Countering Anti-Muslim Rhetoric

Linda Sarsour (Photo by Mohsin Zaheer)

Linda Sarsour (Photo by Mohsin Zaheer)

Arab-American activist and New Yorker Linda Sarsour, writing in City & State this week, called on “my fellow New Yorkers to stay above the fray of hateful and inflammatory rhetoric being spewed by 27 (and counting) U.S. governors, as well as media pundits and American citizens, against American Muslims and refugees.”

The next day, following passage of a House of Representatives bill that would subject Syrian and Iraqi refugees seeking entry into the U.S. to strict background checks, Sarsour posted on her Facebook page, via MPower Change, a request that people sign a petition to governors – now numbering 30 – who have said they want to bar Syrian refugees from their states. The petition drive organized by MPower Change, a new organization, urges that we “stand by our commitment as a nation to refugees in need.”

Sarsour, who is the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York in Bay Ridge, is one of more than a dozen American Muslim activists who formed MPower Change, which bills itself as a Muslim grassroots movement. In its launch statement on Sept. 30, the organization said it will be “a brand-new nonprofit online organizing, campaigning, and storytelling initiative to build grassroots power for American Muslims, while advancing social, spiritual, racial, and economic justice for all people.”

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