More Americans Showing Solidarity with Muslims
From Politicians to ordinary citizens, more and more Americans are standing up and showing support for the Muslim community in the US.
Last week, hundreds of professionals from the tech industry have signed a pledge “choosing to stand in solidarity with Muslim Americans, immigrants, and all people whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by the incoming administration’s proposed data collection policies.” They include employees from companies like Microsoft, Google, Slack, Facebook, Wave, Twitter, Mozilla, Palantir Technologies, and a lot others.
The pledge includes concrete actions such as:
- Refuse to participate in the creation of databases that would allow the government to target individuals based on race, religion or national origin
- Advocate within their organizations to minimize data collection that would facilitate ethnic or religious targeting
- Responsibly destroy high-risk data sets and backups
- Resign from their organization if ordered to build such a database
Last summer in California, Democrat Bill Quirk introduced a bill that designates August as the “Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month”. The California State Assembly passed that bill unanimously. Quirk said in a statement to the press:
“I am proud to celebrate the first ever Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month by honoring generations of Muslim Americans for their many social, cultural, and economic contributions to California”.
Students at the University of Wisconsin are organizing “Islam Appreciation Week” and inviting women to wear the hijab and speak to Muslim students to understand the religion and the diverse cultures of Muslim people. The event is sponsored by the Wisconsin Union Directorate Global Connection and the Muslim Student Association.
The Muslim Student Association (MSA) was created during the 1960s in Chicago and has 600 chapters across the United States and Canada. It is playing an important role in promoting a true understanding of Islam and Muslims throughout university campuses.
Starting November 30th, students from the Middle Eastern studies department at BYU have been wearing hijabs on Wednesdays to show support for the Muslim community in Utah. They want to share their understanding of Middle Eastern culture and religion with other students on campus. They have a Facebook page called “On Wednesdays We Wear Hijab”. The page encourages students to wear hijabs or any other religious clothing on Wednesdays until the upcoming National Religious Freedom Day on January 16.
Yonat Shimron from BYU’s Religion News Service said that Muslim women who wear the hijab “view it alternately as a sign of religious devotion, discipline, freedom from Western expectations, or simply a way to be in a continuous state of prayer.” Another student Sondra Sasser said:
“A lot of Muslims are feeling uncomfortable about things and they are feeling scared about things or just misunderstood, and so any show of solidarity, I think, can be touching. We have a lot in common with our Muslim brothers and sisters, and I have a lot of respect for the faith. The best way to understand it is to talk to Muslims, and I know that the people who will will be very impressed by it.”