Islamophobia Talk at Fairmont United Methodist Church

Fairmont United Methodist Church Hosts  Talk on Islamophobia

A talk titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” was hosted by Raleigh-based Fairmont United Methodist Church on February 29, 2016. This talk was hosted by Social Justice Committee of Fairmont United Methodist Church. Manzoor Cheema, founding member of Muslims for Social Justice and Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia, spoke at the event. This talk explored roots of Islamophobia, its connection to racism and other forms of oppression and how to defeat this oppression. The talk was followed by a lively Q&A session.

About Fairmont United Methodist Church:
The name “Fairmont” was selected because the North Carolina State Fair was located in this neighborhood, 1873-1922. The fair’s second location, it was well away from town – just like State College!
The church was established because of students, who continue to be integral to our life. The Raleigh Wesley Foundation began in 1942, and is among the state’s longest standing campus ministries.
The church was established because of students, who continue to be integral to our life. The Raleigh Wesley Foundation began in 1942, and is among the state’s longest standing campus ministries.
Social Justice Work:
Our social justice team grew out of our self-study during 2007, our 70th anniversary year. We have worked together in three key areas:  mental health reform, public education in Wake  County, and are just beginning a more concerted effort at befriending the environment.
Source: http://www.fairmontumc.org/

SURJ Triangle Hosts Islamophobia Workshop

MERI Facilitates Islamophobia Workshop for SURJ Triangle

A workshop titled “Disrupting Islamophobia” was presented to the members of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) Triangle on February 28, 2016. This workshop was facilitated by Qasima Wideman, Eva Panjwani and Manzoor Cheema. This workshop identified roots of Islamophobia as racialized oppression and different ways this oppression operates in our society. This workshop included interactive sessions where participants developed responses to scenarios of Islamophobia attacks in community. The workshop offered many practical actions people can take to challenge Islamophobia, racism and other forms of oppression.

MERI offers workshops on Islamophobia that are facilitated by People of Color and Muslim presenters. These workshops offer interactive sessions to allow understanding about Islamophobia and learn from participants’ experience. Resources generated from these workshops allow anti-Islamophobia work by grassroots organizers in the People of Color and Muslim communities.

SURJ Mission:
SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals organizing White people for racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves White people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. We work to connect people across the country while supporting and collaborating with local and national racial justice organizing efforts. SURJ provides a space to build relationships, skills and political analysis to act for change.
Source: http://www.trianglesurj.org/about/

 

MERI Members Participate in HKonJ 2016 Rally

Islamophobia and other Oppressions Highlighted at HKonJ 2016

MERI (Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia) members and allies participated in Moral March on Raleigh or HKonJ (Historic Thousands on Jones Street) People’s Assembly on February 13, 2016. Muslims for Social Justice mobilized many Muslims to participate in this rally that connects anti-racism, worker rights, women rights, immigrant rights, environmental justice, anti-Islamophobia and other progressive movements. Farris Barakat, brother of Deah Barakat  who was murdered along with his wife and sister-in-law in Chapel Hill in early 2015, spoke at the rally. Barakat made connection between fight against Islamophobia and anti-racism movement. Check news coverage of the rally. http://www.technicianonline.com/news/article_f1055096-d39e-11e5-a186-8356f1eaf23c.html

http://abc11.com/politics/hkonj-march-draws-crowd-to-protest-voter-suppression/1199439/

Jewish Voice for Peace – Triangle had a wonderful banner expressing support to BlackLivesMatter, Palestine Liberation, Anti-Islamophobia and Queer Liberation movements. Jewish Voice for Peace – Triangle has organized canvassing against Islamophobia at Triangle-based businesses.

What is HKonJ?
For the past ten years, a fusion movement has been growing in North Carolina. In 2006, the Historic Thousands on Jones St. (HKonJ) People’s Assembly Coalition was formed under the leadership of Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II and the North Carolina NAACP. It has grown to include over 150 coalition partners. Each year this fusion movement comes together on the second Saturday in February to hold a mass people’s assembly to reaffirm its commitment to the 14 Point People’s Agenda and to hold lawmakers accountable to the people of North Carolina.
Learn more at: http://www.hkonj.com

HKonJ 2016 Pic 3 HKonJ 2016 Pic 11 HKonJ 2016 Pic 9

BAJ Organizes Talk on Islamophobia

BAJ Organizes a Talk Titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia”

Chapel Hill based BAJ (Balance & Accuracy in Journalism) organized a talk titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” on February 10, 2016. This talk was hosted by the Community Church of Chapel Hill, UU and sponsored by Peace and Justice Committee of the Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist . This talk was given by Manzoor Cheema from MERI (Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia). This talk explored roots of Islamophobia, its connection to racism and other forms of oppression, and how to build a movement to end this oppression.

BAJ is a twenty-five year old organization with a dedication to reform media. It is headed by veteran social justice and human rights activist Jerry Markatos.

More information about BAJ and Jerry Markatos:
“Markatos, a native of Wilmington, N.C., has served for many years on the boards of the Carolina Interfaith Taskforce on Central America and the Southeast chapter of Witness for Peace and as a former board member of the N.C. Editorial Forum. He has arranged travel to Fort Benning, Ga., for the annual protest against the School of the Americas, now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. He hosts and organizes fundraising events each year for Pastors for Peace “to help them carry much-needed medical, educational and construction supplies to Cuba.”

In 1991 Markatos co-founded Balance and Accuracy in Journalism, a co-sponsor of many programs that have focused on human-rights abuses in the Middle East and in Latin America. He continues to chair BAJ.

“Jerry grasps the deepest connections and contradictions inherent in governmental policies and practices,” said Tana Hartman of Chapel Hill. “And he sees the enormous obstacles to turning the juggernaut around before it destroys us all. But so do many others.

“What makes Jerry absolutely unique in my experience,” Hartman continued, “is that, despite his tremendous knowledge and utter abhorrence of the inequities and injustices that continue unabated around the globe, he remains one of the most genuinely positive, humble, good-natured and compassionate individuals I have ever met.””

Source: http://bluenc.com/content/jerry-markatos

BAJ-Islamophobia-Meeting-1

 

Workshop at UNC Campus Y

UNC Chapel Hill Campus Y Hosts a Workshop on Islamophobia

Qasima Wideman and Manzoor Cheema from MERI (Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia) offered a workshop on Islamophobia and racism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Campus Y. This workshop was offered on February 8, 2016 and explored roots of Islamophobia, its link to anti-Black racism and strategies to defeat Islamophobia.

MERI offers workshops on Islamophobia to educational institutions, non-profits, faith-based and other organizations. Learn more here.

About Campus Y:

For over 150 years, the Campus Y has been at the heart of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Its mission is the pursuit of social justice through promoting pluralism, and as such it is an organization that welcomes and supports a diversity of views, approaches, and activities in its agenda to drive lasting social change.

Since its establishment in 1860, the Campus Y has been one of the most vibrant organizations at UNC. With an estimated 2000 members each year, the Y remains the oldest and largest student service organization on campus, a leader in on-campus dialogue and discussion and in off-campus service and activism.

Over the past two decades, the Y has seen a significant rise in its international outreach, along with an increased emphasis on entrepreneurial and sustainable strategies for community empowerment. The organization has journeyed far from its origins as a young men’s Christian fellowship group, to become a pluralistic, diverse institution that champions civil and human rights not just in North Carolina but across the world.

Source:
http://campus-y.unc.edu/about

Islamophobia Stories Around the World

Islamophobia related stories around the world

Stories in 2016:

– Protestors March Down Cedar Avenue to Combat Islamophobia. CBS Minnesota. 2/20/16.
Excerpt: “Minnesota has the highest population of Somalis in the country, making Islamophobia a reality for many of them.
“I hear a lot of Islamophobic remarks in some of my family circles, or some friend groups,” said Janna Burger, Des Moines.
“It’s an issue people don’t really know about, and don’t understand what they’re fearing,” said one protester.”

Macalester participates in college based anti-Islamophobia webinar. The Mac Weekly 2/19/16.
Excerpt: “Throughout the presentation, several poll questions were asked as part of the slideshow.
The first asked was, “What issues re[garding] Islamophobia or other biases are most pressing on your campus?” The options offered were 1) specific incidents on campus or in the community; 2) general tone or attitudes toward religious minority communities; 3) threats or acts of violence; and 4) reactions to national or international events. Participants at Macalester acknowledged both #2 and #4 as prevalent, but #2 ultimately won out.”
““Like combating any form of oppression, it’ll require active participation by everyone in the community,” Mudragada said in an email later. “Fear coupled with lack of understanding spreads Islamophobia. As the webinar mentioned, it’s important to educate (some schools do Islam 101 sessions) and provide spaces for dialogue and understanding. I also believe joining the Allies Project sponsored by the Department of Multicultural Life provides skills and knowledge in building a safer and supportive community for all identities.”

The Entanglement of Islamophobia and anti-Black Violence. Huffington Post. 2/18/16.
Excerpt: “So why should non-Black Muslims care about racism and anti-Black violence? Because the very marginalizations that Muslims are feeling today in the era of Trump – the everyday racism, bullying, violent attacks – are part of the larger institutional processes that keep non-Whites at the periphery. Because Islamophobia is yet another aspect of structural oppression – oppression of Blacks, Latinos, women, disabled people, sexual minorities, etc.
Islamophobia, therefore, can never be understood – let alone addressed – if we do not understand how systemic oppression works.”

– Islamophobia and hate groups rise at alarming rate. The Arab American News. 2/18/16
Excerpt: “The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has released its annual Year in Hate report and the data depicts a country with extraordinary political and racial tensions.
The Year in Hate report released this week shows a rise in hate groups in America for the first time since 2010. The SPLC noted that anti-Muslim sentiments were at the forefront of documented hate crimes across the country.
Anti-government “patriot” groups, classified as armed militias, and others inspired by conspiracy theories have also seen an uptick in the last year.
In the report, the SPLC accounts for 892 active hate groups in the U.S. That number is up 14 percent from 2014, when there were 784.”
“The SPLC noted that there are anti-Muslim groups who have huge pull in the political field.

The Center for Security Policy and ACT! for America, two grassroots organizations, have been listed as anti-Islamic hate groups by the SPLC this year.
ACT! for America, the nation’s largest non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization, says its mission statement is devoted to promoting national security and defeating Islamic terrorism. The organization has more than 280,000 members in the U.S.
What’s even more eye-opening — the organization is run by Brigitte Gabriel, a Lebanese woman who claims “every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim.”
The Center for Security Policy also has a similar mission statement — to pioneer the organization, management and direction of public policy coalitions in order to promote national security.
At the beginning of the year, both organizations held events in states such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina that were attended by Trump and other Republican presidential candidates, including Ted Cruz and Ben Carson.
“If you look at these two orgs, one thing that’s extremely problematic is that they sit high with elected officials,” Piggott said. “In 2015, they held major events that took place at the beginning of an election cycle. It’s a good example of the mainstreaming of hate.””

Raisig Confident Children in a Time of Microagressions and Islamophobia. Patheos.com. 2/17/16.
Excerpt: “And there is a silver lining to all this: The chance to make our children more aware of social justice issues beyond their own. I am an Arab Muslim Canadian mother of Canadian and American children, and in my personal experience, there’s nothing like being on the receiving end of racism to blow open your mind to how it works and what it feels like. For example, there are strong similarities between the way in which Black Muslims face discrimination within the Muslim community from non-Black Muslims, and how Muslims today face discrimination from the wider society.
Now that the Muslim community as a whole is coping with prejudice, segments within the group have become aware of how they exclude one another. Another example is recognizing that while many North American Arabs/Muslims engage in activism to support Palestine, our support of Native Americans — on whose land we live today — is minimal. The current Islamophobic and anti-Arab climate demands that we draw on the full range of our experiences to work towards social justice for all.”

Brother’s slaying spurs SF doctor to speak against Islamophobia. San Francisco Chronicle. 2/14/16.
Excerpt: “In the view of Muslim leaders and many others, Barakat has become a powerful and badly needed voice for the community since the slaying of her brother, who was a 23-year-old dental student at the University of North Carolina, as well as his wife, 21-year-old Yusor Abu-Salha, and her sister, 19-year-old Razan Abu-Salha.”
““I don’t need to theorize or bring metaphorical analogies on how this is a real thing,” she said. “I just need to point to that picture: These people lived, I knew them, and I loved them, this is what they were doing, and this is what happened to them because of Islamophobic rhetoric.””

The Disturbing Rise of Islamophobia in America. Think Progress. 2/10/16
Excerpt: “In the last three months alone, ThinkProgress has found at least sixty-five incidents in which Muslims throughout the country have been subject to shootings, personal assaults, harassment, and attacks on their houses of worship. In one particularly horrifying incident in Grand Rapids, Michigan, an armed robber shot a store clerk in the face after calling him a “terrorist” and demanding money.”

Islamophobia and the election: It’s not just Trump. Mondoweiss. 2/10/16
Excerpt: ” The narrative that is being driven by many politicians and mainstream media outlets however, is that mosques are responsible for radicalization. Part of the reason that Trump, Cruz, Rubio are advancing this narrative ties into the fact that they’re being advised by one of the Islamophobia Industry’s foremost wingnuts: Frank Gaffney. Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy is responsible for advancing conspiracy theories, such as “all Muslims in public-life are Muslim Brotherhood operatives,” and that “80% of America’s mosques are radicalized.” 

– Palumbo H.S. students loudly say ‘No!’ to Islamophobia (Jan 14, 2016)
http://articles.philly.com/2016-01-14/news/69738717_1_islamophobia-muslims-friend

Muslims at South Philly school gather to commiserate, educate and share stories (Jan 12, 2016)
http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/homepage-feature/item/89962-muslims-at-south-philly-school-gather-to-commiserate-educate-and-share-stories-?linktype=hp_impact

Islamophobia and Racism Talk at ERUUF

ERUUF Hosts Talk titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia”

Durham, NC, based Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (ERUFF) organized a talk titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” on January 31st, 2016. Manzoor Cheema from MERI (Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia) gave the speech, which was followed by Q&A session.

This talk was organized ten days before the anniversary of the murder of three Muslim students Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha. Islamophobia is rooted in US forieng policy in the Middle East and domestic policies affecting Muslims and peopple of color. MERI was launched in early 2015 to develop an intersection movement that challenges Islamophobia, anti-Black racism and other forms of oppression. MERI offers presentations and workshops on understanding roots of Islamophobia and how to challenge it. MERI works with 14 partners to develop a grassroots movement against Islamophobia, racism and other forms of oppression.

From Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowhsip website:
Helping to create a more just world is integral to the mission of ERUUF and to transforming lives, including our own.  The ERUUF Justice Council coordinates action and activities for social, economic, and earth justice. The council is an umbrella committee, comprised of representatives from ERUUF Action Groups and other interested ERUUFians working to live the mission of the Fellowship.

ERUUF_Islamophobia_Talk

Talk on Islamophobia and Racism at UUFR in Raleigh

UUFR Hosts a Talk titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia”

A talk titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” was organized and hosted by UUFR (Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh) on January 27, 2016. Manzoor Cheema from MERI (Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia) spoke at the event. This event was preceded by canvassing action against Islamophobia that was organized by Jewish Voice for Peace – Triangle. Both of these events were covered by Japenese TV station NHK.

UUFR congregants are active in the social justice and peace movements. Learn more about their work here.
“The fight for women’s suffrage; the struggle for civil rights; war resistance; relief efforts from New Orleans to Darfur: Unitarian Universalists have historically been part of the fabric of our nation’s great social justice movements. Our belief system is grounded in an active commitment to peace, fairness, equity, and compassion. Social action is the vehicle through which we express that commitment.”

What is Islamophobia?
Islamophobia is a contrived fear or prejudice fomented by the existing Eurocentric and Orientalist global power structure.  It is directed at a perceived or real Muslim threat through the maintenance and extension of existing disparities in economic, political, social and cultural relations, while rationalizing the necessity to deploy violence as a tool to achieve “civilizational rehab” of the target communities (Muslim or otherwise).  Islamophobia reintroduces and reaffirms a global racial structure through which resource distribution disparities are maintained and extended.
Source: Center for Race and Gender at UC Berkeley

Here is a Youtube video of speech at UUFR:

UUFR, Islamophobia, MERI

Past Events in 2016

List of Events in 2016

Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia organizes talks, forums, workshops, rallies and demonstrations to highlight Islamophobia. These events emphasize Islamophobia’s connection to racism and other forms of oppression. We adopt intersectional approach to defeat Islamophobia and other forms of oppression.

Here is a listed of events organized or participated by MERI members in 2016:

A talk titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” was organized at Western Boulevard Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, NC, on Sunday, January 3, 2015. This event was organized by Social Justice Forum at Western Boulevard Presbyterian Chruch. 
Islamophobia and Racism Talk at Western Boulevard Presbyterian Church.

Islamophobia-Talk-1-3-16-Pic-1
Manzoor Cheema, a founding-member of Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia, spoke on the topic of “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” at the monthly meeting of Congregations for Social Justice (CSJ). This talk took place at Community United Church of Christ in Raleigh, NC, on January 13, 2016.
Islamophobia Talk at Congregations for Social Justice Meeting.

Congregations-for-Social-Justice-Meeting


Pullen Memorial Baptist Church
 in Raleigh, NC, organized a forum to explore Islamophobia on January 13, 2016. This forum featured speakers from the Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities. David Crabtree, anchor person at Raleigh-based WRAL TV facilitated the forum. This forum was well attended. WRAL TV, live broadcast that forum.
Forum on Islamophobia at Pullen Church.

Pullen Church

Two pro-confederacy rallies were planned in downtown Raleigh on January 16, 2016. As a response, members of Jewish Voice for Peace – Triangle organized a canvassing action for solidarity with refugees and Muslims in downtown Raleigh. Members of Triangle SURJ (Showing Uo for Racial Justice) and Muslims for Social Justice participated with JVP-Triangle in this action.
Canvassing for Refugees and Muslims in Raleigh.

Islamophobia Canvassin 1-16-16 Pic 4
A talk titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” was organized and hosted by UUFR (Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh) on January 27, 2016. Manzoor Cheema from MERI (Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia) spoke at the event. This event was preceded by canvassing action against Islamophobia that was organized by Jewish Voice for Peace – Triangle.
Talk in Islamophobia and Racism at UUFR

UUFR, Islamophobia, MERI

Durham, NC, based Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (ERUFF) organized a talk titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” on January 31st, 2016. Manzoor Cheema from MERI (Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia) gave the speech, which was followed by Q&A session.
Islamophobia and Racism Talk at ERUUF
ERUUF_Islamophobia_Talk
Qasima Wideman and Manzoor Cheema from MERI (Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia) offered a workshop on Islamophobia and racism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Campus Y.
Islamophobia Talk at UNC Chapel Hill’s Campus Y.
February 8, 2016.
UNC-Islamophobia-Workshop-1

Chapel Hill-based BAJ (Balance & Accuracy in Journalism) organized a talk titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” on February 10, 2016. This talk was hosted by the Community Church of Chapel Hill, UU and sponsored by Peace and Justice Committee of the Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist .
BAJ Talk on Islamophobia and Racism
BAJ-Islamophobia-Meeting-1
MERI (Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia) members and allies participated in Moral March on Raleigh or HKonJ (Historic Thousands on Jones Street) People’s Assembly on February 13, 2016.
Islamophobia and other Oppression Highlighted at HKonJ 2016
HKonJ 2016 Pic 11 HKonJ 2016 Pic 3
A workshop titled “Disrupting Islamophobia” was presented to the members of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) Triangle in Durham, NC. This workshop was facilitated by Qasima Wideman, Eva Panjwani and Manzoor Cheema.
SURJ Triangle Hosts Islamophobia Workshop. 
February 28, 2016
MERI-Workshop-at-SURJ

A talk titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” was hosted by Raleigh-based Fairmont United Methodist Church on February 29, 2016. This talk was hosted by Social Justice Committee of Fairmont United Methodist Church.
Islamophobia talk hosted by Fairmont United Methodist Church
FUMC-Islamophobia-Talk-2-29-16
On Feb 24th, Taha Omar, Adam Mekki, and Muhammad Tairab, Sudanese-Americans from a predominately Muslim community, were murdered “execution-style” in Fort Wayne, Indiana. There was little media coverage or outcry of community support for the horrible crime committed against these young black men. The media quickly painted a “black thug” narrative and at least one University’s MSA canceled a scheduled vigil for the young men. As a response, a vigil and march was organized in the memory of “Our Three Brothers” by Black, People of Color and Muslim organizers in Durham, NC on March 8, 2016.
Vigil and March for #OurThreeBrothers
Our-Three-Brother-Vigil-Pic-1
North Carolina Stop Torture Now organized an event to highlight North Carolina’s role in aiding torture through a practice called extraordinary rendition. This event was organized outside North Carolina Governor’s Mansion in downtown Raleigh.
Allies Organize to End Torture
March 9, 2016.
NC-Stop-Torture-Now-3-9-16-Pic-4
A talk titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” was organized by Durham-based People’s Alliance on March 10, 2016. Manzoor Cheema from MERI (Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia) spoke at the event.
Durham People’s Alliance Hosts Talk on Islamophobia
Durham-PA-Islamophobia-Talk-3-09-16


National Lawyers Guild Southern Regional Conference
hosted a panel titled “Combating the New Wave of Islamophobia and Xenophobia in the South” on March 19, 2016. This conference was organized at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Panelists included Azadeh Shahsahahani (legal and advocacy director of Project South), Dani Moore (NC Justice Center), Manzoor Cheema (MERI and Muslims for Social Justice), Zaid Kuseybi (Greensboro, NC, based activist).
National Lawyers Guild Conference Hosts Islamophobia Panel
Islamophobia-Panel-at-UNC-Law-School-National-Lawyers-Guild-3-19-16

#BlackLivesMatter Queer Trans People of Color Coalition is leading a movement to fight this bill. A protest was organized by the coalition in front of Governor’s Mansion in Raleigh on March 24, 2016.
#BlackLivesMatter QTPOC Coalition Protest House Bill 2 
BlackLivesMatter-QTPOC-Rally-Pic-4
On April 4, 2016, an event called Time for a Moral Revolution of Values was organized at Temple Beth Or in Raleigh, NC. This event included testimonies of attacks on education, healthcare, immigrants, workers, LGBTQ community members, Muslims and voters.
Launch of Moral Revolution of Values
Moral-Value-Revival-Tour-Temple-Beth-Or-pic-4

Anti-racism walk and rally titled “Race Forward: On the Move for Racial Justice” was organized in downtown Durham to support the work of Infinity Diamond Club. Manzoor Cheema from MERI spoke about Islamophobia and its connection to anti-Black racism.
Race Forward: On The Move for Racial Justice
April 9, 2016
Race-for-Racial-Justice-Pic-4

Methodist Federation for Social Action – North Carolina Conference Chapter (MFSA-NCC) organized a conference titled “Dare to Hear: An Honest Conversation about Race and the End to White Privilege” at Duke United Memorial Methodist Church in Durham.
Methodist Social Action Conference on Racism and White Privilege
April 9, 2016

MFSA-NCC-JackCrum-2016-Conference-Pic-9

A forum titled “Race, Fear and Faith: A Conversation About ‪Racism‬ and ‪Islamophobia‬” was organized at Meredith College in Raleigh on April 14, 2016. Rev. William Barber (President of NC NAACP), Muhammad AbuTaleb (Imam of Islamic Center of Raleigh) and Maryam Ahmed (member of Meredith College Muslims Students Association) were featured speakers.
Meredith College Hosts Forum on Racism and Islamophobia
April 14, 2016Islamophobia is bigotry and oppression (individual or institutional) against Islam, Muslims and people perceived as Muslims. The Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia (MERI) is a network of North Carolina-based organizations with a mission to end racism and Islamophobia. Our goal is to build a movement that challenges all forms of oppression. We work with folks and organizations from every background to uplift all marginalized voices. Since we launched this network in early 2015, we have organized discussions and actions throughout North Carolina to defeat Islamophobia. Our partners include: Muslims for Social Justice
Jewish Voice for Peace - Triangle NC
Black Workers for Justice
AIME (Abrahamic Initiative on the Middle East)
NC Justice Center
Methodist Federation for Social Action - NC Conference Chapter
Peace Committee of Chapel Hill Friends Meeting
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Balance and Accuracy in Journalism
Peace and Justice Committee of the Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist
The Orange County Peace Coalition
The Salam Shalom Committee of the Church of Reconciliation in Chapel Hill
Quaker House (Fayetteville)
MAPAC (Muslims American Public Affairs Council)
Stop Torture Now. Check us on our website at: https://merinc.org

South Asian and People of Color students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hosted a workshop on Islamophobia and racism on April 18, 2016. MERI’s member, Manzoor Cheema, facilitated the workshop.
UNC-Chapel Hill South Asian Students Host Talk on Islamophobia
April 18, 2016
University-of-North-Carolina-Chapel-Hill-Islamophobia-Talk-1

MERI members, Manzoor and Noah, facilitated a workshop titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” at Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Durham, NC, on April 30, 2016.

May Day rally (International Workers Day) was organized by Durham Solidarity Center on Monday, May 2nd, in downtown Durham. This rally was sponsored by Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia and twenty other organizations.
https://merinc.org/activism/durham-organizes-may-day-rally/
May-Day-2016-Durham-12

Raleigh African American youth Akiel Denkins was killed by a Raleigh police officer on February 29, 2016. Raleigh citizens have demanded justice for Denkins murder and called for accountability of the law enforcement. On May 3rd, citizens and activists attended Raleigh City Council meeting and submitted their demands.
https://merinc.org/uncategorized/justice-for-akiel-denkins/
Akiel-Denkins-Raleigh-City-Council-Pic-6

Southwest Airlines shareholder meeting took place in Chicago on May 18, 2016. This meeting was confronted by a protest by pilots, staff and mechanics for unfair work conditions. Southwest Airlines also has a history of discrimination against Muslims (see links below). Members of Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia, the Center for New Community, Jewish Voice for Peace – Chicago and Muslim American Society – Chicago joined the protest.
https://merinc.org/activism/protest-against-southwest-airlines/
SouthWest-Protest-Pic-1

Manzoor Cheema conducted two workshops at the UNC School of Social Work in Chapel Hill, NC, on Friday, May 20, 2016.

Moore County Democratic Party hosted a non-partisan talk by Manzoor Cheema titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” on May 16, 2016, in Pinehurst, NC. Manzoor offered background to Islamophobia, connection between racism, Islamophobia and other forms of oppression; and political usage of Islamophobia.

Manzoor Cheema from the Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia spoke on the topic of “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” at Congregational Church of Pinehurst, UCC, on May 22, 2016. Congregants from the church, Moore County NAACP members, grassroots activists and general community members attended the talk. This talk explored the roots of Islamophobia; how Islamophobia is connected to anti-Black racism, homophobia, anti-semitism and other forms of oppression; and how to build an intersectional movement to defeat all these oppressions.
https://merinc.org/forum/islamophobia-talk-at-congregational-church-of-pinehurst/
Pinehurst-Anti-Isamophobia-Speech-1

Refugees and victims of war were memorialized during a Memorial Day event in Chapel Hill on May 30, 2016. This event was organized by Orange County Peace Coalition.
https://merinc.org/uncategorized/refugees-remembered-on-memorial-day/
May 30, 2016.
Memorial-Day-2016-Chapel-Hill-NC-3-Center-for-New-Community-Blog

Manzoor Cheema from the Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia (MERI) and Muslims for Social Justice, made a presentation titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” at North Carolina Council of Churches meeting in Greensboro, NC.
https://merinc.org/uncategorized/islamophobia-presentation-to-nc-council-of-churches/
June 7, 2016.
Islamophobia-Presentation-NC-Council-of-Churches-1

Manzoor Cheema made a presentation on the intersections between Islamophobia, sexism, homophobia, racism, attacks on workers and other oppressions, during a meeting by North Carolina Women United in Raleigh, on June 14, 2016.

MERI made a presentation on Islamophobia at Legal Aid of North Carolina’s office in Durham, NC, on July 11, 2016. This presentation included history of Islam and Muslims in the USA, diversity within the Muslim American community, background of Islamophobia, legislation against Shariah law and strategies to defeat Islamophobia.

Manzoor Cheema spoke at #BlackLivesMatter/End Islamophobia forum during UE Local 150’s 9th Biannual Convention in Raleigh on July 16, 2016. Delegates from 16 workplaces throughout North Carolina attended this biannual convention by North Carolina’s largest public workers union!
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Manzoor Cheema joined allies from Bill of Rights Defense Committee and Center for New Community to offer a workshop on Islamophobia in Chicago on July 21, 2016. Members of AFSC – Chicago, CAIR – Chicago, JVP – Chicago and other organizations attended the workshop.

Manzoor Cheema from MERI made a presentation on Islamophobia at NC Council of Churches meeting on gun-control movement in Durham on August 2, 2016. Manzoor raised awareness about abusive nature of “No Fly, No Buy” bill.

MERI Members Noah Rubin-Blose and Manzoor Cheema did a workshop on Islamophobia for Raleigh PACT (Police Accountability Community Taskforce) in Raleigh on August 13, 2016.

Imam Oliver Muhammad, Imam Salahuddin Muhammad, Sara Haddad, Al-Hajj Mauri Saalakhan and Manzoor Cheema (on behalf of the Center for New Community) spoke at “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” forum at As-Salaam Islamic Center/Vital Link in Raleigh on August 14, 2016.
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Manzoor Cheema and James (Munir) Perry, on behalf of Muslims for Social Justice, did a presentation titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” at North Raleigh Masjid on August 27, 2016.

Manzoor Cheema made a presentation on Islamophobia and racism at Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Columbia, South Carolina, on September 7, 2016. This presentation was made on behalf of the Center for New Community.

MERI members joined a talk and action against entrapment and Islamophobia in Raleigh on September 16, 2016. This action was part of a national campaign by Imam Jamil Action Network.
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MERI members joined Triangle People’s Assembly pre-planning meeting in Raleigh on September 17, 2016. Members of various organizations including Black Workers for Justice, Durham Solidarity Center, Si a las licensesRaise Up for $15, Durham Beyond PolicingICE out of NC, Muslims for Social Justice, Organize 2020, AIME (Abrahamic Initiative on the Middle East), Durham Association of Educators, NC Environmental Justice Network joined this meeting to launch a People Assembly in the future.

Noah Rubin-Blose made a presentation during a forum on Islamophobia at the University of South Carolina in Columbia on September 20, 2016. This discussion was hosted by Muslim Students Association and Students for Justice in Palestine. Participants included Taher Herzallah, representative of American Muslims for Palestine, Rev. James Thomas from the Lutheran Southern Seminary Read more HERE.

Manzoor Cheema made a presentation titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” at Highland United Methodist Church in Raleigh, on September 20, 2016. This presentation was organized by Campaign Nonviolence Triangle, as part of Peace Week.

Manzoor Cheema, on behalf of the Center for New Community, co-facilitated a workshop on Islamophobia and racism in Boston on September 24, 2016. This workshop was organized by Jewish Voice for Peace – Boston, Muslim Justice League, Boston Workmen’s Circle and allies.
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A forum on Islamophobia titled Poisonous Politics: Fear, Faith and Democracy was organized at McKimmon Center in Raleigh on October 6, 2016. Speakers included Prof. Gene Nichol, Muhammad AbuTaleb (Imam at Islamic Center of Raleigh), and Melody Moezzi (Muslim writer and human rights activist). Organizers included Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, MERI, Islamic Association of Raleigh, Jewish Voice for Peace – Triangle NC, and Triangle Interfaith Alliance.
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Members of MERI joined Triangle May Day Coalition protest outside gubernatorial debate at UNC TV in Durham on October 11, 2016. Protesters held both candidates accountable for ending police brutality/#BlackLivesMatter; welcoming Syrian refugees/ending Islamophobia; Fight for $15/collective bargaining/labor union rights in NC; and ending ICE raids/immigrant rights. Read newspaper coverage HERE.
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Manzoor Cheema made a presentation on Islamophobia, along with Azadeh Shahshahani (Legal and Advocacy Director of the Project South) at the University of South Carolina at Columbia on October 14, 2016. This presentation was made during the Sixth Annual Conference on Immigration to the South at USC Columbia.
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Members of MERI, Jewish Voice for Peace – Triangle NC, SURJ – Triangle, Stop Torture Now, AIME (Abrahamic Initiative on the Middle East) and Triangle May Day Coalition protested anti-Muslim speech at Extraordinary Ventures in Chapel Hill on October 18, 2016. Community members protested the speech by anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant speaker Diana West, who was invited by virulent anti-Muslim lecture series by ICON (Issues Confronting Our Nation). Read media report HERE.
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A candidate forum was organized at As-Salaam Islamic Center by the Islamic center, Education Justice Alliance and MAPAC (Muslim American Public Affairs Council). This forum took place at As-Salaam Islamic Center in Raleigh on October 22, 2016. Candidates running for US Senate, State Senate, Wake County Commissioners and Wake County School Board participated in the forum. Community members asked questions about hate crimes at school, school-to-prison pipeline, economic inequality, anti-Muslim legislation, long other questions.
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Manzoor Cheema from MERI made a co-presentation with South Carolina-based human rights activist Ibrahim Hanifa on the topic of Islamophobia at the 2016 CHRONIC (Carolina Human Rights Organizers Conference). This conference took place at Arden, NC, from 10-21-16 to 10-23-16. This workshop invites human rights organizers and activists from South Carolina and North Carolina. The 2016 conference featrued workshops and presentations on BlackLivesMatter, Black Liberation Manifesto, Struggle for the Land, Ubuntu Economic Model, Human Rights Cities, Abolitionist Movement, War and Conscience, and other important topics.
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Abrahamic Initiative on the Middle East organized a forum titled “Linking Liberation Struggles” at NC Central University in Durham on October 24, 2016. Speakers included Jillian Johnson (Black Liberation), Benjamin Frey (Native American Burhan Ghanayam (Palestine Liberation). The talk was moderated by Prof. Omid Safi. Respondents from Jewish Voice for Peace, Immigrant Rights and Native American Liberation provided their insight.

Manzoor Cheema attended SEIRN (Southeast Immigrant Rights Network) conference in Black Mountain, NC, on November 11, 2016. This conference brought together participants from many Southeastern states including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana,North Carolina, South Carolina,  Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. Participants discussed results from the recent election and strategies for future organizing.

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Manzoor Cheema facilitated a workshop titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” at the University of South Carolina in Columbia on November 17, 2016. This workshop was organized by Students for Justice in Palestine, the Black Graduate Student Association, Muslim Allies Working Group and other organizations/unaffiliated folks. Here is a picture with some of the participants.
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MERI partnered with Triangle Unity May Day Coalition to lead an anti-KKK rally in Raleigh on December 3rd. This was followed by the launch of Triangle People’s Assembly on December 4th. Read more HERE.
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MERI partners participated in Triangle People’s Assembly in Raleigh, NC, on December 4, 2016. This assembly was organized by Triangle Unity May Day Coalition, a coalition of more than 15 organizations that was formed at May Day 2016. MERI Coordinator, Manzoor Cheema, facilitated discussion in Islamophobia working group.

MERI partner organization Muslims for Social Justice organized a discussion on racism and Islamophobia at As-Salaam Islamic Center in Raleigh on December 14, 2016.
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Canvassing for Refugees and Muslims

JVP-Triangle Organizes Canvassing for Refugees and Muslims

Two pro-confederacy rallies were planned in downtown Raleigh on January 16, 2016. As a response, members of Jewish Voice for Peace – Triangle organized a canvassing action for solidarity with refugees and Muslims in downtown Raleigh. Members of Triangle SURJ (Showing Uo for Racial Justice) and Muslims for Social Justice participated with JVP-Triangle in this action. These posters were distributed to downtown Raleigh businesses.

Demonizing of refugees is a consequence of Islamophobia that victimizes people who are already oppressed. Refugees are a product of wars and occupations for which Western governments have a responsibility. Muslims are also victims of heightened surveillance and profiling. Putting these posters at businesses gives visibility to this important topic and offers a solidarity to Muslims who are victims of institutional Islamophobia.

This action was coordinated by Jewish Voice for Peace national who have designed these posters and request people to take similar actions in their local towns.

You can download the poster here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw7ndKFMawZcZmxzVFdPTUFYeFM4THJENGpGWDY0RnpqbE5F/view

https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/stop-profiling-muslims-8.5×11-dark.pdf

Learn more about JVP’s anti-Islamophobia work here:
https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/network-against-islamophobia/

See pictures from canvassing action:
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