Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/4/03 - Op-Ed – On the Second Anniversary of September 11th


The following opinion / editorial is written by Faisal Alam.  Permission is granted to reprint the article.  Acknowledgements of reprinting are appreciated.  A bio appears below the Op-Ed.
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Written on September 4, 2003

Op-Ed – On the Second Anniversary of September 11th – by Faisal Alam

“Darkness Cannot Drive Out Darkness, Only Light Can Do That”

As the Second Anniversary of September 11th approaches, it is hard to imagine that there was a world before 9/11/01.  Everything we talk about these days somehow relates back to the atrocious attacks on the United States on that fateful day.  We all remember where we were and what we were doing.  We remember the horrific sight of the World Trade Center collapsing from the sunny skies down to the dark ground, wondering where our loved ones were and if any one we knew had died.  At the end of it all, we lost almost 2,800 people and the way we look at the world had changed forever.

As I reflect upon how much the world has changed since September 11, 2001, my mind has trouble thinking about all that has happened – both in the United States and around the world.  It would be too simple to go on and on about the number of countries that passed anti-terrorism laws, or to talk about the number of people that the United States has detained or deported since 9/11.  It is also too simple to speak about the 1,700 percent increase in hate crimes against Muslims and those that were perceived to be Muslim from the year 2000 to 2001.  But what is not too simple to discuss is the way that our lives have changed and how most of us perceive the world that we live in today.

The year 2003 marked the 40th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.  Thousands of people gathered in Washington DC to protest the state of the economy, the number of people unemployed, the lack of social welfare and the war in Vietnam.  While a lot changed after this historic march, including the passage of the historic civil rights act and the subsequent women’s rights and “gay” rights movement, today it seems as though nothing has changed after more than 40 years.  The civil rights that were enacted seem to have disappeared virtually overnight.  Our economy is in a state of flux, we have one of the highest unemployment rates in our history and the state of our social welfare system is in tatters.  

For queer Muslims in the United States, the attacks on September 11th brought a keen awareness of what it means to be Muslim in this country.  Many queer Muslims had a sudden reawakening of their Muslim identities and for the first time they began to understand that their identity, their culture and their heritage was under attack.  From the mainstream “gay and lesbian” press that accused Muslims of being “barbarians” to the editors of these papers who called on queer Muslim activists to “go back to where they came from,” the virulent verbal and written attacks against the queer Muslim community in the US from the wider LGBT world, was atrocious.  Furthermore, while many of us were comforted by the valuable blue booklet that gives us the right to be a citizen of the United States, too many people within the queer Muslim community, the queer Arab community and the queer South Asian community, were haunted by the threats hurled from the Justice Department.  Countless others were verbally and physically assaulted because of their name, their skin color, and what they chose to wear.  We may never know the full extent of what has happened in the United States to immigrants, people of color, poor people and religious minorities; but we know one thing for sure.  Nothing will ever be the same.

As the anniversary of September 11th approaches, I also can’t help but reflect upon the world that we live in today and the death and destruction that our government continues to perpetuate to innocent civilians abroad.

Every day the US media churns out statistics and news about the US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.  But not once since September 11, 2001, have we once heard about the number of civilians killed in both countries.  Estimates put the death toll in Iraq alone between 5,000 – 10,000 people.  In the previous Gulf war, more than a decade ago, the United States military killed 3,500 civilians, and subsequently stopped keeping track of civilian deaths.  Every day we hear about another US military casualty, but not once have we heard about the extent of the “collateral damage” that our government has caused.

The late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”  While Dr. King was referring to the war in Vietnam, his belief that social welfare was more important than military might, still echoes true today.

As a resident of Washington DC, the capital of the United States and arguably the most powerful city in the world, I am astounded at the number of homeless men, women and children in this city alone.  Nationally, in the United States almost 13% of our population or 35 million people live in poverty.  Of these 35 million people, almost 12 million are children, accounting for almost 17% of all children in this country.  More than 30% of people who call America their home do not have basic health insurance.

Looking at the state of the US today and the world in general, I’m more pessimistic than I have ever been before.  I’m also furious at the amount of damage that has been done by the current administration.  In the midst of this anger and frustration, I try to hold on to the few threads of hope that are left.  I hold on to the support and love for my friends, my colleagues and my boyfriend, who believe in the “beloved community” that Dr. King spoke of.  The power of humanity to overcome its hatred and its violence must supercede if we are to create a just and peaceful world that so many of us envision.  I believe in the words of Dr. King when he said, “I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive goodwill will proclaim the rule of the land.”



Together as people of conscience, people that believe in the power of peace and the justice of human rights, we must overcome the state of terror that we are living in today. Violence and military might only perpetuates the cycle of death and destruction.  “Shock and awe” only creates more hatred towards our country and only erodes further the values upon which our country was founded.  We must also create a government that takes care of the social necessities of its citizens (and non-citizens), regardless of their income, their social status, their immigration status, their race, gender, sexual preference, their religious and political beliefs, or their sex.  We must overcome our prejudices and humble ourselves in light of the power that we have in the world today.  Those that use power to oppress and conquer others are surely doomed to destruction, but those that use their power for the betterment of humanity will indeed succeed in creating a peaceful world.



Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed that “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  We must join hands and eradicate the darkness that has enveloped our world.  We must demand government responsibility to counter the social welfare challenges facing our country.  And we must stand up and claim the inalienable rights that belong to us as citizens of this world.

As we reflect upon the tragic events of September 11th and as we remember those that we lost, we must also reflect upon the great responsibility we have as a country.

Together we can create change.  We can end the destruction that our government is causing around the world.  And together, we can create a world that is rooted in peace and justice, a world that truly reflects the dream of a “beloved community.”
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Faisal Alam is a 26 year old, queer Muslim activist of Pakistani descent.  He is the founder & director of Al-Fatiha Foundation, a US-based organization dedicated to queer Muslims.  Under Faisal's leadership, Al-Fatiha has grown to include eight chapters in the United States.  Al-Fatiha has received wide media coverage since its inception in 1998 and has been featured in national and international newspapers, magazines, and television programs.  Faisal was honored as a "Young Visionary Under 30" by the Utne Reader in 2002 and named as a "Founding Father" byOUT Magazine in 2001.  He currently works in the field of HIV/AIDS and resides in Washington DC.

Faisal can be reached through Al-Fatiha at gaymuslims@...
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9/20/01 - Not in My Name - by Faisal Alam


The following article ran in the Metro Weekly on
Septmber 20, 2001.

Copyright: Metro Weekly

"The religion that taught me to feed my fellow
human beings even if I go hungry and to protect
the rights of minorities is the same faith that
is so often equated with violence, terrorism, and
injustice." - Faisal Alam

Not in My Name
By Faisal Alam

On the morning of September 11, I stood in sheer
silence and shock like many of my loved ones,
friends, and co-workers, wondering what had gone
wrong and -- worst of all -- what would happen
next. But while my colleagues at work worried
about their families, relatives, and others who
might have been injured or killed in the attacks,
my heart and mind were set in one place -- the
thought that the terrorists would turn out to be
Muslim.

I quickly called my mother, who lives in Northern
Virginia, to see if she was all right. Sadness
and fear overtook my heart as we spoke. She
reassured me that she was okay, but warned me
that we should not talk about the attacks on the
phone. She feared that her line was now tapped
and that conversations between us might be
recorded.

As someone who has lived in the United States for
more than thirteen years and for the most part
identifies as an “American,” every time a tragedy
strikes the United States and the media churns
out images of “Islamic fundamentalists,” and
“Muslim extremists,” my mind and my soul begin to
question every identity I hold so closely to my
heart.

Why does western media still associate the name
of Islam, a religion of peace and justice, with
the actions of madmen? The same religion that
taught me to feed my fellow human beings who are
poor even if I go hungry, and the same religion
that teaches us to protect the rights of
minorities, is the same faith that is so often
equated with violence, terrorism, and injustice.

I remember clearly the Oklahoma City bombing.
Once again, as America stood shocked by the fact
that such a violent attack had taken place on our
own soil, the suspects became clear. Within hours
of the bombing the U.S. media machine had already
blamed “Islamic fundamentalists” for the attack.
And within days the American Muslim community saw
the first signs of a vengeful United States which
sought to blame someone for the attacks.

My mother was a victim of harassment after the
Oklahoma City Bombing, long before it had become
clear that it wasn’t a Muslim who had committed
this heinous attack. It was a Friday afternoon
and my mother had just come back from the mosque
still wearing her hijaab (head scarf). It was
also the day that our house mortgage was due, so
she took a detour to the local bank to make a
deposit. She came home in tears. I rushed to
console her and all she could say was “I don’t
understand, I don’t understand.” She tried to
calm herself and then told us what had happened.
As she went into the bank wearing her hijaab, she
was immediately surrounded by four security
officers who demanded to know why she was in the
bank. After trying to make them understand that
she was simply making a deposit, she was let go
and allowed to make her transaction.

In the last few days, mosques around the United
States have been vandalized and many have
remained closed under heavy security for fear of
further attacks. Hundreds of reports are coming
in about Muslims and Arabs around the United
States who are being verbally and physically
harassed. There have already been two reported
killings in Dallas and Phoenix. And the hate
crimes continue around the country.
During the time that I have lived in the U.S., I
have fought hard to make a difference. I continue
to fight the stereotypes of Islam within the LGBT
community while battling to keep my LGBT identity
within my Muslim community. But today, I find
myself questioning everything I believe in. I’m
scared because in the next few weeks I have to
travel and will have to deal with ethnic
profiling. I’m upset that so many lives were lost
in last week’s tragedy. I’m shocked at the
hundreds of hate crimes that are being reported
against Muslims, Arabs, and other religious
minorities around the United States. And I’m
worried about my relatives in Pakistan who will
be at the center of a potential war against
Afghanistan.

In the wake of last week’s tragedy, I have
received dozens of emails and phone calls from my
friends and colleagues from around the world.
Even strangers that I have never met before have
written in to send their love and support to the
LGBT Muslim community. Many are worried about my
personal safety as a visible leader in the LGBT
Muslim community. I am grateful for such an
outpouring of love and support.

But still, my relatives in Pakistan are
frightened as that country braces itself for
possible attacks from Afghanistan. And Muslims in
the United States are afraid to step out of their
homes or open up their businesses in fear of
being attacked.

The emotions I feel today are the same as those I
had after the Oklahoma City bombing:
helplessness, shock, fear, and paranoia. And once
again I must tell the world that the attacks on
our nation were “not in my name.”

--------------------------------------------------

Faisal Alam, a 24-year-old queer-identified
Muslim of Pakistani descent, has worked in the
LGBT movement, faith-based organizing, and LGBT
youth work for over five years. He currently
resides in Washington, D.C., and works in the
field of HIV/AIDS.

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9/10/02 - Op-Ed: Remembering September 11th as a Queer Muslim




September 10, 2002 | Rajab 3, 1423 - By Faisal Alam

Op-Ed: Remembering September 11th as a Queer Muslim

September 11, 2001 will forever be etched in the minds of
people around the world as a day in history when our nation
and its citizens wondered what had gone wrong and a day
when all of our lives came to a stand still. As I reflect
upon this past year and all that has happened around the
world, the emotions and feelings that come to mind are a
combination of anger, sorrow and exhaustion.

Anger – at the militant and extremist Muslims who hijacked
a dynamic and peaceful faith and used the name of God to
justify their actions – and anger at a world gone awry
where civil liberties are destroyed and the cries of battle
reign, in the name of a “war on terrorism”. Sorrow at the
loss of so many human lives – both on that fateful day and
as a result of our war on the “evil-doers,” where
“collateral damage” is dismissed as though it is recycled
paper going to waste. Exhaustion - in my soul, in my
spirit, in my body, and in my heart from the news of
increasing hate crimes, the rhetoric of hate and xenophobia
spewing through our media and press, and the continuing
crackdown of LGBT people around the world by oppressive
regimes now legitimized by our government.

Moments after I found out that the terrorist attacks were
committed by a group of people that called themselves
‘Muslim,’ I knew that my work with Al-Fatiha would double.
As an all volunteer run organization with more than 700
members spread across three countries in ten chapters, I
knew that the lives of most lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgender Muslims would drastically change. I knew that
our mission to support LGBT Muslims, who are struggling to
reconcile their sexual orientation or gender identity with
their faith, would become more crucial than ever. It soon
also became clear to me that Al-Fatiha’s work to educate
the larger LGBT community about our faith of Islam would
take on a new meaning.

For the past one year, I have crisscrossed the United
States, city after city, speaking at dozens of venues to
thousands of people about how September 11th changed the
lives of queer Muslims around the world. I have written
letters to editors and columnists of far too many LGBT
newspapers imploring them not succumb to Islamophobia, the
irrational fear of Islam and Muslims. I have flown to
three countries since September 11th speaking to allied
organizations and conferences about the backlash faced by
LGBT Muslims since 9/11: the increase in asylum cases, the
fear of being “out” as both queer and Muslim, the
“voluntary” interviews, racial and ethnic profiling at
airports and on highways, the fear of arrest and
deportation, and the worry about the fate of our family and
friends abroad. I have interviewed with dozens of
reporters from around the world on the challenges facing
our community. I have written at least half a dozen
letters of support for asylum cases in a world where
freedom is now cherished more than ever before. And I have
met with hundreds of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgender Muslims in cities across the United States to
discuss the backlash and aftermath of 9/11.

As I remember September 11th, I realize that our world has
changed in many ways, yet has remained the same in many
respects as well. The looming “war on terrorism” has
turned our communities into a battleground. And the
environment for peace, social justice, and tolerance –
three principles that are at the core of Islam and the
mission of Al-Fatiha – seem to be far more distant today,
than they were a year ago. But not all is at loss.

LGBT Muslims today have realized their unique role in our
post September 11th world. Many have gained a newfound
identity as Muslims and have reconnected with their
spiritual and religious heritage, proving to many in the
United States that they are as “American” as any one else.
The activist world of queer Muslims also seems to have
taken on a new life. While human rights abuses continue
against sexual minorities in countries that are
predominantly Muslim, the LGBT Muslim community has found
new strength in speaking out against injustices committed
by authoritarian regimes. More and more LGBT Muslims are
speaking out against the illegal occupation of Palestinian
cities and towns by the state of Israel and are instead
calling for justice and peaceful co-existence of Israelis
and Palestinians, living side by side. LGBT Muslims are
joining anti-war and anti-globalization demonstrations and
protests, making the connections that the our new “war on
terrorism” is not a “new” war at all – but rather a war to
expand corporate empires and to build new ways to ensure
access to oil – all at the expense of democracy, civil
liberties, and freedom.

As a queer Muslim, this year on September 11th, I will be
mourning all the lives that have been lost since the first
plane hit the World Trade Center on that fateful day – in
New York City, at the Pentagon, in the crash in
Pennsylvania, as well as the hundreds of people that have
been lost in our governments’ war on terror in Afghanistan.
I will be joining thousands of others around the world by
participating in a candlelight vigil for peace and a rally
to protest the impending war on Iraq. This year on the
anniversary of September 11th, I will be reflecting on the
past year and all that has come from it – the trials and
tribulations as well as the support and sense of community
that I have gained from people across the globe.

In a world that seems to be filled with anger and hate, the
only peace of mind comes from knowing that ultimately those
that advocate non-violence and harmony will prevail. But
until then, LGBT Muslims around the world including myself
will continue to search for true social justice through a
progressive vision of a world that will one day accept all
of humanity and unify itself under the umbrella of
equality.

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Faisal Alam is a 25-year old queer-identified Muslim of
Pakistani descent. He is the founder and director of
Al-Fatiha, an international organization dedicated to
Muslims who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
(LGBT). Faisal has been an activist for almost 10 years,
first in the mainstream Muslim community, and now in the
LGBT movement. He is currently active in LGBT faith-based
organizing, human rights work, immigration and asylum
rights, and LGBT-youth organizing. Faisal lives in
Washington, DC, and works in the field of HIV/AIDS.

Faisal Alam
Email: FaisalAlam@...
US Tel. 202-271-0067

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9/14/01 - Article: Gay Muslims Wary Amid Emotional Aftermath, Hostility Feared


Washington Blade - September 14, 2001

Gay Muslims wary
Amid emotional aftermath, hostility feared

Picture: Al-Fatiha has worked to combat anti-gay discrimination among
Muslims; now they find themselves fearing anti-Muslim discrimination after
this week's attacks on the U.S.
(by Clint Steib)

by Rhonda Smith

In the wake of attacks at the Pentagon and the World Trade Center Tuesday,
Chicago resident Ifti Nasim said a woman told him to go back where he came
from, and her male companion called him a derogatory name.

Nasim, who has lived in the United States for 31 years and co-founded the
South Asian Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Organization and Support
Group in Chicago, did not respond. But since then, he said his partner of 21
years has been urging him to remain at home.

"[Muslims] are human beings like everybody else and very much against
terrorism and heinous crimes, no matter who did it," said Nasim, 54. "We are
part of American mainstream society.

"We cannot choose our parents, but we have a choice about where we want to
live," the poet and writer added. "And I choose America."

Like their heterosexual counterparts, gay Muslims and Arab Americans
nationwide moved quickly this week to quash any potential backlash against
their communities while the nation struggled to recover and government
officials began their search for suspects.

The backlash stems from various news reports linking the attacks to Osama
bin Laden, an extremist Islamic militant with access to millions of dollars
from his Saudi Arabian family. The media also reported that some Arabs and
Muslims celebrated the attacks because of U.S. foreign policies they do not
agree with.

Gay Muslims said they fear what happened this week could trigger the same
sort of actions that they faced in April 1993, after Timothy McVeigh and
accomplices bombed a federal government building in Oklahoma City.

Initially, public officials and others suggested the suspects in the
Oklahoma bombing were from the Middle East.

"American Muslims experienced violent attacks and verbal harassment in the
aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing when our fellow citizens rushed to
judgment about the perpetrators of the crime," the Islamic Society of North
America in Plainfield, Ind., said in a written statement. "We urge our
fellow Americans not to be quick to stereotype Muslims, who are also
suffering at this traumatic time. We, like all Americans, want to feel
secure and want to see the perpetrators brought to justice."

Other groups that signed the statement included the American Muslim
Alliance, Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers, and the
Association of Muslim Social Scientists. The Council on American-Islamic
Relations, Islamic Medical Association of North America, Islamic Circle of
North America, the Muslim American Society, and the Muslim Public Affairs
Council also signed the statement.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Washington, D.C., also
condemned the attacks.

"Arab Americans, like all Americans, are shocked and angered by such
brutality," the group said in a written statement. Its leaders also urged
the public and the media to "proceed with caution and resist rushes to
judgment."

The American Muslim Council in Washington, D.C., said it wants law
enforcement officials "to be cognizant of the fact that at times like these,
there are some acts of violence perpetrated against Islamic Centers and
Muslims of our communities."

Faisal Alam, founder and director of Al-Fatiha, an international group for
gay Muslims, condemned the attacks and urged gay people "not to be quick to
stereotype Arabs or Muslims."

"We must not allow our fears and anger to overcome us," he said. "Religion
has long been used as a tool of oppression against many communities,
including LGBT people. But no religion at its core advocates violence or
terrorism, including Islam."

Al-Fatiha organizers asked the group’s chapters worldwide to hold special
prayer sessions to mourn what happened. The group has U.S. chapters in the
District of Columbia, New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Diego,
Calif., and San Francisco.

"If any group of people could understand that you can be misrepresented in
the media, it has to be gays and lesbians," said New York City resident
Mubarak Dahir, a freelance writer and board member for the National Lesbian
& Gay Journalists Association.

Dahir’s mother was American. His father is Palestinian and lives in a small
village near the town of Ramallah, in Palestine.

"Please do not make assumptions or accept easy definitions and stereotypes,"
he said, "that you will definitely be reading in the newspaper in the days
to come."

A spokesperson for Al-Fatiha said the media appears to have changed
approaches involving how to cover such tragedies.

"This time, I’ve seen psychologists and counselors on television telling
people not to strike out," said Abdullah, an Al-Fatiha spokesperson in
Washington who agreed to speak with the Blade on the condition that his full
name not be used. "I feel much more comfortable with them having done that.
But I’m certain there will be individuals who are angry and will do
destructive things."

Kirsten Kingdon, executive director of Parents, Families, & Friends of
Lesbians & Gays in Washington, D.C., also urged caution in a letter she sent
nationwide this week to the organization’s volunteers, staff members, and
board of directors.

"This is a time for all of us, and especially those of us who are aware of
the pain inflicted because of unfair and inaccurate stereotypes, to be aware
of the fears those who are stereotyped [face]," she said, "and do what we
can to support them."

Faris Malik, a gay Muslim in Oakland, Calif., said he has not seen any
animosity against Muslims in that region. For example, he said students at
the University of California, Berkeley, shared their thoughts about the
attacks on paper and posters placed in the school’s central gathering area.

"The overwhelming number of quotes written said not to draw conclusions or
act with prejudice toward Arabs and Muslims," he said. "That made me feel
hopeful.

"But even beyond not retaliating against innocent Muslims, there was a sense
that they wanted no retaliation at all," Malik added. "They seemed to
realize that the people who committed these acts were renegades responsible
for their own actions."

INFO
Al-Fatiha
Faisal Alam, founder
www.al-fatiha.net
gaymuslims@...

Gay and Lesbian Arab Society
Ramzi Zakaria, founder
www.glas.org
info@...

SANGAT-Chicago
South Asian Gay, Lesbian Bisexual, Transgender Organization and Support
Group
Ifti Nasim, co-founder
P.O. Box 268463
Chicago, IL 60626
(773) 506-8810
members.aol.com/youngal/sangat.html
sangat@...

9/12/01 - News: Arab and Muslim American Organizations Condemn Attacks

Note: This email contains numerous press releases from Arab and Muslim
American Organizations condemning the terrorist attacks in the United
States.

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ADC Press Release:
ADC Condemns Attack on Trade Center, Government Buildings

Washington, DC, Sept. 11 -- The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination
Committee (ADC) today condemned the horrifying series of attacks on the
World Trade Center towers in New York and government buildings including the
Pentagon in Washington DC. Arab Americans, like all Americans, are shocked
and angered by such brutality, and we share all the emotions of our fellow
citizens. Arab Americans view these attacks as targeting all Americans
without exception.

No information is available as to what individuals or organizations
might be responsible for these attacks. No matter who is responsible,
ADC condemns these actions in the strongest possible terms. ADC urges
the public and the media to proceed with caution and to resist rushes to
judgement.

________ ______ American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
/\ |_ ___ \ / ____| 4201 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Suite 300
/ \ | | \ | | | Washington, D.C. 20008, U.S.A.
/ /\ \ | | | | | | Tel: (202) 244-2990, Fax: (202) 244-3196
/ ____ \ _| |_ / | | |____ E-mail: adc@...
/_/ \_\________/ \______| Web : http://www.adc.org
Be Active, Become A Member:
http://www.adc.org/membership.html
========================================================================
ADC is the largest Arab-American grassroots organization in the United
States. It was founded in 1980 by former Senator James Abourezk. To
receive membership information, please send us your name and mailing
address or visit our website.
To receive or stop receiving ADC's email updates, send a message to
<majordomo@...> with the following in the body:
to subscribe type "subscribe updates"
to unscubscribe type "unsubscribe updates"
========================================================================

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In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

AMPCC - American Muslim Political Coordination Council

IMPORTANT NOTE: Muslims in the Washington, D.C. area are strongly
encouraged to attend this event and them donate blood for the injured.

----- NEWS CONFERENCE -----

MUSLIM LEADERS TO DONATE BLOOD FOR ATTACK VICTIMS
National leaders join local Muslim community in offering assistance to
injured

WHAT: On Wednesday, September 12, leaders of the American Muslim Political
Coordination Council (AMPCC) will hold a news conference outside a hospital
in Washington, D.C., to encourage Muslims nationwide to donate blood for the
victims of today's terrorist attacks in Washington and New York.

Members of the Washington-area Muslim community will also be on hand to
donate their blood.

WHERE: George Washington University Hospital
1915 I Street N.W., Washington, D.C.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 12, 10:30 a.m. (Eastern)

WHO: The AMPCC consists of American Muslim Alliance, American Muslim
Council, Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Muslim Public Affairs
Council.

CONTACT: Call 202-488-8787 for more information.

- END -
-----

CAIR
Council on American-Islamic Relations
453 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 202-488-8787
Fax: 202-488-0833
Page: 202-490-5653
E-mail: cair1@...
URL: http://www.cair-net.org

-----

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With the Name of God, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful

The American Muslim Council (AMC) wants its members to read the statement of
SSANA in response to the attacks this morning. Members of SSANA have adopted
the position of AMC.


For Immediat Release
Press Release
September 11, 2001

Shari'a Scholars Association of North America (SSANA) Condemn Terrorist
Attacks

(Detroit, MI - 9/11/2001) The Shari'a scholars Association of North America
(SSANA) strongly condemn this morning's plane attacks on the World Trade
Center and the Pentagon and expresses its deep sorrow for Americans that
were injured and killed. SSANA send out its condolence to all victims of
this cowardly terrorist attack. There is no cause that justifies this type
of an immoral and inhumane act that has affected so many innocent Amercian
lives. SSANA supports all efforts to investigate and immediately capture the
evil persons responsible for these immoral can cowardly acts. Certainly,
there is no justification for these acts from either an Islamic perspective
or, in truth, from the perspective of any other moral and freedom-loving
people. These acts diminish the freedom of all Americans, including
American Muslims. Our condolence go out to all of the victims of these
inhumane acts.


/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
THE AMERICAN MUSLIM COUNCIL
1212 NEW YORK AVENUE, NW, SUITE 400
WASHINGTON, DC 20005
PHONE : (202) 789-2262
FAX : (202) 789-2550
E-MAIL : amc@...
V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V

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With the Name of God, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful

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MEDIA Release FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Department
Sept 11, 2001 202-789-2262
farkhunda@...
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AMC Seeks Assistance From Law Enforcement Agencies To Protect All Americans

(WASHINGTON, DC - 9/11/2001) The American Muslim Council (AMC) is urging all
Muslims to come together in this time of tragedy. AMC today condemned the
cowardly terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington and expressed its
condolences to the families of innocent people killed. This horrific
violent incident disturbs American Muslims.

AMC wants all law enforcement officials to be cognizant of the fact that at
times like these, there are some acts of violence perpetrated against
Islamic Centers and Muslims of our communities. We are confident that
authorities will protect all men, women and children. We hope to prevent the
acts of violence directed towards Muslims and Islamic Centers.

American Muslims experienced violent attacks and verbal harassment in the
aftermath of the Oklahoma City Bombing when our fellow citizens rushed to
judgment about the perpetrators of the crime. We urge our fellow Americans
not to be quick to stereotype Muslims, who are also suffering at this
traumatic time. We, like all Americans, want to feel secure and want to see
the perpetrators brought to justice. Enough innocent lives have been killed
today.

Contact: Farkhunda Ali, Communications Director
(202) 789-2262 ext. 205, farkhunda@...

*********************************************************************
Join AMC today...online
https://opaline.site-secure.net/halfpricedomain/memform.htm
Our efforts depend on your support.
Please donate to AMC
*********************************************************************


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THE AMERICAN MUSLIM COUNCIL
1212 NEW YORK AVENUE, NW, SUITE 400
WASHINGTON, DC 20005
PHONE : (202) 789-2262
FAX : (202) 789-2550
E-MAIL : amc@...
V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V

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With the Name of God, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful

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MEDIA Release FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Department
Sept 11, 2001 202-789-2262
farkhunda@...
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Donate Blood To Help The Innocent Victims

(WASHINGTON, DC - 9/11/2001) The American Muslim Council calls upon
the members of the Muslim community to come together at this tragic
time where so many of our fellow Americans have been killed and injured.

This American tragedy affects all of us and we should do whatever we
can do help save lives of the injured victims. AMC encourages Islamic
Centers to start blood drive campaigns and encourages everyone to visit
hospitals and medical centers in the capitol and New York City to donate
much needed blood to those who are required to receive immediate medical
assistance.

Contact: Farkhunda Ali, American Muslim Council
(202) 789-2262, farkhunda@...

*********************************************************************
Join AMC today...online
https://opaline.site-secure.net/halfpricedomain/memform.htm
Our efforts depend on your support.
Please donate to AMC
*********************************************************************



/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
THE AMERICAN MUSLIM COUNCIL
1212 NEW YORK AVENUE, NW, SUITE 400
WASHINGTON, DC 20005
PHONE : (202) 789-2262
FAX : (202) 789-2550
E-MAIL : amc@...
V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 9/11/2001

ISNA JOINS AMPCC IN CONDEMNING TERRORIST ATTACKS

(Plainfield, IN – 9/11/2001) – The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA),
along with other Muslim organizations throughout North America, today
condemned the apparent terrorist attacks in New York and Washington and
offered condolences to the families of those who were killed or injured.

The AMPCC statement read in part:

“American Muslims utterly condemn what are apparently vicious and cowardly
acts of terrorism against innocent civilians. We join with all Americans in
calling for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators. No
political cause could ever be assisted by such immoral acts.”

- END –

CONTACT: Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, Secretary General of ISNA
TEL: 317-839-8157 ext 222
Email: info@...

Signatories:

American Muslim Alliance
American Muslim Council
Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers
Association of Muslim Social Scientists
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Islamic Medical Association of North America
Islamic Circle of North America
Islamic Society of North America
Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed
Muslim American Society
Muslim Public Affairs Council


=====================
Islamic Society of North America
=====================

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With the Name of God, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
MEDIA Release FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Department
Sept 11, 2001 202-789-2262
farkhunda@...
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

AMC Deplores The Attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon


(WASHINGTON, DC - 9/11/2001) The American Muslim Council (AMC)
strongly condemns this morning’s plane attacks on the World Trade
Center and the Pentagon and expresses deep sorrow for Americans that
were injured and killed. AMC’s sends out its condolence to all
victims of this cowardly terrorist attack. There is no cause that
justifies this type of an immoral and inhumane act that has affected
so many innocent American lives. AMC supports all efforts of the
investigation in order to track down the people responsible for
this tragic act of terrorism.
The American Muslim Political Coordination Council (AMPCC) issued
a statement which reads:

“American Muslims utterly condemn what are apparently vicious
and cowardly acts of terrorism against innocent civilians. We join with
all Americans in calling for the swift apprehension and
punishment of the perpetrators. No Political cause could ever be
assisted by such immoral acts.”

The AMPCC consists of AMC, Council on American-Islamic
Relations, American Muslim Alliance and Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Contact: Farkhunda Ali, Communications Director
(202) 789-2262 ext. 205, farkhunda@...

*********************************************************************
Join AMC today...online
https://opaline.site-secure.net/halfpricedomain/memform.htm
Our efforts depend on your support.
Please donate to AMC
*********************************************************************




/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
THE AMERICAN MUSLIM COUNCIL
1212 NEW YORK AVENUE, NW, SUITE 400
WASHINGTON, DC 20005
PHONE : (202) 789-2262
FAX : (202) 789-2550
E-MAIL : amc@...
V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V*V

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MPACnews
briefings about Islam and Muslims in America
from the Muslim Public Affairs Council
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In response to the criminal attacks against targets in New
York City and Washington, DC, the Muslim Public Affairs
Council issued the following statement:

1) We feel that our country, the United States, is under
attack

2) All Americans should stand together to bring the
perpetrators to justice

3) We warn against any generalizations that will only serve
to help the criminals and incriminate the innocent

4) We offer our resources and resolve to help the victims
of these intolerable acts, and we pray to God to protect and
bless America

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9/15/01 - Op-Ed: A Time for Serious Understanding and Reflection in the United States

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The following is an Opinion/Editorial by Faisal
Alam, Founder & Director of Al-Fatiha (LGBTQ
Muslims & Friends).

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In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, Most
Gracious

Saturday, September 15, 2001
Jumada Al-Thani 27, 1422

Op-Ed: A Time for Serious Understanding and
Reflection in the United States

By: Faisal Alam

Today marks the fifth day after the tragic and
horrendous attacks that took place in New York
City and Washington DC.

The intense emotions that we have all felt over
the last few days cannot be imagined. But as we
mourn our victims and try to find some peace in
our minds and souls we cannot fall prey to the
dark emotions that are fastly rising to the
surface. As a Muslim who has lived in the United
States for more than 13 years it has been
shocking for me to see how in less than five days
our nation and the majority of its citizens have
gone from extreme shock and sadness to vengeful
anger and a lust for revenge.

While we have all been victimized, and in many
ways robbed of our dignity as human beings, the
backlash of the terrorist attacks have led to the
scapegoating and blaming of Arabs, Muslims, and
those that are perceived to be from the Middle
East.

Mosques across the United States remained closed
on Wednesday, the day after the attack, and are
still being heavily guarded with police and
security because of the fear of vandalism of
property and attacks on Muslims attending prayer
services.

Hundreds of reports have come in (both to
Al-Fatiha and to other mainstream Arab and Muslim
organizations) from people who are being verbally
and physically harrassed, and in some cases even
assaulted and beaten, because of their religious
garb or their ethnic and racial backgrounds.

What has come over our country when we begin to
attack our own citizens in the name of revenge?
When South Asian and Arab taxi cab drivers in New
York City and Chicago (who have lived in the
United States for more than 20 years) are taken
out of their cabs and beaten on the street; when
Muslim teenagers (born in the United States) who
wear the hijab (head scarf) are harrassed
(verbally and physically) in the streets of
Tampa, and when Arab and South Asian men working
in a convenient store in Northern Virginia are
called "pigs" and "sand niggers."

When our country falls victim to prejudice and
discrimination our so-called "civilized" and
"democratic" nation begins to fall apart and we
lose the very core values that we call
"American." But the issues surrounding this
scapegoating and even the terrorist attacks
themselves are more complex than any of our US
leaders realize.

The majority of Americans have failed to
recognize the complexities of terrorism and the
political and historical context in which these
attacks have taken place. Why is America the
target? Many ask this question and don't
understand the answer is quite simple.

It is too easy to scapegoat and blame an entire
ethnic or religious community based on the
actions of certain individuals. It is also
equally too easy to fall victim to false pretexts
of "nationalism" and "patriotism" without
understanding the roots of why the United States
continues to be a target for terrorist attacks
around the world.

In the year 2001, we continue to fund autocratic
regimes and other countries around the world that
oppress their own citizens and violate the human
rights of minorities. Our biased international
policies towards other nations continue to
reflect America's arrogant attitude of being the
"only remaining superpower in the world." And
our corporate and political monopoly on the
world's economy continues to perpetuate the cycle
of poverty and economic exploitation around the
world.

The next few days will be a time of serious
understanding and reflection about how we will
choose to proceed as our leaders galvanize the
nation to start our "war on terrorism." Similar
sentiments were expressed after Japan bombed
Pearl Harbor. The result of the war on
"imperialism" in Japan was the creation of camps
for Japanese Americans throughout this country.

Many have speculated that Afghanistan will be the
target of US attacks, as the Taliban regime
continues to harbor Osama bin Laden, the
suspected mastermind behind the attacks on the
US. But while we condemn the extremist
ideologies of the government of Afghanistan who
has given asylum to bin Laden, we forget that the
United States funded the "mujahideen" (or holy
warriors) in Afghanistan to counter the
occupation of the former Soviet Union in that
counry during the Cold War. The Cold War is over
and after a bloody civil war the Taliban have
taken over Afghanistan. And today these same
"holy warriors" who were armed by the United
States are now declaring a "holy war" on our
nation.

We have not learned from our own history and our
own legacy. And we refuse to take into account
the political context of why terrorism is
striking our world today.

While we take a stand against terrorism and mourn
the loss of the thousands of victims of this
terrible tragedy, we must decide today if we will
continue the endless cycle of violence and death
both in the United States and abroad. Or will we
fight for true peace and justice without
sacrificing the lives of of more innocent people?
That is the question that should occupy our
minds and hearts today.

--------------------------------------------------

Faisal Alam is a 24 year old queer-identified
Muslim of Pakistan descent. He has worked in the
LGBT movement, has done faith-based organizing,
and LGBT youth work for over 5 years. He
currently resides in Washington, DC, USA and
works in the field of HIV/AIDS.

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