An Open Letter to the US President and the Representatives and Elected officials of the state of New York

In the Name of God, the Most Benevolent, the Most Merciful.

We, the undersigned New York State and New York City Imams and leaders of over one hundred Islamic Centers, houses of worship, and Muslim non-profit organizations, collectively known as the Majlis Ash-Shura of New York and affiliates, unequivocally express our profound disappointment in your neglect to call for an immediate ceasefire in Palestine. The escalating death tolls of children and women stand as a testament to the world’s disregard for moral and human values. Your statements on the war have failed to address the reality of death, despair, and destruction befalling millions of innocent Palestinian civilians. We urge you to break your silence and call for an immediate ceasefire.

As of this writing, it has been 29 days since Israel commenced what history will remember as one of the worst genocides in modern times. In Gaza today, 15 lives are lost every hour, including those of six children. Each hour, 42 bombs devastate homes, hospitals, and schools. Your silence and refusal to take a principled stance have indirectly contributed to over 10,000 confirmed Palestinian deaths, half of whom are children and a quarter are women. We struggle to find any rationale, national interest, or adherence to human rights in your inaction to end the slaughter of innocent Palestinian civilians.

Furthermore, many of our elected leaders, including yourselves, have not only remained silent but have also publicly supported and justified this atrocity, with arguments such as “Israel has the right to defend itself.” This framing of disproportionate violence and grave injustice as a defensive act is misleading and unjust. We implore you to reconsider and to allow your conscience to guide you. The ongoing killing of innocent families in Gaza is inexcusable.

Moreover, weeks have elapsed since the introduction of Cori Bush’s Ceasefire Resolution, H.Res. 786, on October 16, which called for an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Israel and occupied Palestine. This resolution:

  • Urges the Biden administration to immediately call for and facilitate a ceasefire to urgently end the current violence.
  • Calls upon the Biden administration to swiftly deliver and facilitate the entry of humanitarian assistance into Gaza.

The inaction of your offices, the legislature, and the Biden administration endangers not only Muslim Americans but all Americans. Islamophobia has surged since the onset of the violence in Palestine, and voices advocating for shared human rights, dignity, and justice are being suppressed, discriminated against, and penalized. Muslim Americans in New York have faced harassment, with instances ranging from employment termination to vilification across university campuses. This targeting has occurred for no reason other than their vocal opposition to the injustices plainly unfolding before the world. Notably, this is happening at local colleges and esteemed institutions alike, including Columbia University, New York University, and Harvard University. The message we are sending to the world, and the legacy we are creating for our children, is deeply concerning. To date, CAIR has recorded more than 1,000 cases nationwide, with over 150 in New York alone, comprising bias or hate crimes, employment issues, school concerns, and more.

In the midst of this tumult, we were horrified by the violent stabbing and murder of a 6-year-old Palestinian Muslim boy, Wadea Al-Fayoume, and his mother in their Chicago home. After inflicting the stabbings, their landlord proclaimed, “You Muslims must die,” a chilling echo of the post-9/11 climate in New York where Muslims were subjected to racial profiling and hate crimes. We mourned alongside all Americans and collectively denounced extremism. Then, as now, Muslim leaders in New York championed compassion and decency. We respectfully request that you do the same. The deafening silence and inaction from our elected leaders, whom we have entrusted to uphold our common values, are confounding and deeply disappointing.

We are heartened that many of our Jewish brothers and sisters in New York City stand with us in denouncing this genocide, having recognized the harsh realities faced by those in Gaza and the West Bank. Their demonstrations of justice, humanity, American values, and conscience—articulated through their protests and their vocal assertion that these acts do not occur in their name—inspire us.

We implore you to address the pressing question within our community: “What’s next?” If our trusted leaders continue to justify a complacent stance towards Israel, ignoring the millions of lives at risk, how can we trust that the standards of human dignity and equality will be upheld in the future?

As concerned constituents, we urge you, as our elected representatives, to take the following actions:

  • Call for an immediate ceasefire. A “humanitarian pause” is insufficient; we demand a halt to the bloodshed and wish to prevent any further escalation in the region.
  • Co-sponsor the “Not On Our Dime!: Ending Funding of the Israeli Settler Violence Act” (A6943/S6992). There is substantial evidence of funds flowing from New York to Israeli settlement organizations through New York-registered non-profits, implicating them in potential war crimes. Our state must act against these injustices.
  • Mobilize resources to provide immediate and urgent humanitarian aid relief to all affected by the violence and displacement since October 7th, 2023, irrespective of their citizenship.
  • Defend and uphold human rights. We call on you to explicitly condemn and hold accountable any violations of international law per the Geneva Conventions, standing as a voice for justice for all, not just a select few. At the very least, we ask that you refrain from perpetuating misleading narratives when engaging with the media.
  • We demand equality. Palestinian lives must be valued equally to Israeli lives.
  • We demand respect for U.S. laws. We call for an end to the funding and arming of the Israeli government, holding them accountable for complicity in war crimes.

We pray for your guidance to do what is right and moral, and we urge you to sign the ceasefire resolution as a first step toward rectifying the situation.

With the highest hopes for peace and justice,

  • 3 Puerto Rican Imams
  • 786 Muhammadi Masjid Inc
  • African Council of Imams
  • Al Amin masjid and Islamic center inc
  • Al Masjidu Adam Community Life Center For Human Ex
  • Al-Arafa Masjid
  • Al-Janed Islamic Center
  • Alfalah Foundation
  • Andalusia Islamic Center
  • Ashshifaa inc
  • Assafa Islamic Center INC
  • At Rahman Foundation Inc
  • Baitul Islam Masjid & Community Center Inc.
  • Bronx Muslim Center
  • Brooklyn Broadway Jame Masjid & Islamic Center
  • Brooklyn Islamic Center
  • DarusSalam Masjid
  • Elmira Muslim Community Center
  • Futa Islamic Center
  • Harlem Islamic Cultural Center
  • Hillside Islamic Center
  • Hofstra MSA
  • ICNA Markaz Masjid
  • ICNA Nassau Community Center
  • Islamic Association of the Finger Lakes
  • Islamic Center of Five Town
  • Islamic Center of Long Island
  • Islamic Foundation Of New York
  • Islamic Mission of America -Dawoud
  • Islamic Society of Bay Ridge Inc.
  • Islamic Unity and Culture Center of Plav-Gusinje
  • Jaame Masjid Bellmore
  • Jamiatul uloom New York
  • Justice for All New York
  • Long Island Muslim Society
  • Madani Masjid
  • MAS Brooklyn/SI
  • MAS Community Center
  • MAS Ibn Sina Center
  • MAS New York
  • MAS Queens
  • MAS Sheepshead Bay Center
  • MAS UNY Inc.
  • Masjid Abu Bakr El Seddique
  • Masjid Adam / Abdulkder Dixon Senior Center
  • Masjid Ahlu Sunna Walkhurabba’a
  • Masjid Al Ansar
  • Masjid Al Aqsa
  • Masjid Al Baqi Bethpage
  • Masjid Al Haram USA Inc
  • Masjid Al Ihsaan
  • Masjid Al Rahman
  • Masjid Alaman
  • Masjid Alfalah Corona nyc
  • Masjid ALIHSAN
  • Masjid Allahu Akbar
  • Masjid Darul Da’wah
  • Masjid Darul Quran
  • Masjid Dawa
  • Masjid Ebun Abass
  • Masjid Hamza
  • Masjid Hefaz
  • Masjid Ibaadu Rahmaan
  • Masjid Makkie
  • Masjid Mammor
  • Masjid Noor
  • Masjid Noor Huntington
  • Masjid Omar Ben-Abdel Aziz
  • Masjid Rahman
  • Masjid Rahmatillah
  • Masjid Salam
  • Masjid Taha
  • Masjid Taqwa
  • Masjid Yusuf Shah
  • Masjidus Sabur
  • Muslim Center of New York
  • Muslim Community of Nassau County
  • Muslim Sister of Staten Island
  • Muslims For Progress
  • Muslims On Long Island
  • Nurudeen Islamic Charity Org.
  • Parkchester Islamic Center
  • Paterson Mevlana Mosque
  • Rockaway Islamic Center
  • Shelter Rock Islamic Center
  • Sunset Islamic Center
  • Tauhid Center for Islamic Dev.
  • The Halal Guide
  • The Long Island Muslim Society
  • United Ulama Council Of USA INC
  • White Plains Islamic Center
  • Women In Islam
  • Yemeni American Association of New York

Please sign this letter. Page will be manually updated. (Current list as of 11/17/2023, 6PM EST)