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CAIR-NJ, NJ Muslims Groups and Coalition Partners Issue Statement in Solidarity with Linda Sarsour

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 8/24/20) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today expressed its support and solidarity with MPower Change Executive Director Linda Sarsour after she was smeared by various elected officials and political leaders in the wake of her appearance at a Democratic National Convention event.    

On August 19, 2020, Congressman Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey tweeted an attack on Linda Sarsour and said that she is “a noted anti-Semite and opponent of the State of Israel and should never have been given a platform to speak.”  

SEE: Congressman Josh Gottheimer Tweet  

Open letter:   

NJ Muslim Organizations and Coalition Partners Stand with Linda Sarsour   

We, a diverse coalition of New Jersey-based community organizations, are deeply concerned by the trend in national and local political discourse that stifles our right to free speech under the guise of accusations of anti-Semitism. The smear campaign against Sister Linda Sarsour is just the most recent attack of its kind. It is rooted in Islamophobic sentiment, which leaders, primarily female civil rights leaders of color, face the brunt of.  

It is past time that the false equivalence between criticism of the Israeli government and anti-Semitism be denounced. As a diverse and pluralistic society that guarantees all Americans the right to exercise our First Amendment right to free speech, we believe in creating a space in our political discourse to talk honestly about the human rights violations and injustices against the people of Palestine perpetrated by the Israeli government.  

These attacks on Sister Linda Sarsour by political leaders and elected officials are attacks on our community at large. We call for immediate retractions and meaningful apologies from those responsible for this conduct, including Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District. These attacks are no longer acceptable, and all statements of prejudice must be challenged. 

Sincerely,   

Al Tawhid Islamic Center, Jersey City 

Alhoda Community Center, Jersey City 

American Muslim Council (AMC) 

American Muslims for Democracy (AMD) 

American Muslims for Palestine, New Jersey chapter  

Bergen County Islamic Educational Center (BCIEC) 

Black Lives Matter – Paterson, NJ 

Black Men United  

Council on American-Islamic Relations, New Jersey chapter 

Darul Islah – Muslim Society of Bergen County 

ICNA Council for Social Justice, New Jersey chapter  

Indivisible NJ 5th District 

Islamic Center of Hunterdon County (ICHC) 

Islamic Center of Jersey City (ICJC) 

Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC) 

Islamic Center of Union County  

Islamic Center of Union County (ICUC)  

Islamic Society of Central Jersey (ISCJ) 

Jam-e-Masjid Islamic Center 

Jews for Palestinian Right of Return  

JVP – Northern New Jersey  

Masjid As Habul Yameen 

MASJID WAARITH UD DEEN  

Muslims 4 Peace, NJ 

New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association   

NIA Masjid & Community Center  

North Hudson Islamic Educational Center (NHIEC) 

Pakistan American Council (PAC) 

Palestinian American Community Center of New Jersey  

Passaic Valley for Community Justice 

Piscataway Progressive Democratic Organization 

Progressive Democrats of NJ  

The Fusion Muslim Community Center of North Jersey 

The Islamic Center of Morris County- Rockaway, NJ 

The Muslim Network  

NOTE: As a nonpartisan tax-exempt organization, CAIR-NJ encourages American Muslims to participate in national and state elections. CAIR-NJ does not support one candidate or political party over another.  

In a statement, CAIR New Jersey Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said:  

“An attack on Linda Sarsour is an attack on our Muslim community and our like-minded allies. This coalition of 35 diverse community organizations is a testament to the changing tides in New Jersey and our nation at large. We no longer tolerate Islamophobia from our elected officials.  

“We demand our First Amendment right to free speech be respected, allowing us to talk honestly about the injustices against the Palestinian people. No longer can you dishonestly smear us and our leaders as anti-Semites.”  

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.            

END  

CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut, 862-264-9414 smaksut@cair.com  

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