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$205 million to target Muslims… Email From

As Salaamu Alaykum, Heba—

Ramadan is typically a time of peace and good news. But every once in a while we’re reminded of the stark difficulties faced by the Muslim community in this day and age.

Yesterday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations released a special report1 with breathtaking news about the organized Islamophobia industry: in just a five year span, this hateful industry—which includes groups that spread hatred via the media, push anti-Muslim legislation, and hold armed demonstrations outside of mosques—has received more than $205 million to spend on slandering the name of Islam and members of the Muslim community.

If you’re as appalled as we are, I hope you’ll chip in at least $3 dollars to MPower Change today to help protect our community from this well-funded and organized attack.

Here are some more troubling facts about the state of the anti-Muslim “movement” in the U.S. today:

  • There are at least 33 documented, well-funded organizations whose primary purpose is to promote hatred of (and prejudice against) Islam and Muslims in the U.S.
  • There were 78 recorded incidents of attacks against mosques in 2015—an increase of 300% over the previous year.
  • “Muslim-free” businesses—the equivalent of “no coloreds allowed” businesses of the Jim Crow era—are becoming more and more common.

MPower Change’s unique role in combating Islamophobia is this: we’re the only digital-first, multi-issue advocacy group that’s specifically built to mobilize tens of thousands of Muslims and our allies at the drop of a dime to fight the most egregious instances of anti-Muslim racism.

We take on both the political and the cultural fights that protect the safety of the Muslim community and the image of Islam in the U.S. today.

If you agree that the Muslim community needs an organization like this fighting on its behalf—in partnership with other Muslim and progressive groups across the country—will you chip in a $3 donation today?

MPower Change launched just six months ago—but in that time, we’ve already taken on several big campaigns.

We stood by Dr. Larycia Hawkins—the professor at a Christian college suspended for wearing a headscarf in solidarity with Muslim women. We orchestrated a large petition drive and have been in touch with Southwest Airlines about their apparent discrimination against Muslim passengers. And most recently, we joined with local leaders in Louisville to call for the Louisville airport to be renamed after the great Muhammad Ali—perhaps the best known Muslim of the entire 20th century.

Even as we run these campaigns, we’re ramping up for a massive voter registration and get-out-the-vote effort that we’ll kick off after Ramadan, led by some veteran Muslim community and political organizers who’ve worked on major local and presidential campaigns.

Beating a $200+ million dollar industry whose sole mission is to destroy your reputation, your quality of life, and your community isn’t something that can be done in just six months. But we’re here now—and with the support of members like you, we don’t plan on going anywhere for a long time. We hope you’ll chip in $3 today to help fund this Muslim grassroots movement.

In solidarity,

Linda and the MPower Change Team



1. “Funding Islamophobia: $206m went to promoting ‘hatred’ of American Muslims,” The Guardian, Jun 20, 2016


Remembering Rachel Corrie on the anniversary of her death



Dear Friend,

On this day 13 years ago, American peace activist Rachel Corrie was crushed to death by Israeli soldiers driving a military bulldozer. She was trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home. According to numerous witnesses and photographic documentation, she was killed intentionally.

Representative Brian Baird from Washington State introduced a resolution in Congress calling on the federal government to “undertake a full, fair, and expeditious investigation” into Rachel’s death. The bill was co-sponsored by 77 representatives, but Congress took no action. 

The Corrie family then filed a lawsuit against Caterpillar Inc in 2005, alleging that Caterpillar supplied Israelis with bulldozers even though they knew they were being used to commit war crimes. The lawsuit was dismissed.

The Corrie family’s appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was also dismissed. The court acknowledged that the U.S. government paid for the bulldozer that killed Rachel, but said that they didn’t have the jurisdiction to rule on the “political question” of U.S. military aid to Israel. 

In 2010, the Corrie family filed a lawsuit in Israel against the Israeli Defense Forces. Israeli officials prevented the physician who had examined Rachel’s wounds from testifying in the case. The court ruled that Rachel was responsible for her own death. In 2014, the Corrie family’s appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court of Israel, and the IDF was absolved of any wrongdoing.

Keep Rachel’s message alive by sharing her story with your community. We have cards, a booklet of Rachel’s letters, and posters available for download and order.


U.S. taxpayers send Israel over $3 billion a year in military aid with virtually no strings attached, and now the prime minister of Israel wants $5 billion a year.

The majority of Americans oppose taking sides in the Israel-Palestine conflict, but virtually all Democratic and Republican members of Congress continue to supply Israel with more and more weapons each year (Palestinians do not receive military aid).

American taxpayer dollars have enabled Israel to continue its decades-long illegal occupation of Palestinian land and deny Palestinians basic legal and human rights. With our money, Israeli forces have killed over 9,200 Palestinians as well as numerous international journalists and peace activists since 2000.

We are driving the violence in this region, and we must stop it.

This weekend, AIPAC kicks off its annual policy conference in Washington, D.C., with Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump scheduled to give speeches. We hope you will join us this Sunday at noon at the White House to protest AIPAC’s influence on American politics and support Palestinian human rights. Your voice is urgently needed!

As always, thank for your commitment to peace, justice, and equality for all people.

The If Americans Knew team

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Order or download Rachel Corrie cards, letters, and posters on our site

Protest AIPAC in DC on March 20th! Join this rally spearheaded by Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition.

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Do you really know all the words to your national anthem?

I gave myself a test, and I’ll spare you all the awful sound of my singing voice. I think I knew all the words, with a tiny slip up here and there. I haven’t sang the national anthem since I was a kid in school maybe. I don’t go to sports matches or really watch them on TV so, I don’t hear the national anthem much anymore. Weird, I went from hearing and singing it everyday in school to rarely hearing it.

Just in case you needed a refresher, here it is [with Wikipedia links to learn more about the origins]:

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In Review #AmericanHorrorStory

I can’t believe I waited so long to watch this show. I like the set up, because I’m not much of a fan of shows that go on and on forever. I like that the series limits its plots to 1 season and then moves on to an entirely different concept the next. I think it’s also great for new viewers who don’t have the time to watch the entire series from the beginning. I like how all the seasons are standalone, but I also love how the show connected the seasons.


Season 1: I couldn’t get enough of it. I love Connie Britton and Evan Peters. They’re absolutely amazing actors. I loved all the twists and turns, all the flashbacks. I never wanted it to end, but I loved the ending. Big names and lots of talent in this season. I’d totally move into the Murder House. Sure everyone dies there, but there are so many ghosts– it’s like instant friends if you play your cards right.

Season 2: The Asylum was so difficult to watch. Not because the plot wasn’t compelling, but because it was so sad and depressing. Mental health facilities in the past in the states and still currently in some places abroad exist in vile and horrendously unacceptable conditions. The scariest and more horror filled part of this season is that just about anyone could have been locked up there for the rest of their lives. It could happen to any of us.

Season 3: LOVED every part of this. Strong cast. Strong women. Strong storylines. I love that it was a primarily female cast. I love Gabourey Sidibe, she has so much sass on her. Emma Roberts plays a really good person/character to hate. Angela Basset is amazing in just about any role she plays. Sarah Paulson’s character really blossomed towards the end. Kathy Bates is also amazing in it, she’s so believable as an actress. Taissa Farmiga’s performance seemed effortless. She’s a natural. But the character that really outshone the others was Jamie Brewer– hands down.

Season 4: Freak Shows are such a bizarre concept. I can’t believe they ever existed. I mean, factually of course I know they existed, but how anyone could go to one and taunt others for their disabilities. How awful were people. Too awful. I was super excited towards the beginning of the season, but towards mid-season I just wanted it to end. I wish the entire freak show family didn’t have to end in murder, but I like that the twins and lobster boy got together. Probably the best part of the season was Pepper and her timeline.

Season 5: This season was difficult for me to get into. It wasn’t until midseason when I started to get interested. As much as I love Lady Gaga’s performance and was stunned at how versatile the performances from Lily Rabe, Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters are. I swear, they can act as anything. I love that the season turned its emphasis to Liz towards the end. I couldn’t love the first half of this season. I thought much of the sex scenes were unnecessary to the plot and the writers were trying to accomplish too many subplots and such. I wish they would have focused in a bit more.


Anyways. I love the show.

An entirely flawed system

So I just found out that NJ is cutting off my food stamps because I’m considered able-bodied. Food stamps has literally been the only thing feeding my family right now and the only way for me to continue getting food stamps is if I go to a 20 hour a week work program. I tried to go to the program and had to make an appointment for orientation months ago and they were so mean and dismissive of me. They wanted me to miss my doctor appointment to go to their orientation and I told them I couldn’t miss it. I was sick, I needed to see a doctor. So they wouldn’t schedule me for another day and that was that.

I can get out of the requirement if I’m caring for someone in my family, which I am, my mother who has been unwell. But why is she unwell, because without warning her health insurance was terminated because she was deemed to make too much money. My mom makes $800 a month from alimony payments. That’s it! How is that too much money? Because she doesn’t have health insurance, she can’t afford her meds and hence has not been the greatest lately. The only way to prove that I’m caring for my mother is if she gets evaluated by a doctor and deemed disabled. Again, something we cannot afford. And if she never had her insurance terminated to begin with, she’d have her meds and she wouldn’t need someone to look after her.  It’s a flawed system and I’m so embarrassed and sad and scared. I don’t know how to feed my family.

I’ve been trying to get a job for a year and a half now with no luck. I have a BA and two MAs. I’m clearly educated and should be capable of getting a job but no one wants to give me a chance despite my 10 years of experience. I really don’t know what to do. I really hate to ask, but I need help. I haven’t paid my credit cards off, we’re charging everything on credit and I’ve reached my credit limit. We’re not using the heat even though it’s so cold, bc we can’t afford to make the payment. I don’t have a cell phone line because we can’t afford it. How is my family going to eat? What am I supposed to do? Like we can’t even afford to pay rent this month. Literally, I have no idea what to do or how to keep us from being hungry and homeless. And I could kick myself for ending up in this situation.

I keep trying to crawl us out of this hole, but I keep failing.

This is so embarrassing, but I need help and I don’t know where to turn. I’m so embarrassed to ask and hate myself for getting to this point. If you could spare anything, even just $1, I would appreciate it so much. I swear, I’ll never forget your generosity and 100% promise to pay it forward. I’m just so scared and so unsure of how to make ends meet. I’m so embarrassed and I’m so sorry for asking. Maybe you could pass this around, reblog it. Any help would be so important and I’d be so thankful.

ICNA CSJ Taking Action Against Walmart This Friday

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Action Items


Wednesday, November 25, 2015




Asslam u Aliekum,

As discussed in last week’s ICNA CSJ campaign newsletter, we will be taking a stand against Walmart this Black Friday (Nov. 27) due to their low pay and inadequate work schedules for their employees. As America’s largest employer, they can do a lot better! We are partnering up with OUR Walmart, an organization that works to ensure that all Walmart employees are respected.

ICNA chapters in Washington D.C., Chicago, and New York are participating in this campaign. We are requesting other chapters and the Muslim community in general to come out and support our fellow Americans’ fight for workers’ justice. Allah tells us in the Qur’an [meaning of which is]:

“Oh you who believe! Be standard bearers for Justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, Or your kin, whether it be rich or poor.”[Qur’an 4:135]

And the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is reported to have said:

“Whoever among you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; if he cannot, then with his tongue; if he cannot, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of Faith.” [Reported by An-Nasa’i]

Here is how you can help:

  1. Participate in delegations to Walmart stores on Black Friday. We want as many individuals as possible to download a summary petition [click here to download] and deliver it to Walmart store managers in your area on Black Friday (Nov. 27). The petition requests for fair wages and schedules. It is a very effective activity that can have a big impact at Walmart stores across the country. It can easily be done by individuals, families, or even a few friends. It can work with one or two people doing it quickly. It is something that will not take a ton of time on Black Friday. Please note that courts have enjoined agents from entering any Walmart property, except to shop, in Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Colorado, Ohio, Maryland, and in California from entering inside stores. So please avoid this step if you reside in one of these states.
  3. Participate in Black Friday protests – There will be protests happening on Black Friday in front of Walmarts across the country requesting the Waltons to raise the minimum wage and give consistent schedules to their employees. You can either join a protest already happening in your area or organize your own at your local Walmart. Click here to find a local Black Friday protest in your area to join or organize your own. ICNA CSJ is requesting the Muslim community to participate in these protests.

If you would like more information, please contact Rameez Abid, Communications Director at ICNA CSJ, at the following e-mail address:


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ICNA Council for Social Justice (CSJ) is a social justice/human rights organization that strives to systematically facilitate assertive Muslim involvement in the field of human struggle for the rights of the poor and oppressed in the United States.

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CAIR Decries GOP Governors’ ‘Un-American’ Refusal to Accept Syrian Refugees | CAIR Asks FBI to Probe Vandalism Targeting Neb. Mosque

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CAIR Asks FBI to Probe Paris-Related Vandalism Targeting Nebraska Mosque

Same mosque has been targeted by vandals three times in four-month period

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/16/15) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on the FBI and local police to investigate vandalism related to the recent terror attacks in Paris targeting a Nebraska mosque as a possible hate crime.

Officials with the Islamic Center in Omaha told CAIR that someone spray-painted graffiti of an Eiffel Tower peace symbol, which is being used online as a sign of solidarity with those impacted by the attacks, on an outside wall of the mosque.

CAIR said this is the third time the mosque has been targeted by vandalism in the past four month.

Earlier this month, CAIR made a similar request for a hate crime probe after a vandal was caught on surveillance camera attempting to break a glass door at mosque.

In August, CAIR called on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate the first act of vandalism as a possible hate crime.

SEE: CAIR Asks FBI to Probe 2nd Vandalism Targeting Nebraska Mosque

“The FBI and local law enforcement authorities should investigate the possible bias motive for this vandalism and allocate whatever resources are necessary to bring the perpetrator to justice,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

CAIR has recently responded to vandalism, threats and hate targeting mosques in Massachusetts, Florida, Texas, Kentucky, Virginia, Nebraska, Tennessee, Ohio, New York, and other states.

Yesterday, CAIR thanked the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for its prompt investigation of phoned terror threats to mosques in Florida and called for hate crime charges to be brought against the alleged perpetrator. CAIR’s news release on the mosque threats also outlined the many condemnations of the Paris attacks by American Muslims.

SEE: CAIR Thanks DOJ for Probe of Terror Threats to Florida Mosques, Seeks Hate Crime Charges

CAIR’s Florida chapter is also investigating a report of shots fired at a Muslim family’s home.

SEE: Orlando Muslim Family Claims It was Targeted by Gunfire

In Connecticut, a sit-in was planned after a hateful message targeting a Muslim student was discovered on a university campus.

SEE: UConn Students Plan Demonstration After Anti-Muslim Message Discovered

In Oregon, anti-Muslim protesters targeted a mosque.

SEE: Protesters Target Portland Mosque Following Attacks in Paris

These incidents fit a pattern of increased hate-motivated crimes and bias incidents nationwide targeting persons and property associated, or perceived to be associated, with Islam and the American Muslim community.

CAIR is urging community leaders to obtain and implement safety measures outlined in its booklet, “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety.” The booklet may be requested through CAIR’s website:

CAIR also asks Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at:

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

– END –

CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,; CAIR Communications Coordinator Nabeelah Naeem, 202-341-4171,




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Have you had a chance to watch The Raising of America?

It’s a compelling new documentary featuring our very own Judy Lichtman, interviews with other experts, and moving stories of working people who struggle to manage the dual demands of their jobs and families while giving their children the best possible start in life.

Friendly reminder: You can stream The Raising of America for free during the month of November.

After you watch the film (or the trailer on Facebook), let us know what you think by filling out this quick survey.

And be sure to join tomorrow’s #RaisingofAmerica day of action! Here are a few easy ways to get involved:

  1. Email your members of Congress. Urge them to watch The Raising of America and support paid family and medical leave.
  2. Use to take action on Twitter.
  3. Join our Thunderclap to help raise awareness.
  4. Participate in the #RaisingofAmerica tweet storm tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET.

Together, we will seize this opportunity to urge Congress to make paid family and medical leave a top priority.

Thank you!

Vicki Shabo

Vice President

1875 Connecticut Avenue NW

Suite 650

Washington, DC 20009