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NJ Muslim Delegation Meets Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman
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NJ Muslim Delegation Meets Congressman Donald Norcross
NJ Muslim Delegation Meets Congressman Leonard Lance
As Christian leaders and Bishops of the Church of God who live and minister in a state marked by wide religious and ethnic diversity, we wish to express our clear opposition to President Donald Trump’s Executive Order issued on Friday, January 27, 2017 titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into The United States.” The President’s Order is discriminatory, unjust and inhumane. As such, it violates what we hold as core values and commitments of the Christian faith.
The Baptismal Promises of the Episcopal Church call upon Episcopalians to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as our self,” and “to strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 305). The Affirmation of Baptism Liturgy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church commits ELCA members to serve all people following the example of Jesus…and strive for justice and peace in all the earth” ( Evangelical Lutheran Worship, p. 237). Our sacred scriptures offer clear guidance about our Christian obligation to aliens and the dispossessed:
You shall not oppress a resident alien; you know the heart of an alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt (Exodus 23:9). When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:33-34). Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it (Hebrews 13:2). In his Summary of the Law, Jesus enjoins his followers, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind…and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-40).
The President and his Administration have asserted that this travel ban is not “a Muslim Ban.” Insofar as it is directed against people from seven countries where the majority population is Muslim, and whereas it makes exceptions for “religious minorities,” expressing a bias that favors Christians, it clearly and unfairly targets people of the Muslim faith. Discrimination in any form is unacceptable to us.
This travel ban has already resulted in the needless detaining of persons loyal to the United States and the separation of families. Many are being prevented from boarding flights around the world. Refugees, who have already undergone significant vetting processes by the United States authorities, have been stranded. Some have been returned to the countries from which they were seeking asylum.
The President’s Executive Order adds to the trauma of people who have experienced profound and underserved suffering. Refugees and asylum-seekers have fled their countries in the face of horrific war and ugly persecution. That the United States of America would violate its core values and turn its back on such persons is shameful.
The President’s Executive Order was signed on Holocaust Remembrance Day. The sad irony of this is not lost on us as we remember that many Jews were turned away from this country. Some were returned to their countries of origin to face the horrors of Nazi persecution. Mr. Trump’s Executive Order threatens to return persons who have supported the United States to countries where they face continued danger and persecution as a result of this support.
President’s Trump’s Executive Order is serving to further divide people in this country and around the world on religious grounds. Far from promoting safety, it further jeopardizes safety and the cause of peace.
For all these reasons, we strongly urge the President to reconsider and rescind his ill-considered, discriminatory, inhuman and unjust Executive Order of January 27, 2017. We urge Members of Congress to oppose this and all similar discriminatory policies.
The Reverend Tracie Bartholomew
Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America New Jersey Synod
The Right Reverend Mark Beckwith
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark
The Right Reverend William H. Stokes
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey
Dear community members and friends,
On Friday evening President Donald Trump signed Executive Orders targeting visas issued to Muslims from certain countries and refugees.
On Saturday evening a Federal Judge granted a stay on deportations. Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/28/federal-judge-stays-deportations-trump-muslim-executive-order
What you need to know right now:
Generally, non-citizens, including green card holders (lawful permanent residents), from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen will be restricted from entering the U.S. for at least 90 days. Non-citizens from these countries who are presently in the U.S. should consult with an immigration attorney prior to any international travel
However, if you are a green card holder (lawful permanent resident) outside of the U.S. please reach out to an immigration attorney before you travel back to the U.S.
The refugee program is being halted immediately, for at least 120 days. This will mean that anyone, anywhere in the process, will not move forward. The effort to resettle Syrian refugees in the U.S. is being halted indefinitely
What you should do to protect yourself:
If you are non-citizen, even green card holders (lawful permanent residents), from one of the seven countries named above, and you are inside the U.S., please plan to delay all international travel for at least 90 days
If you are a non-citizen from one of the seven countries named above, and you are outside of the U.S., you may face issues at the airport. Please keep looking for updates in the coming days to assess your travel options. If you are facing an emergency at the airport or are coming home in the coming days, please have our number on hand (908-668-5900)
Whether you are a citizen or not, do not permit law enforcement to enter your home without a warrant. Even if they have a warrant, you should not speak to them without consulting with an attorney
What you can do to push back against this:
Call your members of Congress and the U.S. Senate at 202.224.3121 to ask them to speak out against anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant bigotry and oppose these Executive Orders
Write a letter of support for S.B. 31, which is critical legislation needed to protect against the creation of a Muslim registry.
To report and incident :
We build bridges and fight hate, negative stereotyping and prejudice. We are changing the world, one Muslim and one Jewish woman at a time. We now have 50 chapters and are working with women who want to get involved in the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom to start new chapters. Please contact us if you’d like to be a part of starting a chapter.
To learn more go to: The Sisterhood
Azra Baig's Blog
Considered by many to be the holiest day in the Christian calendar, on this past Christmas Day my time of peace was disturbed by Anti-Muslim Harassment while I was on vacation at the Wailea Marriott Beach Resort in Maui. What does the future hold...is there no escape from hatred, racism and bigotry?
On December 25, 2016 while vacationing in Muai, I was targeted with harassment from a Caucasian woman, who looked to be in her 70s. The two of us were alone in the lobby of the resort as we both approached the elevators. I pressed the elevator button and the woman asked me "Are you Muslim?" I looked at her and said "Yes." Then she said, "I am not getting on the elevator with you". I was taken aback and I said "That wasn't nice." Then she said to me, "You need to leave." Then I said, "What happened to love and compassion for All? What happened to love of humanity?" She started walking away from me and down the stairs while shaking her head no. As she was going down the stairs I said to her, "I am a nurse and I take care of everyone the same...No matter what race, religion, ethnicity or nationality."
I immediately went to look for an employee of the resort to alert a manager or security. By the time I alerted them and shared my incident, the woman was nowhere to be found.
There was a tourist from Dallas, Texas, who witnessed the entire incident. She said, "I am shocked that I just witnessed this...That was inappropriate.... I'm glad you said something because if you didn't say something, I was going to say something to her." She felt bad that I was targeted with such harassment and shocked that someone actually would say those words even if that is what they felt inside.
The Wailea Resort Manager and Security took a report of the incident from myself and from the witness. The local Police Department was also notified and came and took a report of the harassment incident.
The Managers and Security at the resort apologized for this incident of harassment at the resort. They said that if I should see this woman again to alert Security and not to approach her myself. I am very appreciative of the managers and staff's support and kindness with this situation and the wonderful treatment during our entirety of our stay at the resort.
I am extremely disappointed that this woman had the audacity to behave in this manner especially on Christmas Day. A day of much love and happiness for so many. I was here in Maui to enjoy a wonderful vacation with my family, to get away from the chaos of everyday life and from the negativity I had already been subjected to, and this individual had to ruin what was supposed to be my time of peace.
#ChristmasDay2016 #Islamophobia #Maui
Ms. Azra Baig is a school nurse and a member of the South Brunswick Board of Education
Thank you for taking the initiative to learn more about this critical campaign. Since the beginning of 2016, our community is experiencing a significant increase in religious based discriminations, hate crimes and bullying in schools. Since the elections, the attacks on our community have increased many fold. CAIR, nationwide has been overwhelmed, dealing with hundreds of cases. In New Jersey alone, CAIR-NJ has received more incidents in the last 4 weeks than in the previous 4 months.
As the New Year approaches and the new administration takes office, we anticipate things to worsen for our community. Although, the President elect has rescinded some of his extreme policy statements against our community, he has selected a number of potential cabinet members that have Islamophobic views, including suggestions of a Muslim Registry.
CAIR is launching an initiative to secure the American Muslim Community by:
CAIR-NJ needs financial help from everyone to make sure there are sufficient resources in place to support our community. In the next three weeks, help CAIR-NJ meet its financial needs to sufficiently staff its office with legal and communication staff.
I am 100, Making a Difference for New Jersey: Campaign Details
CAIR-NJ is asking 100 people to help them raise funds before the end of this year, in next three weeks. The “I am 100” team will do the following:
Once you register, CAIR-NJ will send you details for executing this campaign.