by Kelsey Hamlin
A sea of fake information continues to spew out of the White House and extremist or alt-right websites, making it harder for people to find accurate information on urgent issues, like Islamophobia or anything to do with Muslims. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is formulating its second go-round on an Executive Order banning refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries, something many call a Muslim ban.
Despite this, community faces have come together time and time again to offer support to one another. Sometimes, however, people can feel as if they’re stuck in some sort of limbo in regards to what actions should be taken, no matter how much they want to help. Specific jobs, movements, identities, and people were and are targeted by President Donald Trump’s campaign. But what can people do? What can allies do?
Well, here’s one list of action items to help Muslim Americans — I plan to make separate lists for how best to support journalism/journalists, LGBTQIA+, marginalized communities, Black Lives Matter, women’s rights, environmental concerns, and Flint, Mich. We have already posted an action list for the water protectors, and immigrants. Stay posted.
You can always boycott with your consumerism. Great Company is tracking the companies and CEOs that are speaking out against the ban. Use their tool to thank those who have stood up and encourage those who are silent to speak up.
- Help support the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a nonprofit organization, where you can specify where your donation is allocated: to their civil rights work, the Quran Project, informing the public, combating Islamophobia, leadership programs, advocacy programs, or just basic support of CAIR’s work.
- Donate to your local mosque.
- Send money to the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump on his Executive Order.
- Help the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees send supplies.
- Assist Oxfam in helping Syrian refugees. This is an international anti-poverty program that not only helps with healthcare, food, and shelter, but also produces accurate and well-researched reports while allowing people to grow in advocacy.
- Donate to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
- Send supplies to orphans, refugees, specific countries, or specific programs/sectors of Islamic Relief.
- Support Washington’s local Muslim Association of the Puget Sound (MAPS), located in Redmond
- Help combat Islamophobia, find out what you can do, talk to experts
- Read about and reference accurate reports on Islamophobia
- Muslim Americans can reach a much larger audience by sending in articles or talking to local newspapers and publications:
- Contact the Seattle Weekly here, you can type up stuff, select where it goes, and attach files
- Talk on KUOW’s public radio, our local NPR: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
- Your local college newspaper will also have a place for guest pieces
- CAIR has some really good downloadable steps and templates
- Fact check all of those rumors and statistics flying about
- ING has a ton of information (literally, there’s 104 topics) about Islam and Muslims, Sharia, ISIS, and Islamophobia on their Frequently Asked Questions page
- ING also features lesson plans on Muslims and Islam that can be used at events, in school, etc. It features curriculums, resources, videos, and panels.
- One can also schedule a Diversity Seminar (button is at the bottom of the page) through ING, which can be for clubs, law enforcement, schools, you name it.
- Schedule a panel or presentation for colleges, a community group, or schools.
- Lawyers can use the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America to learn how to represent clients in interviews with the FBI.
- Join the INGYouth Program to take action against bullying, do some self exploration, and become a formal and informal speaker.
- Join the Interfaith Speakers Bureau to educate diverse audiences about your Islamic, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, or Hindu faith.
- Here’s how to be a good ally
- Support your local mosque
- Volunteer with Islamic Relief USA by filling out this Google Form
- Partake in pro-bono (free lawyer) hours by volunteering with the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America.
- Check and see if volunteer opportunities are available through MAPS, and check their job opportunities as well
- Muslim hate groups are profiled, and the relationships broken down, here (you’ll have to zoom in on the page). Contact these organizations, political players, and speakers. Protest them. Make it known what they do.
- Islamic Relief USA has a calendar of events
- Follow the American Muslim Empowerment Network (AMEN)
- Locally, keep tabs on the the MAPS AMEN through their Facebook or subscribe to their newsletter or routinely check their robust calendar of events
Help pay legal fees
- Donate to the Muslim Legal Fund of America (what they fund is listed here)
- If you or someone you know needs help being represented in court or handling a situation with federal law enforcement agents, please check the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America.
Kelsey Hamlin is a reporter with South Seattle Emerald, and interned with the publication this summer. She has worked with various Seattle publications. Currently, Hamlin is a University of Washington student, and the President of the UW Chapter’s Society of Professional Journalists. Hamlin is a journalism major at the University of Washington with interdisciplinary Honors, and a minor in Law, Societies & Justice. Find her on Twitter @ItsKelseyHamlin or see her other work on her website
Featured image is a cc licensed photo attributed to JMacPherson/ via Flickr