A Message from Imam Sharif Mohamed of Islamic Civic Society of America/Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque and Co-Founder of OPR to the Muslim Community and its Friends 2/1/17 In the wake of Friday’s Presidential Executive Order - freezing immigrants or citizens of certain countries entering or returning to the United States – we stand united. We know this is an affront to our people. It will do us harm and it feeds those that think with hate and division. We do not need to be filled with fear, even as we feel nervous about what lies ahead. We have seen trials and burdens as a people. Allah has honored us with opportunities to show our devotion and commitment to serve Him. We are in a moment that can remind us of those trials. We are truly strong and we again will endure. To endure does not mean that we fail to stand up for ourselves. Allah has given us the ability to know what is just and what is true love. We have a chance to show the world that we are an expression of Allah’s love.
Each of us can and are called to make a difference. We will stand together to help our community and prove to ourselves and this country that we belong to a great nation that is capable of good for all. ICSA is acting, organizing itself and in our community to ensure that our efforts are inclusive, bound to the will of Allah, and effective in resisting hate. Now is not the time to sit hidden in corners hoping trouble will pass us or our neighbor. We ask all of you to act wisely, to act with generosity and love, but certainly to Act! Begin bySeeking to Understand 1. Trust your faith. Before you act, ask yourself, what does Allah want of me in this moment? Spend time at the mosque, listen to each other and council wisely. Don’t grow fear in one another, focus on what is to be done to decrease fear, build bridges, educate, and will please Allah. 2. Understand what is happening and what are the affects of what is happening. Decide, do you trust your sources of information. Pay close attention to the sources you trust. It is a time to pay attention. 3. When you have identified an issue that concerns you, use the following steps Take Action Send a message, preferably a phone call directly to your elected officials, State and Federal – express your concerns, demands for justice, and insistence that this be a nation for all citizens. Have answers to these questions in your mind as you call: What is happening? What will be the result of this? How our government and our people respond? Do I have an idea of what would a better? Try to be specific in your thoughts. 2. Attend a rally and use that time to listen to others, and carry a sign with messages of hope, love, and a call to others to join you in a commitment to a better world. 3. If there are loved ones that are affected by this Executive Order, seek out community center for help. If you need contact information, reach out to us, we will help you. 4. Organize a neighborhood get-together where you can talk, calm those that need to be calmed. organize those that need to be brought into action but don’t push or bully others to act, counsel them towards their courage and faith. 5. Reach out to volunteer lawyers or free legal staff -there are so many that stand with us. 6. For those of you that are reading this and are not Muslim. You are our brothers and sisters. We gladly welcome you to stand with us. Join us in our marches, in our prayers, in our efforts to understand, and in our duty to show the power of love between all peoples.
Thank you for your support and know you can count on the support of the Islamic Civic Society of American/Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque & Open Path Resources.
Open Path Resources is a nonprofit organization that is the result of work that has engaged us for the last 13 years. We are affiliated with the long established Islamic Civic Society of America, an Islamic faith center in the West Bank Neighborhood of Minneapolis and the first mosque to serve the Somali-American community in MN. At the heart of OPR's mission is to be a demonstration that Islamic principles and democratic principles are compatible and are vital for addressing key issues of modern life.
Through an organizing process we test our theory by engaging the MN East African community in key public issues such as youth leadership, public schooling, out of school time, child care, health and wellness, career pathways for youth, addressing barriers to support for families with spectral disorder children, cultural/systemic barriers for end of life religious requirements, diabetes, cancer prevention and screening, etc. We build upon community and cultural strengths as well as address the barriers to full civic life for the East African community in MN.
It is our intention to bring about positive change in the MN East African community. Change that is the product of an engaged and active citizenry.