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Muslim Congress Denounces Desecration of Jewish Cemetery

Nearly 200 headstones were damaged or destroyed at the Chesed Shel Emeth Society, a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, MO in the past few days. Surveillance footage on Monday showed rows of headstones fallen to the ground of the historic cemetery.

This followed a series of threats to Jewish Community Centers in suburban St. Louis and near Kansas City.

In response to this senseless act Muslims across the nation have raised thousands of dollars to repair the damage and to practically express their solidarity with the families that were impacted.

Muslim Congress denounces such acts of hate and vandalism and expresses its sympathy with the Jewish community of University City. We also applaud the assistance offered by all Muslims who have contributed to the repair of the cemetery.

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Muslim Congress Remembers Malcolm X

February 21, 2017 marks the 52nd death anniversary of beloved Muslim-American leader, El-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, also known as Minister Malcolm X. Malcolm X is an icon for communities of all backgrounds to learn from. He lived a life thirsty for knowledge through growth and education. Although he was a Muslim, he worked tirelessly for the liberation of the Black communities, many who did not share his faith. His identity as a Black Muslim man should not be erased as it was his identity which encouraged him to remain strong in the face of adversity. In today’s era we can learn much from his struggles as we face laws which adhere the same principles as Jim Crow, yet in a more subtle fashion. The legacy of Malcolm X is not constricted to just this day, or this month. His manner of conduct through interactions, whether in prison, giving speeches, as a father and husband, and most importantly as a leader are one which we can apply in our daily lives.

Please recite sura al-Fateha for his soul.

The following is a poem by Jaweerya Mohammad: Letters to Malcolm

Dear Malcolm,
in PS 201, a school nestled in
Flushing, Queens,
where 43 percent of the students are Black,
the children were banned from writing about you.
the teacher dragged her chalk,
scratching a line through your name
as a way to mute you.
she told the children to pour their white outs,
hit their backspace keys,
and
clench their teeth to prevent
your name from spilling out
through their mouths
as though it was a profanity.
when the children shifted in their seats,
and a quivering hand stretched out like a lone branch
demanding why,
the teacher said it’s because you were violent.

but it’s okay if children still learn about Columbus
who explored lands while stomping on corpses,
and while,
I quote,
“dashing out brains
of Indians and feeding them to armoured attack dogs,”
end quote.
it is okay if our children learn about President Washington
who owned more than 300 slaves,
whipping their bodies bloody,
and selling them to buyers in West Indies to
sever ties from their lovers
as a cruel punishment.
this is okay.
but God forbid they learn about you,
Malcolm.
God forbid they learn about someone who
tells them to adore their dark skin.
tells them about their lineage
that runs through
the richest of civilizations,
who tells them their blood is not cheap,
but worth every ounce of self-defense.

Dear Malcolm,
violence is not what you embodied.
violence is what unraveled in the classroom
of PS 201.
after all,
what is more ruthless
than ripping away knowledge
from a people that is rightfully theirs to carry?
more catastrophic than muffling
a multitude of voices until
it dwindles down
to only one White person re telling
the whole story,
with only the White man
ever being the hero.

they paint you as a militant man
and always forget to paint strokes of your softness-
of you as a father
making your daughters double-over with laughter
while resting on your knees,
as a husband
clasping the hands of your wife,
thankful
that the fire that swallowed your home
didn’t take her too.
as a son,
visiting your mother and
making up for lost time
from when they peeled her away
from your childhood.

Dear Malcolm,
you were decades ahead of your time.
your words remain like prophesies
proving to be true time
and time again.
the knife is still rammed inside,
nine inches,
tearing tissue and slicing bone.
the knife is still stuck,
protruding and paralyzing
Black children
who are fed to the open jaws
of a system that instruments
the school-to-prison pipeline.
studies show
“Black pre schoolers make up only 18 percent
of pre school programs,
but make up half of those who are suspended more than once.”
which means Black four year olds
with baby teeth and tiny hands
are seen as threats before
they are ever seen as actual children.
the wound remains untended,
and it’s grown wider since
Trayvon Martin lay cold on the sidewalk,
a little deeper since Mike Brown
was riddled with six bullets,
it’s festered and oozed pus
since the day Eric Garner’s
lungs were closed off.
there are no band aids large enough
to cushion
this biting hurt,
this stinging shame that some think is “progress.”

Dear Malcolm,
We are drawn towards your story
like moths to a lamp,
and each who’s read it
has woken up from a slumber
finally tasting the bitter
and tart truth,
heavy on their tongue.
you have taught so many of us
what courage is,
what change is,
what giving is.
God lifted your soul as a martyr
but your teachings still ripple
softly
through generations.
There is a hadith that says,
when God loves a person he tells Gabriel to love them,
and Gabriel makes an announcement to the people
in heaven and on earth,
until they all love him too.
it’s no doubt God must have seen beauty
in your truth-calling voice, because
He, who created the Heavens,
has insured that you are not forgotten.
after all,
I write this letter having never met you,
college students and scholars gather
fifty years after your death
celebrating you,
and somewhere in a classroom
where your name is banned
from being mentioned,
a student secretly
cradles your autobiography,
cracks open the spine
and peels through the pages,
finding healing in
knowledge
that has long been denied.

This piece was written and performed by Jaweerya Mohammad for “Remembering Malcolm X 50 Years Later,” an event hosted by the Graduate Muslim Student Association at Rutgers University.

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Unconstitutional Ban on Immigrants and Our Responsibility

Muslim Congress joins countless citizens and denounces the executive order to ban people entering the United States from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. There have been no terrorist attacks from any of these chosen countries on US soil. In addition, the ban clearly discriminates against Muslims, as it targets impoverished Muslim majority countries and prevents their populations from seeking refuge from attacks.

We demand for this ban to be lifted, and for all those who have been granted visas previously, to be allowed into the country. We also demand that visas continue to be given to people from these countries trying to enter the United States, as they were previously given. These people deserve equal treatment to people entering from other countries, and Muslim refugees should be granted asylum just as those from other religions.

Although this may seem like a time of great difficulty for the ummah we must bear in mind that Allah is with the patient and He has promised that this world is a test and if we claim to believe we will be tested.

As a Muslim ummah we must learn from our Imams and Prophets on how to face hardships. Our roles today should be:
To remain patient and steadfast;
To show our best conduct in times of difficult situations;
To respond to hateful comments/gestures with love and compassion;
To remain firm on our faith;
To protest for our rights;
To take legal advice

We can also use this opportunity to show people our akhlaq as Muslims by standing with our black and Latino brothers and sisters, both Muslim and non Muslim and by showing people true Islam through our actions.

If you would like more information on how you can protect your rights, and what you should do if your rights are compromised please watch the Know Your Rights seminar below.

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Hazrat Zainab (as)

Hazrat Zainab (A.S.)
by H.I. Sartaj Zaidi

Short message on the noble character of Syeda Zainab (A.S.).

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Pre Hawza

Prehawza.com Muslim Congress is pleased to announce commencement of the Prehawza Spring 2017 term.  Classes will begin on Wed, Feb 1, 2017 insha-Allah. Please note that all classes are in English and are held weekly on the same day based on Eastern Standard Time (EST)...

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Hayaa 360

Hayaa 360 was founded in May of 2010 in order to provide Muslim women across North America with the opportunity to learn from Islamic scholars who teach the lessons of Ahlul-Bayt (as). Hayaa 360 is dedicated to increasing the faith and piety of Muslim women. The group...

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Sunday School Syllabus

School Syllabus: Islam is Our Message Muslim Congress is pleased to announce the release of the syllabus for weekend Islamic schools for grades 1 through 6. This syllabus combines the study of the Holy Quran, Islamic History, Islamic Jurisprudence and Etiquette in a...

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Heavenly Match

Heavenly Match is a spouse selection and matching service which provides: – Confidential Match Making under Islamic Guidelines – Database of Prospective Candidates – Phone call or Email for Communication – Marriage Counseling – Literature...

Islamic Will

Islamic Will Islam has strongly emphasized that each individual make a Will in his lifetime and have witnesses to it. كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَكُمُ الْمَوْتُ إِنْ تَرَكَ خَيْرًا الْوَصِيَّةُ لِلْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۖ حَقًّا عَلَى...

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Student Loans

Student Loans in collaboration with JIFL. Muslim Congress is excited to announce its student loan program. The program provides students an interest free loan. The program is managed by Jafaria Interest Free Loans (JIFL), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Use the...

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Justice 360 Archives

Justice360° Legal Bulletins are brief write ups on specific legal or policy issues impacting the Muslim community. Bulletins will touch on a wide range of topics. A list of such bulletins are archived HERE....

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MC Media

MC Media – Archived Videos from past Muslim Congress conferences.

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