Campaigns

National Muslim Voter Registration Day

2nd Annual National Muslim Voter Registration Day on 8/23/19

 

(Washington, D.C. 08/21/2019)On Friday, August 23rd, a coalition of Muslim organizations will be hosting voter registration drives in over fifty locations nationwide in honor of National Muslim Voter Registration Day (#NMVRD). Led by MPower Change and its partners, Emgage USA, Council on American Islamic Relations, American Muslim Advisory Council, and Georgia Muslim Voter Project, the coalition consists of organizations working on both the local and national levels. The goal of these efforts is to register and further engage Muslim voters, who have already proven to be a crucial voting bloc.

“In a time of heightened islamophobia, Muslims are more politically engaged than ever. Our votes matter. It’s why no 2020 Democratic primary candidate can win the presidential nomination without the Muslim community.” – Linda Sarsour, co-founder, MPower Change

“Anyone who has lived through the past two years and believes that voting does not matter is not being honest. Muslim Americans can only protect their rights and contribute to how this country is governed by getting involved. The first step is to vote.” -Wa’el Alzayat, CEO, Emgage USA

“It is the responsibility of every American Muslim to register to vote and ensure the growth of our community’s political strength and capacity. Every aspiring politician and elected official who wants to stay in office should know one thing: that who wins or loses any given race is in the hands of only the most proactive of communities, and that includes American Muslims.” – Roula Allouch, National Board Chair, Council on American-Islamic-Relations (CAIR)

WHAT: National Muslim Voter Registration Day 2019 (#NMVRD)

WHO: A coalition of local and national Muslim organizations, including MPower Change, Emgage USA, Council on American Islamic Relations, American Muslim Advisory Council, and Georgia Muslim Voter Project

WHERE: More than fifty locations, nationwide

WHEN: Friday, August 23rd, 2019

The Muslim American community is poised to play a historical roll in the 2020 presidential elections. Muslim Americans are voting in record numbers. In the last midterm elections alone, a study conducted by Emgage USA found that Muslim voters grew by 25 percent from 2014 in key swing states, like Ohio, Virginia, and Michigan. From opposing the travel ban to family separation, our community has consistently stood-up against hate and discrimination while resisting the politics of fear and divisiveness.

 

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#NMVRD is part of the larger #MyMuslimVote campaigna national non-partisan campaign focused on increasing civic engagement in U.S. Muslim communities through voter registration, engagement, and mobilization efforts.

Listening Sessions Campaign

Join us! Host or Attend a Listening Session in your city:

Listening Sessions are events where participants can sit in small groups to describe the issues that concern them the most.
  • Participants are challenged to be as specific as possible about those issues, and they begin to wrestle with the question of whether or not they are willing to invest their time or energy into addressing those issues.
  • Listening sessions provide information about what is going on within our communities, and allow for us to understand what our members consider priorities.
  • Listening Sessions could lead to public actions or activities like town halls, meetings with elected officials, and mobilizing to vote.

Signup to host a listening session in your community center, and our team will get you the resources you need to get started!

 

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.

Believers Bail Out

Right now, there are over 2 million incarcerated people in the United States, predominantly Black and Latinx. Almost half a million of these people are being held on pretrial bond (bail); cash bail penalizes poverty and reproduces racism. In 2015, nationwide the median bail was $10,000, while the median pre-incarceration annual income of people incarcerated was $15,000. Black people are twice as likely to be held pretrial as white people and Muslims in pretrial detention face an increased risk of victimization, surveillance and denial of religious freedom in the prison system due to anti-Muslim racism (Islamophobia).

Believers Bail Out is a community-led effort to bail out Muslims in pretrial incarceration as a form of zakat. By paying bond, Believers Bail Out restores the presumption of innocence before trial and enables recipients to remain free while fighting their cases. It is in our capacity, and our duty as Muslims to be a part of ending this cycle that criminalizes poverty and is inherently racist in nature.

#MyMuslimVote at ISNA

#MyMuslimVote at ISNA

The MPower Change team was in Houston, TX on Labor Day weekend for ISNA’s 55th Annual Convention!

We were all about getting out #MyMuslimVote. We did voter registration daily, and signed up many new partners to take the efforts to their own cities! 

 

If you stopped by our table, or took a walk around the bazaar, you would have seen hundreds of people wearing #MyMuslimVote buttons!

Our Executive Director Linda Sarsour reminded everyone about why this year is so important for Muslims. She also highlighted how now – more than ever – we need to stand on the side of the oppressed and stand for justice.

Our Organizing Director Ishraq Ali relayed the importance of building relational power with people in our mosques in order to effectively get out the Muslim Vote.

 

Our Organizing Manager Kifah Shah was everywhere during the convention – from our table, to the bazaar, to the sessions – reminding people to check their voter registration status, and signing up folks to bring #MyMuslimVote to their schools and centers.

StopCVE in LA

On January 13, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the City of Los Angeles (Mayor’s Office of Public Safety) was set to receive funding under its Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) initiative. The City of Los Angeles would receive $400,000 for a program involving “Training and Engagement,” as well as $425,000 for “Managing Interventions.” According to DHS, the stated purpose of the CVE program was to “develop and expand efforts at the community level to counter violent extremist recruitment and radicalization to violence.”

​The #StopCVE coalition in Los Angeles—representing local non-profit, civil society, advocacy, and digital advocacy groups, alongside Muslim leadership from across LA—has been organizing opposition to CVE since April 2016. Though presented under a guise of public safety and community-based programming, CVE efforts in LA have been implemented with selective community engagement and buy-in. This “community engagement” continued despite unanimous opposition from civil rights groups and the majority of Muslim communities across five counties in Southern California.

Soon, the LA City Council will move to discuss disbursing federal funding amounting to , which targets Muslim communities in the city through activities conducted under the auspices of CVE.

Iftar in the Streets

Join us! Host or attend an #IftarInTheStreets event in your city:

The past few years have been challenging. With three iterations of the Muslim Ban, a sharp rise in hate crimes, attacks aboard airlines, and constant anti-Muslim rhetoric from elected officials and the media—it feels like there’s a perpetual target on our communities. However, it’s also been a year filled with moments of Muslims in the U.S. standing up for justice.

2019 is a critical year—and yet another moment for us to stand proudly & unapologetically as Muslims celebrating our faith and our values.

This Ramadan, we’re using the tradition of the communal breaking of the fast to build solidarity with our (Muslim and ally) communities, and to adhere to the Prophetic tradition of acting and speaking out for justice. Join us by holding public Iftar events—#IftarInTheStreets.

This year we’re asking you to host your event on Malcolm X’s Birthday, Sunday May 19, 2019. Malcolm X is an inspiration and role model for many, in his pursuit of fighting for justice over his lifetime.

Check out our Iftar in the Streets Event in NYC last year:

New Yorkers Hold Ramadan Protest Iftar in Front of Trump Tower

Last Thursday, we brought together New Yorkers of various faiths and backgrounds to break bread and build solidarity in a public iftar dinner, held outside of Trump Tower #IftarInTheStreets – Thank you to Eid Films for shooting and producing this beautiful short film for us.

Posted by MPower Change on Monday, June 5, 2017

Senators: Stop Fueling the Saudi-Led War on Yemen

Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) just introduced a bipartisan bill to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen—and it’s guaranteed a vote.If we can get this bill passed in the Senate, we can win the biggest human rights victory yet of the Trump presidency. But there’s only a short window of time to act before the Senate takes it up for a vote. Can you sign our petition and tell your Senators to support the Sanders-Lee bill on Yemen? I know you care about the nightmare in Yemen—and the fact that under Trump, U.S. support for the Saudi-led bombings has escalated, while his Muslim Ban has blocked Yemenis from seeking refuge. As each day passes, more and more Yemenis are losing their lives waiting for this war to end. The cholera epidemic and severe food shortages show no signs of slowing down, as the Saudi-led bombings continue.