora fear if the virus isn’t already in the camps, when it does reach them, the consequences will be catastrophic, leading to mass outbreaks and high mortalities very quickly given reports of overcrowding, starvation, forced labor, sexual abuse and torture in the camps. As China has largely ignored the issue of the virus spreading in the region and its crimes against humanity in the region are ongoing, it’s unlikely the Chinese government will allocate resources to address the issue.” [5]

I call for:

  1. UN to send a delegation to the region to find out if the concentration camp detainees are being provided with enough food and heat to survive.
  2. WHO to send a delegation to the region to evaluate the spread of the virus, assess the risks in the camps and take all measures necessary to prevent mass outbreaks and deaths. 
  3. WHO, the UN, international human rights groups, national governments and the rest of the international community to pressure China to close the camps and release the millions detained immediately as part of the global response to the coronavirus outbreak.
  4. Global health and humanitarian organizations to send medical supplies and teams to screen, diagnose and treat affected individuals in the Uyghur region including those in China’s concentration camps. (Items 2 – 4 are almost identical to those in [5])

[1] https://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/detainees-11232019223242.html

[2]https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/cloneofcloneofchina-coronavirus-outbreak-latest–200207231158175.html

[3]https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3871594?fbclid=IwAR1k3x27tW2jNmmQzbaNOWtciIwlP3z70GWvj2XcRhestwB6T6l16pSqL18

[4] https://www.france24.com/en/20200212-exiled-uighurs-fear-spread-of-coronavirus-in-china-camps

[5]https://www.change.org/p/demand-china-release-3-million-uyghurs-before-coronavirus-outbreaks-in-concentration-camps?utm_content=cl_sharecopy_20183581_en-CA%3Av2&recruiter=53261213&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition

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Civil Rights

Podcast: Lessons from the Life of Malcolm X | Abdul-Malik Ryan

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One of the things that happens with historical figures who continue to remain well-known and influential years after they can continue to speak for themselves is that others seek to speak for them.  Attempts are made to co-opt their legacy, either in sincere efforts for good or in selfish efforts for ideological or even commercial gain.  This is especially true of Malcolm X, who is not only a historical and political icon but in many ways a “celebrity” remembered by many primarily for his style and attitude.

The only real and meaningful tribute we can pay to Malcolm X is to follow his example. Click To Tweet

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Audio

Podcast: We Are All Slaves of Allah | Hakeemah Cummings

MuslimMatters
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Once, while in class at college, an Arab girl I was sitting next to said quite loudly to another, “Hey, give this paper to the ‘abdah” referring to a black girl in the class. I wondered if she was even aware of what she was saying in English. Did she think that ‘abdah translates to “black girl” and never thought of its true meaning? Did she think that I didn’t understand?

 

Read by Zeba Khan, originally posted here on Muslimmatters.org.

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