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15 things you can do to challenge anti-Muslim violence

News & Commentary  |  By Debbie Southorn, Mar 22, 2017
Photo: AFSC

There are many ways to confront Islamophobia in your community, from talking with your friends to supporting organizations that welcome refugees to advocating for policies to stop violence against Muslims. Here are some suggestions and resources:

 

1. Donate to a Muslim-led organization that supports individuals and communities impacted by Islamophobia.

There are many organizations all across the country that have been fighting Islamophobia for years, and one of those groups on the front-lines in the U.S. is called DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving). Other organizations include the Council on American-Islamic Relations (look for the chapter in your city), Muslim Justice League, and more.

 

2. #SanctuaryEverywhere—Help pass and support expanded sanctuary efforts in your campus, in your city, with your church or faith community.

Undocumented immigrants facing violence from the deportation machine include undocumented Muslims. Sanctuary as a practice, and as a movement, must evolve.

The Expand Sanctuary project of Mijente, BYP100 and other organizations is trying to build sanctuary efforts that protect the rights of all residents, especially those targeted with criminalization—including the Black, Muslim, and transgender and gender-nonconforming communities, as well as immigrants.

Look at AFSC's Sanctuary Everywhere page for resources.

 

3. Volunteer for and/or donate resources to organizations that work with refugee communities in your city.

An event welcoming Syrian refugees at Friends Center in Philadelphia. Photo: AFSC/Tony Heriza

Not sure who to donate to? Check out this list on how to support Syrian refugees, or this one more generally focused on donating to organizations that help immigrants and refugees. Also consider supporting this project where Iraqis living in the diaspora are supporting refugees directly in Greece.

 

4. Challenge and resist any U.S. military escalations in the Middle East/North Africa. If you watch mainstream media news, also seek alternative media sources.

Call into radio shows when you hear anti-Muslim commentators, people talking flippantly about terrorism, or suggesting the U.S. should engage in more warfare abroad.

 

5. Read and share news and commentary from Muslim writers and organizers.

Learn the stories of young Muslims in the United States. Check out and follow blogs like these:

 

6. Donate to legal aid organizations and services that defend and support Muslim communities and activists in the U.S. facing entrapment and repression as a result of Islamophobia and the "war on terror."

 

7. Support Palestinian community leader Rasmea Odeh in her fight against a case of political repression.

Rasmea's case is part of a larger campaign against Palestinian leaders, institutions, and community members, as well as an example of government repression waged against oppressed nationalities, anti-war, social justice, and international solidarity activists. Find out about updates in her case and how to support her.

 

8. Research police militarization in your community.

What military grade equipment and training is your local police department receiving? How is war on terror rhetoric and Islamophobia leading to more profiling and violence against communities of color? What can you do about it? 

 

9. Form a study group with several friends or colleagues and consider reading one or more of the following books:

 

10. Learn about the specific targeting and struggles of Black Muslim communities in the U.S.

Countering Islamophobia town hall meeting sponsored by CAIR, AFSC, and other organizations. Photo: AFSC/Tony Heriza

Did you know that nearly one-third of Muslims in the U.S. are Black? This op-ed gives some much needed insights on how Black Muslim communities (there are many, and they are different) often get overlooked in conversations on Islamophobia in the U.S.

Additionally, be sure to check out the Movement for Black Lives policy platform, as many of their recommendations impact Muslim communities.

 

11. Subscribe to the newsletters of frontline organizations challenging war on terror rhetoric and policies, to learn more about how various targeted communities are building power and resisting, and what support they need.

 

12. Write op-eds to challenge anti-Muslim policies or actions being proposed in your area.

Remember to be mindful to not speak over or for Muslim voices. If there have already been Muslims speaking out, amplify their voices in your op-ed. The Center for New Community regularly hosts fantastic trainings and webinars on how to do just this.

 

13. Make sure you can name all seven countries the U.S. is currently at war with.

How many can you name right now? When did the U.S. begin bombing each country? Which president authorized it?

This video could be a good starting place, but don't stop there. What could solidarity with communities experiencing U.S. warfare look like?

 

14. Oppose drone warfare and weapons manufacturing.

If your town or city is passing an anti-drone ordinance, consider supporting it. If a weapons manufacturer wants to set up shop in town, refuse.

There are other ways to make an income that don't rely on the military industrial complex and continued violence against predominantly Muslim countries.

 

15. Get trained in bystander intervention techniques, cop-watching, and raid defense strategies.

Organizations leading said trainings include the People's Response Team and Organized Communities Against Deportations. Look up similar organizations where you are. 

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