Friday, June 23, 2017

Stop Human Rights Abuse Against Mosa Hamadeesa

Community Members demanding the release of Mosa Hamadeesa

Recent Update

Draft Email to Sean Irvin, Nadia Batcha, and DHS CRCL Compliance team

To whom it may concern, 

Recently, it was brought to our attention that Mosa Hamadeesa (A#088297731), who is currently being held at the Atlanta City Detention Center for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has encountered a number of issues during his detention.

This morning, Friday, June 30, Mr. Hamadeesa was in line for breakfast when he fainted.  He reports that he was taken to the hospital because he was having issues with his heart.  At the hospital a doctor told ICE agents and Mr. Hamadeesa that he needed and MRI, however, he did not receive one and was not notified when or if one would be scheduled.  Mr. Hamadeesa spent the day at the hospital waiting for care due to his illness.  However, because this incident happened before breakfast, he never received a meal.  Then, he missed lunch as well and was returned to ACDC just after dinner.  He reports having requested food on various occasions today and it has been denied.  As of 5:30 pm, Mr. Hamadeesa has eaten nothing all day.

Mr. Hamadeesa also reports that the facility has been very cold.  He originally had a long-sleeve shirt, but it was taken for cleaning and never returned.  He requested the shirt be returned, but this request was also denied.  Family friends would like to know if it would be possible for them to take him some clothing if ICE is unable to provide sweatshirts or long sleeve clothing.

Finally, Mr. Hamadeesa is a member of the Muslim faith community and, as such, requires access to a clock to conduct prayer at the appropriate times in accordance with his religious tradition.  He reported that there was a clock in the common-space of his unit, but that this was removed.  When he requested it be returned or to have access to another way of telling the time, that he might practice his faith properly, his request was again denied.  

Please let us know how these issues might be resolved quickly, as we are concerned for his mental and physical health at this time.

Kevin Caron

Georgia Detention Watch

Background Information Mosa Hamadeesa has been a Raleigh resident for the last ten years and is a Palestinian applicant of asylum in the US. He was detained by ICE on Wednesday, May 31, 2017. He is currently being detained at Atlanta City Detention Center.

Mosa is a father of four children and the sole breadwinner for the family. One of his daughters has a rare form of cancer and is being treated at Duke Hospital. Such treatment is not possible in Palestine. Mosa is an auto mechanic and serves the community through his hard work. His family and community need him at home in Raleigh.  

We urge you to call Congressman David Price office urging him to intervene to stop Mosa's deportation and end his detention. Please sign the petition below.

Please consider financially supporting Mosa's family in this time of dire financial strain. Please donate generously at this GoFundMe page started by a family friend. 

Here is national and local media coverage challenging Mosa Hamadeesa's detention.

Check a Duke physician's letter appealing to stop the detention and deportation of Mosa.

Letter by Physicians for Human Rights

Pictures of Mosa Hamadeesa and his family members

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Muslims for Social Justice Newsletter - First Edition

Check out the first edition of Muslims for Social Justice newsletter titled Muslim Worker. This newsletter features stories about Muslims for Social Justice, refugee resettlement efforts in the Triangle Area of North Carolina, a profile of North Carolina Muslim leader - Mother Margaret Rose Murray, and other information.

Click to enlarge size. Contact us at for questions and stories.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Forces of Peace and Justice Respond to KKK

(This article was originally published by Imagine 2050 blog).

Soon after the 2016 election, the Loyal White Knights, a Ku Klux Klan chapter in the rural town Pelham, NC, announced a rally in North Carolina to celebrate Donald Trump’s victory. They decided the victory parade would take place on December 3rd in North Carolina, but did not announce the exact location.

Witness to the increased demonizing and dehumanizing of Muslims, immigrants, women, disabled, working people and other marginalized communities and alarmed by the spike in hate crimes across the country, people throughout North Carolina came together in response to this rally and to protect each other and build their unity.

A coalition of 20 organizations, the Triangle Unity May Day Coalition, organized the anti-KKK rally in Raleigh, NC, held on the same day of the KKK rally.  This action was led by Black, Brown, Muslim, workers and others, most impacted by hatred and bigotry.

                                           Picture by Matthew Lenard

The rally brought together more than 1,000 people on a bitter cold day. Speakers represented such grassroots organizations like Black Workers for Justice, UE Local 150, Muslims for Social Justice, Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia, Fight for $15, Organize 2020, Durham Artists Movement and many others. Allies from Jewish Voice for Peace – Triangle, Carolina Jews for Justice and Triangle SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) also spoke at the rally.

                                                            Picture by Matthew Lenard

This rally rejuvenated peace and justice-loving folks in North Carolina. There was a resolve to build a stronger intersectional movement, especially during the next four years of the Trump administration. Participants agreed that we cannot afford to simply have spontaneous actions in response to a crisis, but need to channel the energy exhibited during the anti-KKK rally into efforts to build an long-term movement.
                                           Picture by Matthew Lenard

Picture by Yolanda Carrington

Based on this recognition, a long-term grassroots coalition, called Triangle People’s Assembly, was launched on the following day in Raleigh, NC. Many participants from Saturday’s anti-KKK actions throughout the state attended the People’s Assembly. Participants discussed lessons from the anti-KKK rally and explored future organizing questions.  Several people expressed the need to learn more about anti-Muslim bigotry and how to become effective allies to the impacted communities.

The movement against anti-Muslim bigotry, racism and all forms of oppression will be a long and often an arduous journey. Many hope that the anti-KKK rally and subsequent launch of the Triangle People’s Assembly will provide the support and tools for that journey in North Carolina.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

MAPAC Holds Candidates Meetings and Distributes Candidates Endorsments

MAPAC - The Muslim American Public Affairs Council, of which I am a member held one Candidate Town Hall Meeting in Durham on September 26, 2016 in association with Jamaat Ibad Ar-Rahman Mosque at the Parkwood Facility located at  5522 Revere Road in Durham, and three other Candidate Town Hall Meetings where held in Wake County during the month of October 2016. One at the Apex Mosque, another at IAR and the last one at As Salaam Islamic Center. The purpose of these Town Hall Meetings is to give candidates an opportunity to share  their views with the Muslim voters of Wake and Durham Counties, and the Muslim Community, in turn, had an opportunity to ask questions of the candidates and share their concerns. MAPAC Board members conducted evaluations of the candidates and then created a slate of endorsed candidates  which is available to the local Muslim Community.

A major concern for Muslims in North Carolina and other areas of the United States at present is Islamophobia. The media and anti-Muslim politicians are major drivers of this bigotry towards Islam. Islamophobia is tied to terror attacks at home and abroad and  fueled by the cable TV 24 hour spin machine and has created this unjustified hatred of Islam in the West. Trying to blame all terror attacks on Muslims who make up approximately 1.7 billion people from practically every country on the planet is a stretch a very long and unreasonable stretch. Do Americans show hatred and bigotry toward Christians because of the terrorist acts of  a White Supremacist group? Of course, they don't so you can see an apparent double standard when it comes to all Muslims being tied to a group like ISIS.

I recently watched a PBS Frontline documentary called "Confronting ISIS". It showed that much of the United States and the West reliance on combating ISIS is actually done by Muslims and Islamic Countries. Yet do to all of the negative propaganda in the media attacks against Muslims and Mosques is on the rise. Sisters wearing hijab have been attacked. School age children have been bullied and attacked at school. Muslims parents are correct to be concerned and they shared those concerns with Candidates for the Wake County School Board at a recent town hall meeting held at As Salaam Islamic Center in Southeast Raleigh, NC. School board candidates reassured attendees that they are aware of the negative attitudes towards Muslims, and they understand that in their roles they must protect students, be inclusive and support cultural diversity.

The county and the state of North Carolina are deeply divided between Republicans and Democrats as to who should be the next President of the United States. Many Women and Democrats are hopeful that Hilary Clinton will become the first Woman President in US History. Democrats are hopeful to turn North Carolina back into a Blue State and turn the US Senate back over to the Democrats with a win by Democrats like Deborah Ross. Muslims are hopeful that whoever gains and advantage will not continue the anti-Muslim devise rhetoric. It is for this reason that Muslims all over the country should get out and vote today Election Day! Stay Tuned!


Monday, October 3, 2016

Legacy of Workmen's Circle

Legacy of Workmen's Circle

Late 19th century witnessed an increased Jewish migration from Eastern Europe to the United States. In their new country, they faced abusive work conditions, unfair housing and anti-Semitism. Many of them worked in sweatshops with poverty wages and hazardous work conditions. As a response, Jewish community members founded an institution called Der Arbeter Ring or Workmen's Circle. The goal of this institution was to practice Jewish ideals of social justice and preserve their cultural identity. The organization adopted Declaration of Principle in 1901, which stated:

“The constant want and frequent illness which particularly afflict the workers have led us to band together in the Workmen’s Circle, so that by united effort we may help one another. The Workmen’s Circle knows that the aid which it can bring to the worker today is no more than a drop on a hot stone. It will do in time of need. But that there shall be no need—this is the true ideal. The Workmen’s Circle desires to be one more link in the workers’ bond of solidarity, ultimately bringing on the day of complete emancipation from exploitation and oppression.” (Source)

By 1920s, there were over 80,000 members in Workmen's Circle chapters, establishing it as one of the largest Jewish organizations in the country. Workmen's Circle chapters played an active role in labor union organizing across religious/ethnic barriers and provided support, including meals, during strikes. Victims of Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire have been buried in New York Workmen's Circle cemetery.

For more than a hundred years, this institutions has served as a space for building social justice movement and preserving Jewish/Yiddish heritage.

Boston Workmen's Circle located in Brookline, MA

Fighting Islamophobia through creativity

Boston-based activists Ayesha and Jay started a clothing company “Muslim Love Clothing Company” to celebrate their Muslim identity. Their signature shirt features the simple word Muslim, but replaces “u” with a love sign. Their satirical and progressive messages on clothes have resonated with many Muslims and their allies in the social justice movement. 

Their messages range from serious to satirical socially conscious messages including “refugees welcome”, counter-Trump message, burqa-clad skateboarder with a title “Radical Islam”, and other creative clothing messages for the young and old. 

They describe their message as follows:
“At a time where xenophobia and racism are on the rise, we seek to counter that hate with the imperative ideas that do not always make it into the mainstream. Afterall, when was the last time that you saw the words “Muslims” and “love” put together on your TV screen? By simultaneously culture jamming our world with positive messages and images Muslims, we aim to turn hate on its head.”

Check out their clothing products below.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Community Profile: Margaret Rose Murray

Margaret Rose Murray is considered a mother of the community by many African Americans and Muslims in the Triangle area of North Carolina and beyond.  She moved to North Carolina in the early 60s. Her late husband, Kenneth Murray Muhammad, founded the first mosque in NC, Ar-Razzak Masjid, in Durham, NC. They founded private kindergarten schools, Vital Links, in 1964, that has served a large number of African American community members. These schools have also served as community centers hosting social and community empowerment events. The Southeast branch of Vital Link School also serves as a temporary space for As-Salaam Islamic Center, while the actual mosque is being built at Lord Anson Drive in Raleigh, NC.

Mother Rose Murray has been active on social justice front. She has stood up for worker rights and
opposed racism. She spoke with sanitation workers and union organizers during the 2006 Sanitation Workers Strike in Raleigh, NC. Mother Rose Murray won Self-Determination Award by Black Workers for Justice for her leadership on social justice front.

Mother Rose Murray has a goal to preserve the history of African American community. She has
published a coloring book for children called Traces of Faces and Places (also named for a Radio Show she produced from Shaw University) to highlight African American achievements. This book encompasses generations of African American visionaries, inventors and discoverers from all fields of life.

We are blessed to have a selfless leader like Mother Rose Murray in our community.

Read a Huffington Post article about the Murray family and their contributions for North Carolina community here: