Victory! At the U.S. Army War College

This week, the U.S. Army War College indefinitely postponed Islamophobe Raymond Ibrahim’s speaking engagement at their 50th Annual Lecture Series.

We commend its decision to postpone the event, and caution against any future events with the speaker, as Ibrahim has been known to use his platform to defame Muslims in the U.S. and abroad.

Ibrahim’s rhetoric—characterizing Muslims as inherently angry, hostile, and prone to terrorism against “the West”—normalizes and justifies violence against Muslims, which is already a problem for the military.

In a time of rising white nationalism, Islamophobia, and violence, hosting Ibrahim to speak would not only have endorsed, but fostered anti-Muslim hate within the military. The invitation was all the more concerning due to the military’s continuing internal problem with white supremacists within its ranks.

Organizing Director for MPower Change, Ishraq Ali, notes:

“Hateful rhetoric like Mr. Ibrahim’s has inspired violence against Muslim communities, both in the U.S. and abroad. Every day, we are reminded of the wretched impacts of bigotry and Islamophobia. Just this week, as the U.S. Army War College rescinds Ibrahim’s invitation, the killer of 3 Chapel Hill Muslim youth was convicted, while overseas, the killer of the New Zealand mosque shootings plead not guilty to his crimes.”

Though the invitation to speak has been rescinded indefinitely, this incident speaks volumes with regards to the rampant bigotry normalized in the Trump Era.

Ramon Mejia, Field Organizer with About Face: Veterans Against the War, said:
“In the Trump era, there is no denying that  more blatant islamophobia and bigotry fuel growing violence against our communities. While I’m glad the invitation was rescinded, it’s utterly unacceptable that a tax-payer funded, government institution would invite an unabashed Islamophobe […] in the first place.”

MPower Change’s petition was a collaborative effort with CAIR-PA and About Face: Veteranss Against the War.

Other veteran military organizations like Common Defense and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation lent their support to our efforts.

For additional coverage, see the piece in the Daily Kos.

Kifah Shah
Kifah Shah

Kifah Shah is MPower Change’s Digital Campaign Manager. She grew up in Southern California and has been organizing since she was 15. She has worked for the Asian Law Caucus, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, Unite HERE! Local 11, and UC Berkeley’s Multicultural Community Center. Kifah also worked abroad in Europe at the Migration Policy Group on issues related in migration, as well as in Pakistan at the Aman Foundation/USAID on issues of health, education, and economic empowerment. She is currently a TED Resident and on the Board of Trustees for MSA West. Kifah holds a Masters in Public Administration (Economic Policy) from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies from U.C. Berkeley.