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Hatem Bazian Announces Release of 2022 Islamophobia Studies Journal

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 Hatem Bazian Announces Release of 2022 Islamophobia Studies Journal

Dr. Hatem Bazian of University of California Berkeley founded the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at the Center for Race and Gender at UC Berkeley. He also serves as an Editorial Board Member for the Islamophobia Studies Journal (ISJ). The ISJ is a bi-annual publication that focuses on the critical analysis of Islamophobia and its multiple manifestations in our contemporary moment. ISJ is an interdisciplinary and multi-lingual academic journal that encourages submissions that theorize the historical, political, economic, and cultural phenomenon of Islamophobia in relation to the construction, representation, and articulation of “otherness.” The ISJ is an open scholarly exchange, exploring new approaches, methodologies, and contemporary issues. 

According to their publication, “The ISJ encourages submissions that closely interrogate the ideological, discursive, and epistemological frameworks frameworks employed in the process of “Otherness” – the complex social, political, economic, gender, sexual, and religious forces that are intimately linked in the historical production of the modern world from the dominance of the colonial/imperial north to the post-colonial south. At the heart of ISJ is an intellectual and collaborative project between scholars, researchers, and community agencies to recast the production of knowledge about Islamophobia away from a dehumanizing and subordinating framework to an emancipatory and liberatory one for all peoples in this far-reaching and unfolding domestic and global process.”

The Release of Volume Seven of the Islamophobia Studies Journal in Fall 2022

Volume 7 of the Islamophobia Studies Journal was released in Fall 2022. It feature an editorial introduction by Jasmin Zine and a number of research articles, including Radical Secularism as Settler Colonial Sovereignty in Quebec by Leila Benhadjoudja, White Supremacist Mythologies in Canadian Educational Curricula: How Islamophobia  Manifests and is Perpetrated in Canadian Schools by Naved Bakali, and Memorializing Aqsa Parvez: Public Feelings and Secular Multiculturalism by Eve Haque.

One journal article, titled Resisting Islamophobia through Digital Artifacts of Mourning by Yasmin Jiwani covers the ways in which collective mourning and grieving utilize art as a form of communication. The paper examines a particular genre of artistic works which symbolically contest Islamophobia through reinterpreting and humanizing the victims of Islamophobia. Professor Yasmin Jiwani is a Professor in communication Studies at Concordia. Her research interests focus on the intersecting influences of race and gender within the context of media representations of radicalized groups and violence against marginalized women. She states, “I interrogate the discursive way in which racism-sexism is conceptualized and ideologically utilized in popular discourse. My current research focuses on tracing race, gender, and belonging in digital memorials hosted on different virtual graveyards.” 

Dr. Hatem Bazian shared the open source link to the journal publication on his Twitter to his 21,000 Twitter followers encouraging them to access the research articles published in the Fall 2022 edition. Hatem Bazian himself had recently published a research article titled A Discourse on the Colonized Muslim Subject. The academics featured in these publications show a level of depth and scale in their research, all covering topics related to Islamophobia. Islamophobia is defined as “dislike or prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force.” Also defined as anti-Muslim hate, Islamophobia is pervasive as a structural issue across the world. In the US, many have dedicated academic, advocacy, and other resources to identify and fight against Islamophobic policies. 

Research Findings by Academics Featured in the ISJ

One of the articles titled Racial Secularism as Settler Colonial Sovereignty in Quebec by Leila Benhadjaoudja depicts how explicitly Quebec’s Islamophobic policies have prevented the practice of Islam by its followers there. The writer describes herself as “an anti-racist Muslim feminist scholar who immigrated to Quebec from Algeria more than two decades ago. Like many people from societies that have been colonized by the French empire, I have a sense of deja vu when I witness a colonial state unveiling Muslim women in the name of civic values. It is therefore essential to analyze the role of secularism in Quebec, a province that insists on its French heritage, to see how it serves to reinforce the colonial sovereignty of the Quebec state.

Another article titled Canadian Muslim Youth and the Complex Dynamics of State-Driven “Radicalization Narratives” by authors Baljit Nagra and Paula Maurutto. This research article begins with a review of the critical race literature to illustrate how the “radicalization” model emerged to justify the “War on Terror.” The authors then divide their research findings into two sections; the first exploring how mainstream perceptions and “radicalization” narratives impact Muslim youth and their communities. Second, they examine Muslim communities’ complex response to “radicalization” narratives.

Common Threads

All articles tackle the issue of Islamophobia with a depth of expertise, knowledge, and research to identify and address their issues. The academic work behind addressing islamophobia sets the foundation for advocacy, social, and other work to educate the American public on the effects of this biased and racist ideology, and equip our communities to protect ourselves from its pervasive and damaging impact.

What Islam Says About Domestic Violence

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). In the United States, DVAM was launched in October of 1987 as a way to connect and unite individuals and organizations working on domestic violence issues while raising awareness for those issues. Domestic violence is prevalent in every community around the world. Across races, religions, and nationalities, one in three women will be abused in their lifetime by an intimate partner. Different societies respond differently to these kinds of social ills, and Islam has a very concise approach as to how we should approach this issue. 

What does Islam say about domestic violence? 

According to a research article published by Yaqeen Institute titled Islam and Violence Against Women: A Critical Look at Domestic Violence and Honor Killings in the Muslim Community, Tessneem AlKeik addresses the question of what role religion plays in allowing or prohibiting domestic violence. She writes, “Well, for one, abusers take advantage of misinterpretations of religious texts and exploit scripture as a justification for harming others both physically and mentally. Religious communities and leaders, on the other hand, can provide fundamental resources to raise awareness of the harms and impermissibility of domestic violence and provide support for victims.” 

The article begins with outlining the framework by which Muslims study this issue, using the two main sources of Islamic law. Those are the Holy Quran, and the example set by Prophet Muhammad, the Messenger of God. Muslims use these two holy sources of knowledge, processed, engaged with, and analyzed by scholars, to derive morality and principles by which they govern their life. This knowledge applies to all aspects of life, including domestic violence.  

What does the Quran say about the treatment of one’s wives?

The research articles delves into the Quran’s revelations that directly address the marital relationship and its dynamics. 

“And among His Signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He put love and mercy between your hearts. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect” [Quran 30:21]. God also commands men in another verse to “live with your wives in kindness and equity” [4:19], while other verses threaten them with God’s admonishment if they intend harm or actually transgress against their wives [2:231]. Furthermore, there are verses that recognize the complementary nature of marriage by describing spouses as garments for one another [2:187] and reminding believers that men and women are protectors of one another [9:71]. These verses set the standard and paradigm of love, compassion, and mutuality for spousal relationships.”

What did the Prophet ﷺ model? 

The Prophet ﷺ is an example to all Muslims, the best man and best of creation who ever walked the Earth. From him we learn how to model the commandments in the Quran. The Prophet’s wife narrated that, “the Messenger of God, peace and blessings upon him, did not strike a servant or a woman, and he never struck anything with his hand.” 

The Prophet Muhammad stated, “An honorable man treats women with honor and respect, and only a despicable person treats women poorly.”10 Other hadith, or narrations, relate the story of a companion of the Prophet who asked the Messenger, “What do you say [advise] about our wives?” to which the Prophet replied, “Share with them the same food you have for yourself, and clothe them by which you clothe yourself, and do not beat them, and do not revile them.”11 Moreover, the Prophet proclaimed, “Would one of you beat his wife like a slave and then sleep with her at the day’s end?!” thereby emphasizing the absurdity of someone harming his wife.12

How did the Prophet ﷺ Respond to a Survivor? 

There are many narrations similar to the one described above where the Prophet Muhammad responds with abhorrence toward domestic violence. The research article shares a powerful example with the wife of a man named al-Waleed ibn Uqbah, where she approached the Prophet to complain about her husband.

“She said, “O Messenger of God! Al-Waleed has beaten me!” The Prophet responded, “Say to him: the Prophet has protected me.” It was not long before she returned, saying, “He did not give me anything except more beatings!” The Prophet then tore a piece from his garment [as a symbol of proof for his protection] and said, “Say to him: Verily, the Messenger of God has given me protection.” It was not long before she returned once more and said, “He did not give me anything except more beatings!” The Prophet then raised his hands and he said: “O God, you must deal with al-Waleed for he has sinned against me twice.”13” 

“In another instance, the Prophet actively supported a victim of domestic abuse, Habeeba bint Sahl, the wife of Thabit bin Qays and the neighbor of the Prophet Muhammad, by helping her leave the abusive relationship. When Thabit struck Habeeba, she turned up at the door of the Prophet Muhammad. After telling him about her situation, she said, “Thabit and I can no longer be married.” The Prophet then summoned Thabit, settled their financial affairs, and ensured that Habeeba was able to safely return to her family.14  In addition to these courses of action, the Prophet Muhammad took proactive measures to guarantee women would not be married off to harmful men. It was narrated that the Prophet approached Fatima bint Qays to inquire whether she was ready to get married. She had received proposals from Muʿawiyah, Abu Jahm, and Usama ibn Zayd. In order to help her make the correct decision, the Prophet advised her, “As for Muʿawiyah, he is a poor man without money [and cannot sufficiently provide for you]. As for Abu Jahm, he is a man who habitually hits women. [Therefore] I advise you to marry Usama.”15” 

The Yaqeen journal article, in addition to another one refenced titled Women in Islamic Law: Examining Five Prevalent Myths, provide great answers to the question, what does Islam say about domestic violence?

This month, community members around the country take a moment to remember, respect, and deliberate over the social ill that is domestic violence and how it plagues our communities. Islam’s approach and example in addressing domestic violence is one many activists, leaders, and active community members seek to implement in a difficult and painful world. 

Yaqeen Institute October Publication: “Islam and the LGBT Question: Reframing the Narrative”

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In the month of October 2022, Yaqeen Institute published an article titled “Islam and the LGBT Question: Reframing the Narrative.” This research article was classified under politics and practical theology and contemporary ideologies. The article is based on a video presentation by Dr. Carl Sharif El-Tobgui on Blogging Theology with Paul Williams, which was held on July 17, 2022. 

The subject of LGBT is something than many Islamic scholars of the modern era and throughout history have discussed within the realm of the Quran, Islam’s holy book, and Sunnah (the Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ teachings).  This research article deconstructs the modern academic and social approach to the topics of sexuality and gender. It calls for Muslims to “establish and advocate for the Islamic paradigm of gender and sexuality over and against modern and postmodern perversions, while also supporting those Muslims who acknowledge orthodox Islamic teachings, but who struggle with same-sex attracts and/or gender dysphoria, in their struggle to live lives of virtue in conformity with the will of Allah and the teachings of Islam.” 

Yaqeen Institute LGBT Webinar Discussion with Dr. Omar Suleiman and Others

Yaqeen Institute has a number of other resources on the LGBT subject. Earlier in June, Dr. Omar Suleiman, Sheikh Mustafa Umar, Sheikh Ubaydallah Evans, and Sister Sarah Sultan spoke on a Yaqeen webinar titled Islam and the LGBT question. They discussed a number of issues including how to address LGBT issues as Muslims while remaining faithful. The talk explored Islam’s ethical framework, and how community leaders and members could and should offer proper support needed to our community in an ever changing world. 

In a related article published on Yaqeen Institute by Dr. Omar Suleiman titled “Faithful Activism: A Sunnah Framework”,  Dr. Omar Suleiman speaks on the calling of a Muslim. He writes, “We are called to uplift society by conveying the message of God verbally through dawah (preaching) and letting our actions speak louder than our words through khidma (service). At the heart of both of these things is sincere concern for the people. When the Prophet ﷺ stood up to make his initial call, he referenced his credibility with the people as being one who always wished well for them: I have cared for you in this life, so I clearly care for you in the afterlife. No one can claim to care solely for the welfare of others in the hereafter while neglecting them in this life.”

Deconstructing the Western Narrative and the Islamic Approach on Gender and Sexuality

While there are other research papers published on Yaqeen Institute about LGBT, the October publication is unique in that it deconstructs the Western framework in approaching the issue, and comparatively, the Muslim framework for approaching the issue. In conclusion, it puts forward that “Western liberalism unknots three dimensions of the human experience once recognized as being bound together by nature and religious law: sex, reproduction, and marriage/morality. At the same time, it conflates three things that ought to be differentiated: desire, action, and identity. If our desires transgress divine law, they should not be acted upon, they should not become our identity. Up until the recent past, religious morality had furnished social meaning, norms, and structure and disciplined desires by determining which of them should be actualized and which should not. In today’s liberal extremism – which has overtaken, eliminated, or disfigured nearly all traditions – the only sacred deity is the subjective desire of the nafs.”

Professor Jasmin Zine, Author of ‘Under Siege – Islamophobia and the 9/11 Generation’ Interview by Dr. Hatem Bazian

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Professor Zine Explains Muslim Self-Censorship Among Muslims Part of the “9/11 Generation”

Professor Zine spoke on the sense of censorship that is created from Muslims who grew up as part of the “9/11 generation.” Being hyper-sensitive and hyper-aware of the stereotypes and tropes as youth growing up in America, surrounded by said stereotypes and tropes, affects one’s self-expression. She recalls one participant of her research telling her the harm and associations of being an active Muslim disincentivized them from being part of their university’s Muslim Student Association (MSA), as it was slandered as ‘suspect’ by Islamophobic bigots across America.

The book is based on in-depth interviews with more than 130 young people, youth workers, and community leaders. The ethnographic study unpacks the dynamics of Islamophobia as a system of oppression and examines its impact on Canadian Muslim youth. While there is much research on the financial, political, and social repercussions of the global War on Terror, this book is unique in that it is a deep dive into the impacts felt by young Muslims who were growing and developing during the rise and heightened rates of Islamophobia. 

Professor Hatem Bazian Discusses Concerns on UC Berkeley Campus 

Professor Hatem Bazian, who is a professor at U.C. Berkleley, stated that parents dropping their children off to school would even tell them not to get involved with groups like the MSA or Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) due to the hyper-surveillance and attacks students in these groups face from Islamophobic and Zionist bigots. Professor Zine agrees with this sentiment, saying parents diverted their children from being involved with groups seen as ‘suspect’ by the Islamophobic standard. Hatem Bazian is a co-founder of the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at UC Berkeley. Led by Dr. Hatem Bazian, the IRDP highlights research and projects that explore the maintenance and extension of existing power paradigms by bringing together academics, thinkers, practitioners, and researchers from around the globe who engage, question, and challenge the existing disparities in economic, political, social and cultural relations.

The IRDP’s web page deconstructs and defines Islamophobia, dating back to the history of the use of the term. The following is the suggested working definition: “Islamophobia is a contrived fear or prejudice fomented by the existing Eurocentric and Orientalist global power structure. It is directed at a perceived or real Muslim threat through the maintenance and extension of existing disparities in economic, political, social and cultural relations, while rationalizing the necessity to deploy violence as a tool to achieve “civilizational rehab” of the target communities (Muslim or otherwise). Islamophobia reintroduces and reaffirms a global racial structure through which resource distribution disparities are maintained and extended.”

The most recent publication from the IRDP is by Professor Jasmin Zine, titled “The Canadian Islamophobia Industry: Mapping Islamophobia’s Ecosystem in the Great White North.” 
These two professors, Dr. Hatem Bazian and Dr. Jasmin Zine, have done great work for years to the end of educating to end Islamophobia in America. The talk ended with discussions on Islamophobia as a global phenomenon and the different and creative ways that activists and those affected by it have approached the issue.

Dr. Hatem Bazian Converses with Naved Bakali and Farid Hafez

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On September 8, Dr. Hatem Bazian hosted a conversation on his Facebook page with Naved Bakali and Farid Hafez on the new edited book, The Rise of Global Islamophobia in the War on Terror: Coloniality, Race, and Islam. This book discusses how anti-Muslim racism, or Islamophobia, is influenced by local economies, power structures and histories. The War on Terror created a homogenized Muslim “other” framed as a perpetual enemy, and has been core to the global Islamophobic narrative. 

They discussed Islamophobia around the world, and Dr. Hatem Bazian made a point to discuss Islamophobia in formerly colonized states. “I was intrigued to see a piece on Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and then South Africa. Now, Brazil is interesting because in 835 the Bahira rebellion was led by Muslims. A number of Muslims were persecuted and four of them were executed as a result of the rebellion.” He then asked the panelists what the implications of Muslims in history have on current Islamophobia in politics and society, even in the global south. 

The Muslim Resistance Against Global Islamophobia

While there are many books already published the War on Terror from a diverse variety of authors, The Rise of Global Islamophobia in the War on Terror” is unique in that it highlights activism and resistance confronting Islamophobia. Muslims in the United States were systemically victimized, targeted, and attacked from political parties, social organizations, and Americans across the country. The ways in which the Muslim community was in some ways, created, and in other ways, stregthened, as a result of those adversities speaks to the sacrifices and confidence of Muslim Americans in advocating for their rights. 

Hatem Bazian Serves as Chair and Founder of CRG’s Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at UC Berkeley 

Dr. Hatem Bazian is the Chair and Founder of CRG’s Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project (IRDP). This is part of the Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies department of Comparative Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. This project focuses on a systemic and empirical approach to the study of Islamophobia and its impact on the American Muslim Community. The publications on the website date back to 2011, and annual journals have been published with in depth research that delve into different dimensions and aspects of Islamophobia. 

To follow more content and see ways to get involved in work Dr. Hatem Bazian is leading, you can find him on most social media platforms.

Professor Hatem Bazian Headlines AMP SoCal Conference

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Saturday, October 8th, Dr. Hatem Bazian headlined a half day conference and gala dinner in Southern California hosted by American Muslims for Palestine called Palestine: Action Towards Liberation. Alongside other pioneers for the Palestine movement in America, like Taher Herzallah and Osama Abuirshaid, he spoke on the progression of the Palestine movement in the U.S. and internationally. This event was co-facilitated by the Palestine Youth Movement. Dr. Hatem Bazian is a renowned leading Palestinian advocate on the West Coast, and spoke on the different actions and campaigns toward liberation at a local and national level. 

AMP Coming to Southern California

American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) stated regarding the event, “Our last major conference in Southern California was in the winter of 2013… A lot can change in 9 years. Palestine advocacy organizations with an office in the nation’s capital. With your support, AMP’s grassroots education and advocacy work now reach[es] nearly every major city in the US. More Palestinians and Muslims are outspoken and bringing Palestine to the halls of power than ever before. Expanding our work to Southern California is a crucial part of our strategy to bring more members of our community into Palestine advocacy work on the national level.” 

These events gather community members, families, youth, activists, and community leaders in reflecting on the growth of their collective work. They allow for collaboration, networking, growth, and connection among people with similar interests. When speakers reflect on the work, campaigns, and grassroots organizing initiatives they’ve led over the years and how they contributed to the Palestine advocacy movement as a whole, this inspires youth who are seeking a sense of direction to get started in this work. 

Dr. Hatem Bazian is a Co-Founder of American Muslims for Palestine

Dr. Hatem Bazian is also a co-founder of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). AMP is an organization that works to educate the American public about justice in Palestine from within the American policy context and under human rights and international and American law. This organization was founded in 2014 and has only grown exponentially in size, chapters, and impact over the years.

Hatem Bazian is a Co-Founder of The Biggest Student Advocacy Group for Palestine, Students for Justice in Palestine

Dr. Hatem Bazian is considered a pioneer for the Palestine movement in America. He is a co-founder of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), the main organization on college campuses across America that organize and mobilize students to advocate for Palestine. According to the National Students for Justice in Palestine page, the group’s purpose is defined as “Building on the legacy and impact of the student movement in occupied Turtle Island (U.S. and Canada), National Students for Justice in Palestine (National SJP) seeks to empower, unify, and support student organizers as they push forward demands for Palestinian liberation and self-determination on their campuses.

The student movement for the liberation of Palestine first began in the 1950s through the formation of the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS). From the U.S. to Palestine, GUPS chapters galvanized thousands of students toward a liberated Palestine. The 90s’ wave of corrupt politicians and faulty deals changed the liberation movement as we knew it and many institutions, including the student movement, collapsed.

In the absence of a Palestinian student movement, organizations such as SJP emerged across occupied Turturle Island (U.S. and Canada) as a way to educate, advocate, and mobilize in support for Palestinian liberation.

Nearly two decades after the formation of the first SJP, the movement for Palestine has taken colleges and universities across North America by storm. With over 200 campus Palestine solidarity organizations across the continent, students have been leaders in uplifting demands for freedom, justice, and equality for the Palestinian people.” 

Mariam El-Khatib Reflects on a Year of Palestine Book Club

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Palestine Book Club started as an idea – what if book club was not just about the book itself, but the whole Palestinian experience? An idea initiated by team member Annis Nusseibeh, Palestine Book Club has become one of the best and most successful AMP-MN chapter programs.

The Palestine Book Club is a monthly gathering of AMP community members to discuss a monthly read related to Palestine. What made Palestine Book Club special was the sense of community it created around the books. For every meeting, usually hosted at a local Palestinian business, there was Palestinian dessert served with tea. The flavors of sweet syrup and mint tea iconic of any Palestinian gathering serving as a backdrop to the discussion.  At every meeting, the discussions went well beyond the book and into the lived experiences of Palestinians as participants took turns telling their own personal stories and reflections. Attendees ranged in ages from 8 years old to 50+;  those who have lived in Palestine and those who have never stepped foot. 

Mariam El-Khatib shares one of her favorite memories from the book club meetings: “We were gathered at one of the meetings discussing Joe Sacco’s graphic novel, Palestine, which was set during the first intifada. A 3amo (uncle) from the local community walked in and with all honesty admitted he had not read a single page in the book. It turns out though, that the 3amo (uncle) had lived through the 1st intifada and ended up captivating the entire audience with his personal account of the events as they related to the book we had all just read.”

Since launching in September of 2019, the group has read and discussed 12 books. They’ve read everything from Susan Abulhawa’s Mornings in Jenin to Angela Davis’s Freedom is a Constant Struggle. They’ve covered various genres and authors, even expanding to the Autobiography of Malcolm X with a discussion on the lessons we can learn from a life that was dedicated to a cause. Another highlight of the program was the attendance of a Nakba survivor in the meeting during the discussion of Ilan Pappe’s The Ethnic Cleansing of Palesitne. 

Mariam El-Khatib is a leader of the Minnesota chapter of American Muslims for Palestine, has spoken at national conferences, is known for her expertise in fundraising, and has written for Medium. You can find her on Twitter.

Iyad Hilal Publishes “Plagues & Prophetic Medicines”

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During the global COVID-19 pandemic, many have become hyper-aware of their hygienic practices, as well as the habits that can be picked up to prevent the spread of bacteria and other contaminants. There is a plethora of information in the Prophetic tradition of Islam regarding plagues and medicine, and the book “Plagues & Prophetic Medicines” by Iyad Hilal is a perfect read during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the Islamic understandings around the plague include the hadith of the Prophet (PBUH) who said, “Whoever dies from a plague is a martyr”, and “Whoever remains in a plague-written land patiently and hopeful of reward, knowing that only what Allah decrees will reach him, will get the reward of a martyr.”

This book explores the value of conventional medicine, the current public health practices, and in detail the practices of the Prophet and his advice to warding off the harm that comes with plagues and disease. Iyad Hilal is also known for his writings in Usul ul-Fiqh.

Hossam Gamea of ILC-NY Lobbies with USCMO on 5th Annual National Muslim Advocacy Day

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The Annual National Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill is an initiative that brings together hundreds of Muslim delegates that come from a variety of non-profit, advocacy, and other organizations to lobby for issues pertaining to the Muslim community. These issues include that of civil rights, education, immigration reform, challenging the Muslim ban, and foreign policy.

Hossam Gamea from the Islamic Leadership Council of New York worked with a delegation of other Muslim professionals who gathered in D.C. to lobby. Delegates spoke with Representatives and Staffers like Grace Meng, Chuck Schumer, and Rashida Tlaib. Hossam represented the Islamic Leadership Council of New York, an umbrella organization to 90+ mosques and organizations in New York.

These efforts are seen as initiatives to bring the voices and needs of the constituents straight to their representatives. Community leaders here are sent to speak on behalf of their community. Hossam Gamea is a reputable advocate, and has written for Traversing Tradition, The Tab, Medium, and has been hosted on numerous podcasts for his insight on the Muslim American experience.

Mariam El-Khatib Leads Minnesota Delegation of 60 to Advocate for Palestine

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American Muslims for Palestine, a national education and advocacy organization, hosted their fifth annual Palestine Advocacy Day the week of September 14th. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person event was rescheduled virtually, and amassed more than 800 participants from over 26 states. The theme of this year’s Advocacy Day was “Racial Justice, Annexation, and Achieving Palestinian-Israeli Peace.”

The program, held September 14-18, kicked off with an intensive legislative advocacy training by AMP, the NAACP, and JVP. On Tuesday, there was a plenary session with Congresswoman Betty McCollum, Rashida Tlaib, Debbie Dingell, Judy Chu, and Congressman Donald Payne Jr. The rest of the week consisted of scheduled, virtual meetings with Senators and Representatives, and their staffers for every state. Some states had as many as 60 present advocates meeting with their representatives. 

Advocates lobbied in support of H.R. 8050, the Israeli Annexation Non-Recognition Act, and H.R. 2407, which aims to defund Israeli military war crimes against children.  Participants included individuals from diverse backgrounds and professions, united for one cause. The Minnesota chapter organizer Mariam El-Khatib led an outstanding effort and team of 60 individuals in the Minnesota meetings with their members of Congress. Mariam is a leader of the Minnesota chapter of American Muslims for Palestine, has spoken at national conferences, is known for her expertise in fundraising, and has also written for Medium. This team spoke with their Senators and representatives on the ideals they wanted them to uphold, and what their constituents thought regarding their foreign policy stances. Mariam El-Khatib was one of the dozens of leads from across the country, and was able to showcase her leadership and advocacy skills representing Palestine-supporting constituents in Minnesota. You can find her on Twitter.