Bilquis Abdul-Qaadir Responds to Open Letter to FIBA President

Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir became a legendary basketball player when she shattered the 20-year high school scoring record in Massachusetts. She then went on to become the first player to wear a hijab in collegiate (NCAA) basketball. But for the last two years, she’s been prevented from playing professionally by an arbitrary yet discriminatory rule banning hijabs, turbans, and other religious headcoverings in the name of “safety.”

Today, 50+ organizations issued a letter to President Horacio Muratore of FIBA (the International Basketball Federation) requesting that the organization lift its ban on religious headcoverings, which continues to have a discriminatory impact on Muslim, Sikh, and Jewish players wishing to pursue careers in professional and international basketball.

“I am very grateful for the organizations who are in support of this movement to ensure that everyone has a shot at their dreams regardless of their faith. I hope that FIBA sees how important it is to remove the ban on hijab and other religious headwear, because it is now bigger than just basketball,” said Bilquis Abdul-Qaadir. “In a time when we see Islamophobia and xenophobia in many areas of public life, sports should remain an arena where one can succeed based on their skill, not their background.”

Learn more about Bilquis by watching the trailer for her upcoming documentary, Life Without Basketball.

The letter follows a petition that has gathered nearly 17,000 signatures.

The full text of the letter is available below or via this link.

Mohammad Khan
(646) 883-8091
[email protected]

Life Without Basketball

Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir became legend when she shattered the 20-year scoring record for high school basketball in Massachusetts. She then went on to become the first hijabi in NCAA basketball. But for the last two years, she’s been prevented from playing professionally by a silly but discriminatory rule banning hijabs in the name of “safety.”

It’s a shameful ban—but one that FIBA, the international body that regulates professional basketball, could actually overturn as early as Sunday. That’s why we want to spread the word right now about Bilqis’s fight to overturn this rule and play basketball again.

Watch and share the trailer for her upcoming documentary, Life Without Basketball, and then sign our petition calling on FIBA to lift the ban.

Bilqis is a star on the court who deserves her chance to hoop—along with countless other up-and-coming hijabi basketball players.

Let’s give FIBA the public input they need before they meet to make a final decision.

Sign the Petition


MPower Change Calls on Members and Allies to Support Black-Led Organizations

In the last 48 hours, we have seen Black brothers murdered in cold blood and Black sisters victimized at the hands of those who are supposedly sworn to protect and serve us. As we are reminded time and again, this system is not designed to respect or value Black life—we must love each other and protect each other. Black-led organizations all over this country are working tirelessly and boldly to defend the lives of Black people and demand justice for all.

MPower Change calls on our members and allies to support these local and national organizations in this time of crisis and beyond. We are committed to following their leadership. We cannot sit idly by and wait for more Black people to pay with their lives.

This list represents just a few of our partners and we will continue to update it. Email us at [email protected] with more suggestions.

Black Alliance for Just Immigration

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter Minneapolis


BYP100 New Orleans

Color of Change

The Dream Defenders

The Gathering for Justice/NY Justice League

Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle

Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

Million Hoodies Movement for Justice

Muslim Alliance in North America

Muslims Make It Plain

Muslim Wellness Foundation

NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund

The Organization for Black Struggle

Sapelo Square

MPower Change Disappointed by Supreme Court Deadlock on Deferred Action Expansion

MPower Change is disappointed but unsurprised by the Supreme Court’s deadlock on the expansion of deferred action programs. Today, we ache for the millions of families who face an uncertain future and will continue to live in fear of this administration and the next’s deportation policies, on top of the daily violence faced by undocumented migrants.

We support and fight for the rights of all migrants—who are our families, friends, loved ones, and cherished members of our communities—regardless of documentation status.

And we say to ​any​ politician expecting our support this fall that immigration reform with anything less than a full path to citizenship is an unacceptable policy.

We’re Hiring! Part-time Civic Engagement Coordinator

Position: Civic Engagement Coordinator for MPower Change
Type: Part Time (20 hours/week)
Start Date: May 27, 2016

About the organization:

MPower Change is a grassroots movement rooted in diverse Muslim communities throughout the U.S., who are working together to build social, spiritual, racial, and economic justice for all people. Combining cutting-edge digital tools with years of field experience, organizing know-how, and an extensive network of supporters, MPower Change is redefining the ways that our communities build, maintain, and exercise power.

About the position:

MPower Change is seeking a Civic Engagement Coordinator to oversee an unprecedented program to register, engage, and mobilize thousands of Muslim voters across the country in one day. The Coordinator will be tasked with working closely with MPower Change staff and partner organizations to develop and implement a non-partisan voter registration drive during the month of Ramadan and GOTV plan through the end of election season. The Coordinator will be responsible for coordinating activities and logistics for the program. The position can be remote, though preference will be given to applicants in the New York City metro area.


  • Coordinate event logistics, planning and execution
  • Oversee administrative aspects of the civic engagement program
  • Develop relationships with local partners to ensure success of program
  • Ensure that outreach and engagement is tracked and reported


  • Candidate must have enthusiasm and an interest in civic engagement
  • 1-3 years in civic engagement, community, issue, labor, or political organizing
  • Must possess strong logistical and coordination skills
  • Must possess strong written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to prioritize and effectively manage multiple tasks in a fast paced work environment
  • Ability to self-start and be accountable with minimal supervision
  • Ability to occasionally respond to situations outside of normal working hours
  • Familiarity with online organizing tools a plus
  • Familiarity and experience working with Muslim communities a plus

MPower Change is an equal opportunity employer. People of color and women are strongly encouraged to apply.

Please email cover letter and resume to Campaign Manager Mohammad Khan at [email protected] with the subject line “Civic Engagement Coordinator.”

MPower Change and 40+ Organizations Issue Open Letter to Southwest Airlines CEO

Following a recent trend of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab incidents on Southwest Airlines flights, today, MPower Change and 40 organizations – representing nonprofits, civil society, advocacy groups, and netroots organizations, alongside Muslim and Arab communities across the United States – issued a letter to Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly calling for formal apologies, a review of policies and procedures, and anti-bias training for front-line employees.

The letter outlines how, in several instances, Southwest Airlines employees have accepted accusations and feelings of discomfort by passengers and staff as sufficient cause to delay, bar, or remove Arab and Muslim customers from flights. It also raises questions as to whether the airline’s policies and practices apply differently depending on a passenger’s religion or background.

The letter follows an MPower Change petition that has gathered over 20,000 signatures since being launched two weeks ago.

“Southwest’s unsatisfactory responses to recent incidents on flights have today created an environment where passengers who are Arab, Muslim, or perceived to be Muslim are wary about traveling with the airline. CEO Gary Kelly needs to assess the culture and policies of the organization in light of these incidents. No one should be made to feel unsafe on a flight or denied service because of their race, religion, or the language they speak,” said MPower Change Director Linda Sarsour.

Southwest Airlines is called on to take the following actions:

1. Issue public apologies to Khairuldeen Makhzoomi and Hakima Abdulle;
2. Review policies and procedures around how allegations from passengers and staff are elevated to become actionable and standards used for removing passengers or barring them from flights; and
3. Develop and implement anti-bias training for all staff that interact directly with customers.

MPower Change is urging its members to contact Gary Kelly directly to reiterate the concerns outlined in the petition and letter.

MPower Change also supported a letter issued to Gary Kelly last week by NCAPA and 25 additional Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations, which provided detailed recommendations for Southwest Airlines to reform practices, protocols, and policies.

MPower Change is a grassroots movement rooted in diverse Muslim communities throughout the United States who are working together to build social, spiritual, racial, and economic justice for all people.

Mohammad Khan
(646) 883-8091
[email protected]

Signees include (updated 5/20/2016):

  • 18 Million Rising
  • ACCESS of WNY, Inc.
  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  • Arab American Association of New York
  • Asian American Psychological Association
  • Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance AFL-CIO (APALA)
  • Auburn Seminary
  • CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities
  • CAIR – Maryland Outreach Dept.
  • Center for Constitutional Rights
  • ColorOfChange
  • Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR)
  • Courage Campaign
  • Evolutionary Leadership, LLC
  • ICNA Council for Social Justice
  • Iraq Veterans Against the War
  • Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
  • ISNA (Islamic Society of North America)
  • Michigan Muslim Community Council
  • Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates
  • Mizna
  • MoveOn.Org
  • Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC)
  • Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA)
  • Muslims for Ferguson
  • National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD)
  • National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA)
  • National Network for Arab American Communities
  • Network of Arab-American Professionals (NAAP)
  • South Asian Americans Leading Together
  • South Asian Bar Association of North American (SABANA)
  • Systems for Human Empowerment
  • Take On Hate
  • The Arab American Family Support Center
  • The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
  • The Dream Defenders
  • The Gathering for Justice
  • The Markaz
  • UltraViolet
  • Veterans Challenge Islamophobia
  • Veterans For Peace National

The full text of the original letter is available below or via this link.

Open Letter to Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly by MPower Change

Congressman Crowley Responds to #Deported2Death Campaign

After facing pressure from community groups DRUM and #Not1More, and MPower Change members across the country, Congressman Joseph Crowley, Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus and co-chair of the Congressional Bangladesh Caucus, has sent a letter to the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security urging the agencies to stop the deportations of migrants being held in detention until there can be a thorough assessment of their asylum claims.

The State Department continues to be silent on the issue. Groups are calling on Secretary John Kerry to halt the deportations.

You can read the full text of the letter here.

MPower Change Disappointed by Wheaton College Settlement

MPower Change members are disappointed by the reported resolution between Wheaton College and Dr. Larycia Hawkins. While we are glad that Dr. Hawkins has finally gained closure on this matter, and know that her honesty and bravery make her a prime candidate for any academic position, the administration’s decision not to reinstate her is a loss for the entire Wheaton community.

The decision resulting in Dr. Hawkins’s departure stands in stark contrast to the widespread support that she garnered: dozens of letters from fellow faculty members, rallies organized by students, and widespread support from community members, including nearly 85,000 signatures collected by MPower Change. The loss of her powerful voice is compounded by the fact that Dr. Hawkins was Wheaton’s only full-time Black woman professor, and the first tenured at the College since 1860.

We look forward to the College’s Board of Trustees conducting a thorough investigation of the circumstances leading to this settlement, including questions surrounding gender and racial discrimination and violations of due process.

For our members, Wheaton’s punitive behavior towards Doctor Hawkins sends a chilling message to those that would stand with their Muslim neighbors against a rising tide of bigotry and Islamophobia. Here at MPower Change, we will continue to support and uplift voices that call for community, unity, and mutual respect.

Contact: Mohammad Khan [email protected]

MPower Change Outraged by Non-Indictment of Cleveland Officers

MPower Change members are outraged and devastated by the non-indictment of Cleveland police officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback for the murder of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

On the heels of non-indictments and hung juries in the cases of Sandra Bland in Waller County, Texas, and Freddie Gray in Baltimore, this demonstrates once again that Black Americans can be killed by law enforcement in this country with impunity. And furthermore, that those murders will then be justified and rationalized by the so-called “justice” system.

The loss of Tamir Rice’s life must not have been in vain. We vow to continue using our online platform to mobilize American Muslim communities to demand justice for Tamir Rice and the countless families who have lost loved ones at the hands of state violence. Standing against oppression is a faith—and human—imperative for us.

While violence against communities of color has been our country’s collective past and, unfortunately, remains our present, we are organizing to ensure it is not our future.