A Jewish New Year call for justice for the Muslim community

ActivismUS Politics

With increasing revelations about the surveillance and targeting of the Muslim community by the NYPD, the Jews Against Islamophobia Coalition re-commits itself to being an ally and partner with the Muslim community and all communities challenging Islamophobia, racism, and injustice. As many Jews engage during the New Year holidays in a period of reflection and introspection about how we have lived our lives and how we can participate in creating a more just world in the year to come, JAIC calls upon the Jewish community to stand with, and honor the leadership and vision of the Muslim community and communities of color that have been in the forefront of the fight for justice and dignity for all communities.

–Donna Nevel, member of the Jews Against Islamophobia Coalition.

The coalition has sent this press statement out:

The Jews Against Islamophobia Coalition strongly condemns the policies and activities of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), which, the Associated Press has just revealed, designates mosques as “terrorism enterprises” in order to more easily spy on them and infiltrates Muslim community organizations. For years, the NYPD has targeted the Muslim community on the basis of religion. As we approach the Jewish High Holy Days season, we urge all Jews and Jewish institutions—and all New Yorkers—to join us in publicly and unequivocally opposing the NYPD’s unlawful surveillance program.

We were angered, but not surprised, to learn from the AP last week that the NYPD, which sent informants on a Muslim students’ rafting trip in 2008, also had placed informants in mosques: reporting that one mosque is building a gym (planning jujitsu classes), and one young Muslim leader, whose wedding the NYPD videotaped and infiltrated, was organizing camping and paintball trips. All these NYPD activities were part of the newly revealed Terrorism Enterprise Investigations (TEI), which can last for years. According to the AP article, “the NYPD has never criminally charged a mosque or Islamic organization with operating a terrorism enterprise.” This surveillance program operates in a discriminatory and abusive manner, like the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program, which, as a federal judge recently ruled, unconstitutionally violates the rights of people of color in New York City.

As with earlier NYPD and FBI programs, which focused on African American, anti-war, and other groups, the NYPD program also involves planting informants in the leadership of nonprofit groups. One group targeted by the NYPD is the Arab American Association of New York, a Brooklyn-based social service organization. The NYPD’s effort to place informants on the boards of groups like AAANY violates the civil liberties of those targeted and threatens all of us who work in pro-justice organizations.

The Jews Against Islamophobia Coalition continues to fully support the Muslim community and all those opposing the NYPD’s unjust and unconstitutional attacks on Muslim individuals, religious institutions, and community groups.

The Jews Against Islamophobia Coalition (JAIC) consists of three groups:
Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ), Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP),
and Jews Say No! (JSN!). http://www.jewsagainstislamophobia.org/

 

About Donna Nevel

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7 Responses

  1. Walid
    September 5, 2013, 11:12 am

    Bravo and thank you to the “Jews Against Islamophobia Coalition”. People are puzzled when I tell them that if the Palestinians were to ever get their freedom and their state, it will have been thanks in good part to such Jews of good will more than to any other group.

  2. seafoid
    September 5, 2013, 11:45 am

    Obama’s Rosh Hashana message

    “Neighbor is not a geographic term, It is a moral concept
    Am I treating strangers with kindness ?”

    • Les
      September 5, 2013, 7:42 pm

      Rosh Hashana joke from MJRosenberg:

      Three rabbis were talking at their regular Sunday morning breakfast get-together.

      Rabbi Ginsberg says, “Oy! We have such a problem with mice at our synagogue. The custodian set out all kinds of baited traps but they keep coming back. Do either of you learned men know how I can get rid of these vermin?”

      The second rabbi, Rabbi Cohen, replied, “We have the same problem at our synagogue. We’ve spent all kinds of money on exterminators but the problem still persists. Any suggestions?”.

      The third rabbi, Rabbi Slosberg, looked at Rabbi Ginsberg and Rabbi Cohen and told the following story. “Rabbis, we had the same problem with mice at our synagogue. We tried traps, exterminators, even prayers; nothing worked.”

      “Then one sabbath after services were over a brilliant idea came into my mind. The next sabbath I went to the synagogue about an hour before services started. I brought big wheel of yellow cheese and placed in in the center of the bima. Well, soon tons of mice appeared on the bima and headed for the cheese. While they were feasting on the cheese I held a quick service and bar-mitzvahed all of them.

      And wouldn’t you know it, I haven’t seen even one of them in synagogue ever since!

  3. Citizen
    September 5, 2013, 1:17 pm

    Good to hear about this coalition. I wish they had somebody as rich as Sheldon Adelson to help fund them.

  4. miriam6
    September 5, 2013, 4:46 pm

    Meanwhile ,- in Iran an important Muslim leader Hasan Rouhani is apparently reaching out to Iranian Jews and Jews elsewhere by issuing a Rosh Hashanah greeting

    What a refreshing change of mood following eight years of the isolating, counterproductive leadership of the anti Semitic poisoned dwarf, whatshisname…

    Apparently there are only 9,000 Jews left in Iran according to the 2012 census


    Iranian president tweets Rosh Hashanah greeting

    Ostensibly reform-minded Hasan Rouhani wishes ‘all Jews, especially Iranian Jews’ a blessed new year

    Jews around the world received an unexpected holiday greeting on Wednesday — from new Iranian President Hasan Rouhani.
    Rouhani, considered by some to be a relative reformer, took to his Twitter account to say,

    “As the sun is about to set here in #Tehran I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah.”

    During this year’s presidential election campaign he decried his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s broadsides against Jews as “hate rhetoric.”
    The tweet was accompanied by a 2011 photo of an Iranian Jew praying at Tehran Synagogue.

    link to timesofisrael.com

    • RoHa
      September 6, 2013, 12:23 am

      I didn’t find your September 2 reply to me before the reply function was closed. I hope the moderators will allow me to post this here.

      Perhaps you don’t recognize that the phrase “turn out coffee colored people by the score” comes from this song.

      link to lyricsmode.com

      My position is freedom for people to marry their partner of choice.

      So if a pair of African Americans want to marry each other, then that is fine by me. If an African American and a Maori want to get married to each other, that is fine by me. If a pair of Muslims want to marry each other, then that is fine by me. If a Muslim and a Cao Dai believer want to get married to each other, that is fine by me. If a pair of Jews want to marry each other, then that is fine by me. If a Jew and a Buryat shaman want to get married to each other, that is fine by me.

      The position I am protesting against is that of people laying restrictions on this freedom. These restrictions can be simple religious restriction, as with Muslims and Catholics, racial restrictions (as in anti-miscegenation laws), or this strange Jewish opposition to marriage Jews (religious or not) with non-Jews for the sake of “preserving Jewish culture/community, etc.”

      So when Catholics and Muslims start insisting on religious restrictions on marriage, I do lecture them about it.

      Call me an old romantic if you like (eljay and annie will) but as far as I am concerned, the “unbroken for centuries Jewish Religion, culture and community” isn’t worth a single broken heart.

      I will say the same for any other religion, culture, tradition, you care to mention.

      In fact (hold on to your seats, folks) I will even say the same about English Grammar!*

      Human happiness is worth far more than culture, community, tradition, etc. If the “preservation” of these becomes an obstacle to happiness, then forget about “preserving” them. Pickles are usually sour.

      (*Though I find bad grammar heart-breaking.)

      • eljay
        September 6, 2013, 8:01 am

        >> Human happiness is worth far more than culture, community, tradition, etc.

        You old romantic, you! ;-)

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