ISNA’s Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances
(Plainfield, IN 10/07/15) – On October 9th and 10th, 2015, some US based hate groups are planning to hold anti-Muslim protests and rallies in 20+ cities around the nation, targeting Mosques, high-traffic Muslim communities and government buildings. The targeted cities are listed below. Some of these hate groups are threatening to be armed and are encouraging other "so called Patriots" who have weapons to bring them out on those days. The rally is being promoted under the guise of "Global Rally for Humanity"; see link here:
These hate groups will be exercising their Constitutional rights to engage in hateful speech and carry weapons with bullets. ISNA wants the Muslim community and other people of good conscience to also exercise their Constitutional rights. But rather than hateful speech and bullets, we will engage with positive speech and the ballot box.
ISNA is calling on Muslim communities to do the following action items:
- Rather than retreating into inaction, Muslim communities and individuals across the country must defend religious freedom with greater civic engagement and coalition building.
- Hold Voter Registration drives at your Islamic Centers as a response to the rallies.
- Invite interfaith and community allies to join the voter drive.
- Contact your elected officials and demand that they defend American pluralism and condemn these hateful protests.
- Start a #FreedomNotFear hash tag to raise awareness about the need to defend American religious freedom, the rights of all Americans to worship free of intimidation and threats, and the rights of all Americans to be free from those who wish to manipulate using politics of fear.
- Ask Muslim thought leaders to make short videos and write articles echoing this call to action.
- Ask your interfaith partners to make the same call to action.
- For the sake of safety, please do the following:
o Do not invite protesters into the mosque for dialogue.
o Notify the police if you live in a target city.
o Check to make sure that all Mosque security cameras and locks are working properly.
o Prepare a Security Checklist and make sure to have it available for key employees; perhaps post it on the Masjid website.
o All federal agencies are emphasizing, “If you See Something, Say Something” immediately.
o Encourage Imams to give a Khutbah on these anti-Muslim rallies in order to inform the congregants about how best to respond.
o Be mindful that the Sikhs, often times, are mistaken for Muslims and are wrongly targeted. Please reach out to any Sikh friends, neighbors, temples and inform them of these threats.
o ISNA has been in contact with numerous federal agencies, i.e. FBI, US Dept. of Justice and US Dept. of Homeland Security, and all of these agencies are aware of the protests and are communicating with local branches to ensure proper execution of security measures in the case of a real threat.
o For more information on Protecting Houses of Worship, please visit the US Dept. of Homeland Security's FEMA website:https://www.fema.gov/protecting- houses-worship
o For Dept. of Homeland outreach and mosque security trainings, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org or email email@example.com
o For Dept. of Justice cultural competency trainings, go to www.justice.gov/crs
o To report threats, email the FBI at www.tips.fbi.gov
Below is a list of the 23 targeted mosques around the country where the threat of armed anti- Muslim protests is eminent. But be aware that unplanned protests can occur anywhere so be prepared even if you are not on the list. Please try to support these communities in the best way possible. We have also included the contact information for the nearest FBI office.
Feel free to reach out to Nadia Hassan, ISNA’s IOICA Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you require any further assistance.