Pakistani Women Activists Respond to Hate Speech and Incidents
Newport Beach: In a show of strength and unity, a huge interfaith crowd gathered at the Jewish Temple Bat Yahm in Newport Beach, Orange County California, days after the travel ban.
Arranged by Pakistani women activists from the American Muslim Women’s Empowerment Council, the town hall was a response to the increase in hate speech and hate incidents since November 2017.
“Lady Liberty weeps today. The land of the free has closed its doors to Muslims like me,” emoted Anila Ali to an impassioned crowd. “The country that I love so much has embarked on a treacherous path, due to the hate of a few, and the acts of a few. Muslim Americans are feeling displaced and under attack because of our faith,” said Ali.
“I am a Muslim American woman and proud of it. My religion states clearly that “O, You, who believe, stand out firmly for justice.”
‘An act of injustice against a Jew, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Athiest, Agnostic, LGBTQ, Latino, brown, black, or white is an act of injustice against us all,’ she declared.
Ali told the enraptured audience about the hate speech that her group has been receiving since November 2016. She told the gathering it hurts her deeply to think that her fellow Americans go to such extent to express their hate for fellow Muslims. But she said what led to her reaching out to her Jewish friends and law enforcement for help is the disrespectful pictures of the Prophet.
Michael Downing, Deputy Chief Counter Terrorism, said the crazy political rhetoric that is causing fear in the community is no match for the strength of the community and resiliency of our partnerships. Chief Downing has been instrumental in making the Muslim community’s voice stronger and has described AMWEC as the leading voice of Muslim women.
Anti-Defamation League’s Rabbi Peter Levi spoke about the need for all Jews to speak up for Muslims and injustice and to remember the victims of Holocaust.
Mathew Coit, a civil rights expert from the FBI, was present to answer questions on Muslim registry, hate speech and hate incidents. He assured the audience that the FBI’s main concern is to protect the civil liberties and the Constitutional rights of every citizen. Muslim Imams prayed together with Rabbis and clergy, ending the event on an emotional note and leaving the audience in tears.