Some Feedback/Suggestions from Muslim
community in LA Since S11
My friend Chantel, a Muslim live in Orange County, CA is working on her community to establish a support group in case of anti-Arab violence flame up. She talked to several Muslim Mosques and Islamic community centers and they want us understand what they think.
-Lee Siu Hin
Update from Mosques and requests that they have
Date: 9/17/2001 5:34:57 PM Pacific Daylight Time
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (chantel g)
After spending about 5 hrs. today on the phone w/ my contacts
at the mosques in LA and OC, and my fathers friends.. one message that became
clear the the Islamic school/mosques/centers would like to send out to all
1) they thank you for your support in trusting them and knowing
that they love this country and that they were horrified at the event that
unfolded last Tuesday, in no way shape or form do they support those actions,
or find any type of justification for them. They wanted to thank all the people
who have called and asked to volunteer, people how have held meetings in support
2) they do need volunteers and help in the coming weeks to do simple tasks at their locations or to help them w/ press releases, press conferences.
3) they DO NOT want to see their plight used as a platform to
move the agenda of socialist, communist, anarchist, leftist point of view.
They are very conservative actually, and would not like to be used a stepping
stone for others to move their agenda ahead.. and im quoting when i say this...
they refuse to work w/ an American/White groups of activists who will make
their issue of discrimination an issue about globalization, about socialism, communism, anarchy, etc. etc. etc. They need your help but refuse to be used as pawns in other fights, and would not like to participate or condone any groups that will spend their next few weeks bashing the Unites States. They want their basic human rights and realize they need help from outside
groups, to make sure they are given those rights.
4) They respect the United States, The Constitution and the President, and do not want to bring more hate and discrimination upon themselves by participating w/ groups and/or activists who are at this point focused on bashing the USA and "fighting in the name of all Arab-Americans"... they are not here to diminish someone's white guilt. They have seen a lot of emails
being sent back and forth and postings on IMC that have discouraged them a lot. A lot of "American/White" activist who are now claiming that the USA deserved this, that the terrorism was justified, making statements such as "they should have hit the white house" "USA needed for this to happen to wake up" "this is the Revolution we need to fight now and show them how
strong we are" "We all need to use Direct Action the way Bin Laden did" ... these type of ideas and words are making them very very scared because in NO WAY do they agree w/ that.. and in NO WAY do they want to work w/ people who
DO agree w/ statements and ideas like that.
5) they would like to participate in programs that allow groups to work together and put on discussions, rally's, press conferences, articles, radio show programs.. but once again do now want to be caught in a maze of personal agendas.
As a person from the middle east I would just like to please
remind everyone to keep in mind that if you choose to do this type of volunteer
work within these middle easter groups, please remember that in general you
are going to be dealing with a very conservative community... please respect
that, if you cannot do this from the bottom of your heart, by putting aside
agendas and working in their struggle to be able to live in this country and provide a safe living conditions for themselves or their families, you are doing a dis-service to them and their fight. That is how they feel, and personally after hearing their reasons for feeling this way, I would have to say I agree w/ them. They have had to work w/ activist groups before, and they said that most of the time that experience has left them w/ a bad taste in their mouth because their cause gets lost in the sea of personal
agenda... food for thought.. and ideas to focus..
I personally think we should have a HUGE meeting sometimes this
week or next week. If anyone has ideas about locations, time and date please
send the info along. We need to pull together in complete solidarity and support
of one another, to not let this horrific tragedy rip us and our communities
apart, it's time to pull together, we are not talking about another mass
mobilization here, or a protest... all of which are important.. but were talking about the safety and basic human rights of a large group of people living in this country.
Sorrow knocked at the door,
And found no one there. -Japanese Proverb-feel free to circulate