Resisting Islamophobia in Our Communities: Suggestions for Action from JVP’s Network Against Islamophobia
As we mourn those killed in the recent horrific attacks in Brussels and Ankara, we are also acutely aware of—and pledge to stand firmly against–the frightening rise in Islamophobia against Muslim communities already besieged in this country. These communities are now under even greater threat of physical violence, harassment, bullying, and the diminishment of civil liberties.
On the national level, we have already heard expressions of virulent anti-Muslim bigotry from public figures and elected officials who have called for Muslims to be banned from entering the United States and who have said that police should be empowered to patrol and “secure” Muslim communities. Islamophobia has also spiked in our local communities, in every place where Islamophobic and racist messages—amplified by the media, politicians, and a cottage industry of anti-Muslim ideologues—fuel hatred and fear of Muslims.
We encourage people to act in their own communities, to be as visible as possible, and to speak out and take action. For example:
- Stand and act in solidarity with the Muslim community and with South Asians, Sikhs, and others who are impacted by the Islamophobia of individuals, government, and other institutions.
- Resist the Islamophobic, destructive framing that is so pervasive in our culture. Here are just a couple of the articles we have found helpful in shaping our own analyses:
- “How Not to Talk to Muslims After a Fringe Terrorist Group Attacks” by Juan Cole
- “Why it is wrong to demand that Muslims condemn ISIS” by Roy Greenslade
- Contact your local mosque or Islamic center to express your support for its members and their safety.
- Write letters and op-eds to your local newspapers and to community publications that strongly challenge Islamophobia in all its manifestations and that highlight underlying issues of occupation, imperialism, and ongoing state violence.
- Continue to canvass in your neighborhoods as part of the Network Against Islamophobia (NAI) campaign, asking businesses to post Stop Profiling Muslims signs in their window. To learn more about this campaign, go to http://againstislamophobia.org/