CAIR

CAIR Follow

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization.

http://www.cair.com/

4,149 Followers  1,872 Follow

Share Share Share

"A Billet-Doux:

I don’t recall this exact moment, while standing next to Abdul under those towering structures. I do recall though, feeling that this must have been a chilling and a transformative view for many, while peering up the feet of beloveds.
.
.

Unfortunately, this absent-minded consumption has been the privilege of our lives that refuses to acknowledge or accept that we stand on the shoulders of giants and on the forbearance of prophets.
.
.

You have led the way to civilizational shifts. Be it from the first sound of Adan out of the mouth of a freed black slave in Medina, to hiding scrolls as the way to freedom wringing through the Mississippi River, or letters from prison cells in South Africa and Birmingham or from the West Wing.
.
.

I am indebted and grateful to Brother Abdul and others for embarking on this journey. Your power of presence brought a whole new meaning to seeing another.
.
.

To my African-American family; I want you to know that you have left an indelible mark on my life; our lives. We have not known or felt the full weight of your suffering or grief.
.
.

But yours is a pain that has influenced our world view as you have stood resolute in your morality with dignity. You’ve rendered true justice to the meaning of endurance and sacrifice. You’ve venerated moral courage. You have taught us faith, virtue, civility, kindness, magnanimity, tolerance, acceptance, love, mercy, and compassion.
.
.

No matter who we are or where we live in any corner of this earth, our lives have been touched by your grace.
.
.

Yours is a way to live in the face of adversity; full of hope.
.
.

In your courage to survive and thrive are examples for those who seek."
.
. -Khaula Hadeed, Executive Director, CAIR-Alabama @cair_al
.
.

#AlabamaPilgrimage #Juneteenth2018 #CAIR #Montgomery #Alabama @eji_org @civilrightsmemorial
"'I see America through the eyes of the victim. I don't see any American dream--I see an American nightmare.' These words come from Malcolm X and they epitomize my feelings after spending time in Alabama on our civil rights pilgrimage. .
.
I am ever so grateful to the African-American civil rights activists who fought so hard for me to be able to enjoy the freedoms that I enjoy today.
.
.
I wish our community did a better job of valuing their voices, their strengths, and their stories. There’s so much we can build from what they have done and continue to do, we just need to stop and listen."
.
.
- Zakir Khan, Board Chair, CAIR-Oregon
.
.

#AlabamaPilgrimage #Juneteenth2018 #CAIR #Montgomery #Alabama @legacymuseum @eji_org
"I was prepared for our trip to visit the #Alabama civil rights trail historical sites to be a difficult one, but in actuality I had no idea how difficult, how emotionally wrenching, it would be to learn about the brutal reality of racial violence and terror that is such a painful, shameful and shrouded part of our American history. .

At the Civil Rights Memorial Center in #Birmingham, dedicated to black Americans murdered through acts of racial violence, we learned of the many people who were lynched during the period of Jim Crow segregation. Seeing the faces of these martyrs, some of whom were school kids, and hearing their stories, brought home to me the stark and brutal reality of Jim Crow racial segregation and racially motivated violence in America. But still I didn’t grasp the entire breadth and depth of the violence and brutality of this history. That was soon to come. .

Traveling down the lush, green highways of central Alabama from Birmingham to Montgomery, reminded me of our family vacation trips down this very road, but gave no clue to the catalogue of horrors from our American past that lay ahead in the city we had driven through nearly every summer for the past 28 years. Montgomery seems like a peaceful place, the memories of past violence all but forgotten except by the descendants of those who suffered the most, resurrected to fill the Legacy Museum and awaken our collective conscience. .

I wasn’t prepared for the impact this history would have on me and I left the museum, without even being able to withstand the horrific history contained in all the displays, completely devastated by what I had seen within its walls. .

Once outside, nearly collapsing under the weight of it all, I sobbed on the shoulder of a friend who was dealing with the resurrected memories of her own difficult family history growing up in the South...."
.
.
READ @caircinci Executive Director Karen Dabdoub's FULL STORY: https://t.co/PWdtXTSXKo

#AlabamaPilgrimage #Juneteenth2018 #CAIR @bhamcivilrights #Selma
"My trip to Montgomery was a sharp reminder that the entire history of what America really has been, cannot be buried. . .

The memorials dedicated to the lynching of African Americans and our struggle for civil rights were to me not only recognition of a sordid past but the legacy of how the false idea of white supremacy continues to marginalize communities of color. . .

The chattel slavery and lynchings of yesterday are mass incarceration and extra-judicial murders by law enforcement today. The tears that I shed in Alabama were not simply about yesterday but about what America is now. I thought of families that were ripped apart in slave auctions in Montgomery just as families are ripped apart today by inhumane immigration policies. . .

I thought about Muslims who struggled to worship on plantations and how today white nationalists dream of stripping us of our rights as Muslims in America. . .

What we face today is but a continuation of the struggle of my enslaved forefathers who were on a plantation not far from where this picture was taken. . . 
We can never forget the struggles that came before us and the debt that we owe to continue to strive to establish freedom, justice and equality in America." . . 
Dawud Walid Executive Director, CAIR- Michigan . . 
#AlabamaPilgrimage #Juneteenth2018 #CAIR #Montgomery #Alabama  @eji_org @splcenter @civilrightsmemorial
"As I viewed the faces and learned the stories of those who perished for the cause of equality, I remember the martyrs in this struggle not as victims, but as guardians of liberty who made the ultimate sacrifice doing God’s work.
.
.

These heroes remain in my prayers and consistently remind me why humanity must never succumb to its most base emotions and always cherish and uplift the better angels of its nature. I am eternally grateful."
.
.

Usjid Hameed @usjid_umar, Public Affairs Coordinator, CAIR-Columbus .
.

#AlabamaPilgrimage #Juneteenth2018 #CAIR #Montgomery #Alabama @splcenter
@civilrightsmemorial
"Montgomery is the place where people stood up to fight against segregation and they were confronted with dogs, and the police officers with batons and fire hoses and they were brutalized and jailed and some were killed and yet they kept fighting. . .

Following enslavement we had decades of terrorism and violence and people don’t realize that the demographic geography of this nation was shaped by this terrorism. . .

Now people in #Cleveland and #Chicago and #Newark in #Detroit and #LosAngeles and #Oakland did not go those communities as immigrants. They went to those communities as refugees and exiles from terror. . .

And in this new #America we’re going to create something I hope that feels more like justice and equality and fairness but we have to understand the kind of America we have created to understand the kind of America we need to create. . .

I’m proud that CAIR is with us here in Montgomery at the Equal Justice Initiative. . .

I’m proud that CAIR came to be a part of the celebration of these new institutions and I look forward to the partnerships that we create that sustain by holding one another, supporting one another, loving one another in that struggle for justice. . . 
So I want to thank everybody at CAIR for being a part of this moment of this history of this journey and I want to wish you all the very best as we struggle together.” . . - Bryan Stevenson, Founder and Executive Director, Equal Justice Initiative @eji_org . .

#AlabamaPilgrimage #Juneteenth2018 #CAIR #Montgomery #Alabama
"When I learned that part of this trip to #Alabama would include visiting the Equal Justice Initiative's @eji_org new Legacy Museum, I never imagined that would also mean meeting Bryan Stevenson, a personal hero and leader in the fight against racial inequity in the criminal justice system. The fact that Bryan took time out of his museum and memorial's busy opening weekend events to meet with the CAIR team said a lot about the value of building coalitions during trying times. Showing up in solidarity with each other in our coinciding efforts needs to be a priority as those in power continue to attempt to divide historically marginalized communities.
.

During this meeting, I was deeply moved by some of the conversations I witnessed.#CAIR attorneys on the forefront of the battle against the US government’s #unconstitutional watchlist (which disproportionately targets American Muslims) discussed with Bryan Stevenson the strong parallels between their work and the work Bryan and Equal Justice Initiative does to defend communities of color disproportionately targeted by this country’s prison industrial complex. Both are unjust modern systems rooted in this country’s history of oppression -- a history that was uplifted on this trip.
.

When Bryan Stevenson was asked how he maintains his positive energy while seemingly surrounded in darkness, his response was to remind the group of the many that have come before us. He said they did so much with so little. Continuing their work today is one small gesture towards honoring their legacy. It is far too easy to get discouraged in these times. We need to be reminded of those that have fought for the progress that has been achieved, those that have died and suffered extreme violence so that we could continue to march forward towards equity and justice.
.

Everyone’s function in this movement is different, with unique perspectives and privileges that shape who and how we engage with the world we seek to change. And because of these differences, our movements and communities are stronger when we come together."
.
.
Megan Fair @fairmeg,Chapter Support Specialist-Civil Rights, @cair_national
.

#AlabamaPilgrimage #Juneteenth2018
"My paternal great-grandmother and her children fled Alabama to Detroit in the early 20th century when lynch mobs where still common in the South.
.
.
She, along with my grandmother, never returned back. My recent visit with my CAIR family to Montgomery then the Edmund Pettus Bridge in #Selma weighed heavily on me.
.
.

My ancestors were once enslaved here. My family then fled this area, and I was able to return as a free man with no fear of the slave-masters' whips and lynch mobs which my family was terrorized by.
.
.

I believe that I am the manifestation of the prayers of my ancestors who cried to Allah.
.
.
I pray to Allah to keep me steadfast in the face of injustices and help me be an agent to right the wrongs which continue to take place in this land soak in the blood of my forefathers."
.
.
@dawudwalid, Executive Director, @cairmichigan
.
.
#AlabamaPilgrimage #Juneteenth2018 #CAIR #Montgomery #Alabama
"The sky was so blue, the grass so green, and the beauty of this summer day seemed impossible after the ugliness we had just seen.
.
.

As you enter the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, you see a sculpture of black men, women, and children in chains. They are being sold into slavery. Their faces are twisted in expressions of anguish as they reach out for each other but are torn apart from their families.
.
.

It’s hard not to make the connection to the immigrant families being torn apart at the border right now. This is still happening in America today.
.
.

Then you enter the memorial itself. It’s shaped like a square with four corridors making up the sides. As you walk down the first corridor, you are surrounded by great steel bars suspended from the ceiling by a single rod. Each bar has the name of a county on it, and underneath that the names of all those who were lynched in that county. In the second corridor, the floor slants downwards. The ground drops beneath your feet and suddenly the steel bars are in the air above your head and you realize in horror that they look just like the lynched bodies of the people inscribed on them, hanging above your head by a rod that now looks like a rope.
.
.

Then you enter the third corridor where….." . 
READ @cair_al Government Affairs Coordinator Ali Massoud’s FULL STORY HERE:  www.facebook.com/CAIRNational/posts/10155862235677695
.
.

#AlabamaPilgrimage #Juneteenth2018 #CAIR #Montgomery #Alabama
"As I left the monument, I thought I could breathe and put the lynching in a historical perspective. Then, as I turned to make the long trek to the exit, reality hit me. I glanced to my right and I saw this sculpture: black men with their hands up trapped in a block of stone. . .

Their bodies are weighed down with all that happened in the past, but their hands are in the air as a testament to what is continuing to happen today: “hands up, don’t shoot.” . .

All the emotions I bottled up inside the Memorial came to the forefront. This was not just history. This was the present. . .

Thiswas #FreddieGray, #PhilandoCastile, #AltonSterling, #TamirRice, #MichaelBrown, #EricGarner, and the countless other African Americans gunned down by police. This was modern day lynching. . .

Our society is in a constant struggle between good and evil. We defeated slavery only to get Jim Crow laws, segregation and lynching. We defeated those only to get mass incarceration and state sanctioned police executions. . .

I reflected on this with three African-American women from Alabama who happened to be sitting beside me. One of them replied “We’ll defeat this, too!” I choked up, hugged them, and parted ways. . .

The black men in that sculpture look like they’re trapped in stone, but viewed another way they can look like they’re emerging from it. Right now in #America, we are at a pivotal moment with race relations. . .

Will we finally acknowledge our dark past with slavery and lynching and address the manifestations of it we see in our present? . .

If we can have that honest conversation and face that grim reality, perhaps America can emerge from that heavy stone block of history and be truly free." . .

Ahmed Mohamed, Trial Attorney, @cair_national
. .

#AlabamaPilgrimage #Juneteenth2018 #CAIR #Montgomery #Alabama
Before arriving to #Alabama, I saw #photos of The National Memorial for Peace and Justice. I was shocked to see so many hanging coffins. At that time, I thought each coffin represented a murdered African American person. I thought I was prepared. .

I was wrong. The moment I entered the #Memorial, I saw the coffins, my heart slowed to a somber beat, terrified by the terror symbolized by the hanging. Rusted steel monuments. Too many to count. To my surprise, each monument did not represent one lynched soul. Instead, each monument was made for each county where an African American person had been lynched. As I saw this, I struggled to move. My feet became heavy as cinder blocks, and I wrestled to reconcile with the brutality, terror, and trauma inflicted. .

I’m a young civil rights #attorney. Born in Yemen and do not have family personally touched by these racial terror lynchings. I did not expect to be broken to near tears as I walked through the Memorial. .

But I was also raised in Louisiana and I am well aware of Louisiana’s past (and current) shameful history. I did not see a monument with a parish (county) from #Louisiana until halfway through the monument. I cannot explain it, but I was afraid. .

I knew Louisiana had been the center of racial lynchings. I did not participate in those lynchings. Yet, I felt guilty and ashamed because I have adopted Louisiana as my home. I felt this way because we all want to associate positive attributes with our home. .

But this must be confronted. .

I searched for monuments for Louisiana counties and found far too many. I started to count the number of lynching victims but was too mortified to finish. .

The brutal history of racial terror lynching is being told at this Memorial. It is overwhelming, but necessary. .

You may feel defeated and weakened at the end, but remember that despite all the terror inflicted upon African #Americans throughout history, they remained strong, fought, and eventually persevered. It is a bitter reminder that we must continue to fight for equal justice for all."
. .

Ahmed Mohamed, Trial Attorney, #CAIR-National .
#AlabamaPilgrimage #Juneteenth2018
"Here I stood, there they remain. .

I just wanted to exhale and find a hiding place because the pain I avoided to feel felt like I was going to self-destruct. Then I found water and the inimitable urge to touch it. Someone must have known there will be fires that would require putting out. .

As I walked up the gravel pathway with each taxing step, it began to unravel. No matter what they exacted one by one on those rustic hallowed coffins, letters and numbers echoed the immutable voices. We heard them loud, wrangling our conscious. .

I was stealing looks unable to make eye contact. I was afraid of losing myself while I watched people slowly make way through the maze of the lives of their forefathers. There were those whose eyes were searching for loved ones."
.

READ CAIR-Alabama Executive Director Khaula Hadeed’s FULL STORY HERE: www.facebook.com/CAIRNational/posts/10155855607122695 .

#AlabamaPilgrimage #Juneteenth2018 #CAIR #Montgomery #Alabama