Monday, November 12, 2007

From a Concerned Community Member/Activist ...


1. The whole "mapping" issue has the community up in arms. Everybody has a different take/view/opinion. What you're reading below comes from a community activist who I personally respect. Again though, it is just one view.)

2. In addition to contacting Shura Council to indicate your support for their approach to the mapping (remember every Muslim organization is against it, but they've all got different approaches), you should contact MPAC. They are your organization, you have the right to ask them for clarifications as well as any other questions you may have. In addition, they've expressed an interest in community members contacting them - so take them up on the offer!

Subject: Please read and respond to protect your rights as Muslims

Assalamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah,

I'm sure many of you are by now outraged by the LAPD's plan to map Muslim communities in LA. What seems to potentially pose an even greater threat is the lack of a unified, cohesive voice in opposition on behalf of the Muslim community itself. While non-Muslim groups are willing to join forces to denounce this plan as an outrage and a threat to the freedom and civil liberties of all, I have learned that the Muslim leadership is shockingly divided in its response. I have spoken with Shakeel Syed of the Shura Council today and he confirmed that MPAC favors a toned down approach and a willingness to try to work with the LAPD (or at least be engaged in the process though they say they are against racial profiling). This is in stark contrast to Shakeel's position and that of CAIR (and probably all the other member organizations of Shura) who reject outright any plan based on the premise of singling out Muslim communities on the misguided and bigotted position that we are somehow more prone to violent acts or extremism than other groups. Shakeel assured me this is his position but due to MPAC's sphere of influence within Shura Council, he asked me to get others to speak out so that MPAC clearly knows that they do not represent the Muslim community on this, and so that Shura Council can come out with a forceful unified stand against this nonsense.

So I am requesting each of you to send an email to Shakeel Syed emphasizing the following two points:

1) We are shocked and dismayed by the position of MPAC on this issue and it does not reflect the overwhelming sentiment of the broader Muslim community in Southern California.

2) We call upon the Shura Council as a representative, united voice to categorically denounce and reject any plan that is predicated on the wholesale targeting of the Muslim community without any reasonable cause as an affront to our civil liberties, as a violation of the law of this land, and to exercise any means at its disposal to fight such a measure.

A request has been put in to Shakeel to call an emergency meeting of the Shura Council prior to the scheduled meeting with the LAPD this Thursday. He is also contemplating an emergency town hall meeting to hear the voice of the community, which I have encouraged him to proceed with.

Please send this to anyone on your email contacts and urge people to flood his email box, even if you write two or three sentences to capture the above points. Remember, this is no longer about whether or not you agree with MPAC on a particular issue--this threatens the privacy, security and freedom of every one of us.

wassalamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah,
Mohammad Mertaban


Anonymous said...

Although I am not a fan of MPAC, it is very dangerous to go around critizing organizations without seeking clarification from the organization itself. Regardless of who you heard from outside of MPAC, it is YOUR responsibility to get clarification on their stance FROM MPAC. We complain when others say that Muslims believe X or say Y, yet we unfortunately fall into the same trap.

Please refer to the Quran (49:6). Please study the ayah as well as the entire surah. It should be a requirement for all "activists" to study this surah and learn the adab of dealing with other Muslims before expressing their "activism".

I apologize for the public advice, but there are a some people who may read this blog and cause more harm that could have been prevented by a simple phone call or email to MPAC.

May Allah increase us in our knowledge, adab, and understanding.

- A Concerned Muslim

Zahra Mirnajafi said...

This is what MPAC Is saying on the issue so far:

Anonymous said...

MPAC has said much more on the issue then just that, but its good that this is what is most recent.