Muslim Advocates November 2023 Update

On November 1, we hosted Common Voices, Collective Action in New York City, an evening where artists, activists, and friends of Muslim Advocates gathered in solidarity to find inspiration and renew our sense of purpose. One theme that emerged from the night is what Kameelah Oseguera, a member of our board and the founder of the Muslim Wellness Foundation, called “beautiful struggle”—the unique ability of our communities to find beauty and strength in the face of overwhelming odds. As the obliteration of Gaza continues, and the domestic backlash against Muslim communities intensifies, we will return to this concept to catalyze our work and see us through these difficult times. Together, let’s continue our fight for what is right while drawing power and inspiration from each other and from every corner of our movement for social justice.

Here are some updates on just a portion of our recent work:

  • Defending Student Voices: Students are on the frontlines of the U.S. movement for the human rights of Palestinians, and our attorneys are working on multiple fronts to protect their needed voices. Earlier this month, we convened a coalition of legal organizations and sent a joint letter to hundreds of colleges and universities, urging them to reject calls to investigate students speaking out for Palestinian human rights for putative violations of terrorism-related laws. Additionally, we’ve been hosting weekly Know Your Rights training sessions with student activists, including in parts of the country underserved by legal-advocacy organizations. And we are providing legal representation to a chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine that is being targeted for its activism on a massive, public university campus.
  • Empowering and Protecting Incarcerated Muslims: We just launched Keeping the Faith, a first-of-its-kind database of state prison policies for common Islamic religious practices. This index is an advocacy tool to facilitate challenges to particular denials of religious accommodations and a celebration of the achievements of jailhouse advocates who kept and fought for their faith to achieve the legal victories we rely on today. Organizers and movement lawyers can use this tool to navigate the complex web of state prison policies, as they work toward a day when the inhumanity of imprisonment is ended once and for all in America.
  • Inspiration Through Art: At Common Voices, Collective Action, multimedia artist, rapper, and educator Yassin Alsalman (aka NARCY) debuted “Celebrate Us,” a music video he created specifically for Muslim Advocates that speaks to the beauty of community even during times of hardship. We want to share it with you, hoping it can inspire you the same way it inspires us. 

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Please look out in the coming weeks for more updates on our rapid response work in support of the U.S. movement for Palestinian human rights. This is a time of enormous consequence: people across U.S. communities holding Muslim, Black, Arab, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and other historically marginalized identities are being targeted in a way that recalls the post-9/11 era. At Muslim Advocates, we are doing everything we can to support and defend their voices and dignity, and we are grateful for your friendship and support as we continue on this journey.