(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/13/19) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on all people of conscience to contact their members of Congress to voice support for Imam Omar Suleiman, who has been targeted by a smear campaign by Islamophobic and anti-Palestinian groups in the wake of his May 9 opening prayer in the U.S. House of Representatives.
TAKE ACTION: URGE CONGRESS THAT YOU STAND WITH IMAM OMAR SULEIMAN, AGAINST HATE
[NOTE: Imam is an Arabic word used to refer to Islamic religious scholars and prayer leaders.]
The imam was invited by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) to deliver the opening prayer, a common practice among lawmakers. In his nondenominational prayer, Imam Suleiman condemned violence against worshipers of all faiths and called for peace and unity.
In the days after the prayer, some right-wing media outlets and partisan organizations with a history of Islamophobic and anti-Palestinian activism attacked Imam Suleiman for his past criticism of the Israeli government’s human rights abuses against Palestinians.
Rep. Johnson came to Imam Suleiman’s defense on twitter saying that he “he has time and again, used his voice to call for peace & justice — especially in times of struggle” and “stood hand in hand with leaders of both parties in denouncing hate, bigotry and violence.”
Commenting on the attacks, Imam Suleiman wrote a editorial for the the Dallas Morning News editorial “Omar Suleiman: Hateful attacks cannot silence voices of unity and love,” in which he stated in part: “This hate seeks to silence, intimidate and bully American Muslim leaders. It also seeks to fracture the crucial alliances that have been formed to challenge it.”
Action Alert Message Being Sent to Congress:
“I stand with Imam Omar Suleiman.
“Following his May 9 opening prayer in the U.S. House of Representatives, he has been targeted by an unfounded smear campaign launched against him by Islamophobic and anti-Palestinian groups.
“For years, Imam Omar has worked with Texans of all faiths and backgrounds to advance peace and interfaith understanding.
“Instead of amplifying Imam Omar Suleiman’s message of peace and unity, anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian groups have launched a smear campaign against yet another person of color and American Muslim leader in the hope of maligning and marginalizing the Muslim community.
“Following these attacks, Imam Suleiman has stated that this ‘hate seeks to silence, intimidate and bully American Muslim leaders. It also seeks to fracture the crucial alliances that have been formed to challenge it.’
“As your constituent, I kindly request that your office publicly denounce these bigoted attacks and urge House leadership to also reject these attacks.”
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.