Source: John Englart (Takver)/Flickr CC-by-SA

Standing Against Islamophobia in this Time of Grief

We join people around the world who are grieving from acts of mass violence over the past week–in Beirut, Paris, Palestine, and Raqqa. And not just there, but everywhere. Not just this week, but every week. Each day. Right now. Such devastating events are in fact common. And that truth underscores, rather than detracts from, their horror. We mourn all these precious lives cut short from senseless violence at the hands of vigilantes and government officials.

We also know that, even as we wish to pause and mourn and dream of a safer future for all, there are many who using this moment to further entrench the racism, Islamophobia, and endless war at the root of the violence we grieve. Historically, as now, Islamophobia has served to help justify those imperial interventions that have so destabilized the Middle East region. Refugees are fleeing wars that the West has helped instigate or fuel, many of these countries’ borders were drawn by colonial powers. We know that Muslim communities, already the target of daily discrimination, brutality, violence, and war, will face greater danger than ever.

We, Jews and others of conscience, vow to rise in solidarity with the Muslim community. We commit ourselves to taking action to challenge state-sponsored and other acts of Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism in all their manifestations, such as closed borders, war against already decimated civilian communities in Syria, government surveillance of the Muslim community; anti-Muslim violence and hate speech; discrimination against Muslims in employment; policies that single out for detention and deportation those from Arab and majority-Muslim countries; as well as the invocation of Islamophobic tropes to drum up support for Israel’s oppressive policies against the Palestinian people.

The Network Against Islamophobia (NAI), a project of Jewish Voice for Peace, provides support and resources for those interested in organizing against Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism and making the connections between Islamophobia and Israel politics. To get involved, email nai@jvp.org



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