— Muslim Alliance of Indiana

Press Release

The Muslim Alliance of Indiana (MAI) and the Council of Indiana Muslim Organizations (CIMO) on behalf of all Muslim Hoosiers unequivocally condemns the shootings in San Bernardino, now been identified as associated with terrorism. Muslim Hoosiers offer sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed or injured in this attack. We are deeply saddened by the loss of precious innocent lives , and disturbed to learn that the suspects appear to have been radicalized by Daesh propaganda.

In the wake of recent terrorist attacks elsewhere in the world and mass shootings in the US, Americans are naturally very concerned about the threat of violence in public places. MAI has partnered with federal and local law enforcement agencies to promote public safety, counter-terrorism methods, and threat awareness. During the recent MAI annual convention, a workshop by the federal bureau of investigation (FBI) provided a stronger understanding of how all citizens and communities can work with the FBI to identify and prevent threats to the public. Further, the convention was addressed by Mr. Jay Abbott, special agent in charge of the FBI for Indianapolis, who focused on the need for continued engagement of all communities to stop violence and ensure justice.

While the US has witnessed growing gun violence in recent year, terrorism remains thankfully relatively rare in our country. The Global Database on Terrorism at the University of Maryland reported that for the period 2004-2013, the greatest losses of life due to terrorist attacks occurred in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, and Syria – all countries with large Muslim populations.

Islamic teachings completely forbid the killing of any human being without just cause and due legal process, in order to deter murder or mayhem (Quran 5:32 and 17:33), and urge Muslims toward peace and forgiveness, and against evil, in over a hundred other verses. We urge Muslims to work for peace and human freedom, to tolerate free speech, and to assist law enforcement in preventing terrorism and pursuing justice. We also urge political leaders to avoid conflating Islam and Muslims with the despicable actions of a few deranged or radicalized individuals.

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MAI Urges Governor Pence to Reconsider Recent Decision
by Hafsa Nalim
On November 16, Governor Pence announced that he is suspending the resettlement of refugees from Syria in the state of Indiana until “proper security measures” can be assured, in light of the recent tragic attacks in Paris, at the hands of the so-called Islamic State.

We at the Muslim Alliance of Indiana express our disappointment and shame at Governor Pence’s decision to turn away families that have been terrorized and forced from their homes. Over 12 million Syrians have been forced to flee their homes in the recent conflict; the majority of the refugees that would be accepted into the United States are women and children, orphans, victims of torture, the elderly, the disabled—the most vulnerable members of society.

Pence’s position is largely redundant. All refugees, including those from Syria, already go through a more extensive screening than any other type of immigrant or tourist, undergoing multiple investigations of their biographies and family history, medical screenings, fingerprinting, and lengthy interviews, a vetting process that involves multiple government agencies and can take upwards of three years.

Furthermore, multiple legal sources have shown that Governor Pence has no legal authority to prevent the arrival of Syrian refugees who have been admitted into the United States. President Obama has committed to receiving 85,000 refugees (10,000 from Syria) in the coming year. In comparison, Germany expects to receive 1.5 million refugees in the next year, and French president François Hollande recently announced that despite the Paris attacks, France will receive 30,000 refugees over the next two years, an act of compassion and resilience that should be admired.

We must recognize that the purpose of the recent terrorist attacks, in Paris and Beirut and across the world, was to make us all afraid—to make Americans afraid of their Muslim neighbors and Muslims afraid of the reaction of the West. The call to slam the door on Syrian refugees sends a message to Americans and the rest of the world that they are somehow a threat, when in reality, Muslims make up the majority of those murdered by ISIS.

The so-called Islamic State thrives on the notion that there is some great war between the West and Islam. But the Muslim Alliance of Indiana is living proof of the deeply connected values that Muslims and Americans share—justice, compassion, and moral accountability. We work to provide opportunities for the poor, to provide legal aid to the disenfranchised, to increase the channels of communication between diverse communities, to engage with American civic discourse. We hope that Indiana will stand by these shared values and reject the antagonistic narrative, which only benefits those whose objective is hatred.

Bigotry and fear are not the values for which Hoosiers stand. As Governor Pence himself stated in his announcement, “Indiana has a long tradition of opening our arms and homes to refugees from around the world.” It is a sad day for our state when we turn our backs on that tradition. MAI urges the Governor to reconsider his position, to not give in to fear and Islamophobia, and to embrace the values of resilience, inclusiveness, and compassion that have made this state and nation strong.


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Indiana state capitol building
Registere here or at mdsh2015.eventbrite.com

Thursday, April 9, 2015
from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (EDT)

As-salamu alaykum.

The Indiana House is expected to vote soon on Senate Bill 101, Indiana’s proposed ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act’, which the Indiana Senate has already passed 40-10. By a similar margin, the Senate also passed SB 127, which will allow any group receiving state or local contracts to discriminate against individuals who do not espouse its religious tenets. Momentum continues in this session of the Indiana General Assembly to pass “religious freedom” legislation.

·      Will these bills lead to the firing or non-hiring of Muslims and other minorities by private hospitals, colleges and universities, schools, and other religiously-affiliated groups?

·      Will they limit the religious freedom of the employees or enhance the religious freedom of employers? Could they pose any threat to thousands of Muslim Hoosiers?

On the other hand, there is much less attention to the need for Indiana to enact a hate crimes statute, which has also been proposed again in this session as House Bill 1330.

·      What is the likelihood that HB 1330 will be enacted? How will it help reduce the climate of bias against minorities and make hateful criminals think twice?

·      Will it protect Muslim Hoosiers against hate crimes based on Islamophobia by ensuring they are swiftly prosecuted?

On behalf of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana (MAI) and the Council of Indiana Muslim Organizations (CIMO), we are pleased to invite you and leaders in your local community to the second annual Muslim Day @the Indiana State House (MDSH) on Thursday, 9th April  2015 from 10.00 AM to 4:00 PM.

The event will take place at the Indiana Government Center – South Complex in Indianapolis.  Lunch will be included in the registration charge of $10.

Come to the Muslim Day @the Indiana State House to learn about the possible consequences of these pieces of legislation.

MDSH 2015 also provides an opportunity to:

•       COMMUNICATE the important contributions Muslim Hoosiers make to Indiana’s civic, economic and social fabric

•       ENGAGE with elected officials, key political leaders, and other important civic figures

•       LEARN about the legislative and administrative government processes, including current legislation and policies

•       EMPOWER Muslims to help improve the communities in which we live, work, study, and play, by participating in a myriad of activities

•       ENHANCE the Muslim community’s political engagement, community service, philanthropic endeavors, and social justice

•       ADVOCATE on behalf of Muslim Hoosiers and their interests

•       AMPLIFY Muslim efforts in political engagement, community service, and social justice.

•       SHARE knowledge and information with policymakers

Several Indiana elected officials and legislators, as well as some well-established political leaders, will be meeting with us.

Your participation in MDSH 2015 is important. We pray that your community will be fully represented at this important event. Please register TODAY at mdsh2015.eventbrite.com.

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“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” – Muhammad Ali

Over the years a number of mosques and Islamic organizations in Indiana have organize activities on and around Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service.

The Muslim Alliance of Indiana (MAI) and Council of Indiana Muslim Organizations (CIMO) encourages Muslim Hoosiers to engage in community service to not only commemorate the day, but to help grow in civic engagement throughout the year.

Examples of activities are
· visiting a senior home or nursing home
· assisting neighbors with needs, such as household chores of seniors, and homework assistance of schoolchildren
· stocking up a food pantry
· winter clothing drive
· helping out at a soup kitchen
· helping at a public library

The following websites include ‘tool-kits’ to organize service activities. Some of them may require more advance planning than others, and CIMO members are encouraged to consider the ideas here, for this year and future years:
Thanks to Br. Fady Qaddoura for this information.

The Indiana Civil Rights Commission had compiled a list of events and activities in Indiana on its website. This list has NOT been updated for 2015. However, the statewide phone and email contacts that are listed here may be helpful for CIMO members to get connected and participate in activities that are being organized. Please do not assume that the activities and dates given here are valid for 2015.

The Muslim Alliance of Indiana (MAI) and CIMO would like to share plans, opportunities, and ideas for service events for the weekend of January 16-19, 2015. Below are some Muslim Hoosier activities for January 2015 MLK Day of Service, known to MAI at this time.

1- Interfaith breakfast in Fishers on Monday 19th at the Delaware Township Community Center, including the newly elected mayor of Fishers and key faith leaders and civic activists from the greater Indianapolis community, aimed to create an interfaith coalition to coordinate public service campaigns in Fishers. For more information, contact Br. Fady Qaddoura (fadyloy@hotmail.com)

2- IUPUI MSA will participate in the IUPUI MLK Day of Service on Monday 19th http://csl.iupui.edu/partnerships/student-service/events/dr-king.shtml
Similarly MSAs at other university campuses may be involved in their respective campus activities. https://www.facebook.com/IUPUIMSA and https://www.facebook.com/events/1581732665394016/

3- Masjid Al-Mumineen and SHARE center of Indy plan to offer assistance, food, hats and gloves to their neighbors, working with the Keystone Millersville Neighborhood Association. They will also visit seniors in nursing homes. They will visit neighbors on Saturday 17th to survey their needs and visit again on Monday 19th to provide service. Please contact Chaplain Ismail Abdul-Aleem (ialeem@idoc.IN.gov) to contribute or participate. http://www.masjidmumineen.com/#!share-center/c1twn

4- Several other masajid are working on plans, which we will share as information becomes available.

This is just a sample of possibilities and planned activities. Please reply to Carey Craig at MAI (carey@indianamuslims.org) and let us know as soon as possible about your plans, which we will share for the benefit of others.

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Muslim Hoosiers Condemn Recent Terrorism, Support Education and Freedom of Expression

Rally Open to People of All Faiths in Solidarity with Victims of Terrorism Everywhere Led by Muslims for Sanctity of Life, Freedom of Expression, Universal Education, and Religious Liberty

(Indianapolis, IN, 1/19/15) On Wednesday, January 21st, a group of Muslims and people of many faiths in Indianapolis are planning to hold a rally in support of freedom of expression, universal education, and religious liberty. The event will take place at the IUPUI Democracy Plaza. People of all faiths are warmly welcome to join in conversation, prayer, and solidarity.

WHAT: Indianapolis Rally Against Terrorism
WHERE: Democracy Plaza, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
CONTACT: Annie Hayat [anniehayat1@gmail.com]
Parking is available in visitor parking garages on campus.

The recent horrific spate of terrorist murders in Nigeria, France and elsewhere claimed in the name of Islam contradicts its teachings on universal education and freedom. The Quran’s first revelation is a call to ‘read’, as ‘your Lord .. taught with the pen.’ The Prophet Muhammad said that “seeking knowledge is incumbent upon every Muslim, male and female”, and, by some reports, said “seek knowledge, even unto China”, referring to secular knowledge. He arranged for non-Muslim prisoners to earn their freedom by teaching Muslim children to read and write. For centuries, Muslims have sought the sciences of all other civilizations and built upon them. Boko Haram and the Taliban have cast themselves out of this endeavor, but will never thwart it.

The Prophet of Islam was continually mocked and often assaulted during his years of preaching. He endured these personal attacks and taught his followers to forgive, flee if necessary, and to make peace. He prayed for and worked for people’s welfare, even that of his assailants, and taught his followers to not mock the symbols of other faiths. The criminals who have murdered or threatened writers, journalists, and cartoonists in Europe and elsewhere have utterly abandoned the gentle example of the Prophet. The power of education, scholarship, and free expression has been immensely valued in Islamic civilization, recognizing that the pen is ultimately mightier than weapons of violence. There is absolutely no justification in Islam for the killing of Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and Jewish shoppers in France, schoolchildren in Pakistan, worshippers in Jerusalem, or innocent people of all faiths in Nigeria and other nations.

While denouncing terrorism, the rally is intended to reinforce support of sanctity of life, freedom of expression, universal education, and religious liberty. These are positive values that Muslims not only share with all humanity, but indeed helped to take shape over the centuries. The rally was conceived by a group of Indianapolis-area Muslims and is co-sponsored by a growing list of local organizations: Butler University Muslim Student Association, Council of Indiana Muslim Organizations, Indianapolis Muslim Community Association, Indianapolis Peace and Justice Center, IQRA Center of Indiana, Islamic Society of North America, IUPUI Local Global Peace Network, IUPUI Muslim Student Association, Masjid Al Fajr, Masjid Al-Mu’mineen, Muslim Alliance of Indiana, Muslim Volunteers of America, Nur-AllahIslamic Center, Rise for America, Veterans for Peace.

RSVP for the Facebook event >  


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