We, Muslim and allied organizers, stand with Zahra Billoo in the face of the vote to remove her from Women’s March national board after an Islamophobic smear campaign. We call on Women’s March to reinstate Zahra Billoo to the national board.
After Women’s March announced the new board members, the attacks on Zahra were distinct. They were textbook cases of Islamophobia and racism. They were distinguishable from the comments about other inspiring organizers taking on these positions on the new Board. To put it plainly, they were overt racism by racists. They relied on Islamophobic and Orientalist tropes that are some of the most disgusting ways to attack a person of Muslim identity.
Zahra is a tireless advocate, locally and nationally. She is with us in the streets when we are working with refugees in our communities, when we are sick with fatigue from knocking on politicians’ doors and when we are comforting the trauma of this work in our peoples. When there are no resources, and no help, she is there, and she is fighting. She always has our back and now it is time we have hers.
Like so many, we deeply value the work of Women’s March and know the struggles against racism and misogyny to be inextricable. That is why we cannot be silent in the face of this decision. The movement for women must include all women, especially Muslim women of color.
In the Trump era, there is no space for bending to the will of racists and Islamophobes. Our communities are being attacked as we speak. As this letter is sent, the Muslim and Refugee Ban continues to ravage our communities, Kashmir is under attack, and the recent Israeli election results ensure another era of colonial violence on Palestine. We know we must join together to uplift the most marginalized voices of our communities now more than ever.
We call on Women’s March to reinstate Zahra Billoo to its national board so that the vital work can continue.
To sign onto this letter, sign on here: https://forms.gle/sbucyWza29uQ2MZq7
Imraan Siddiqi, CAIR-AZ
Ahmad Abuznaid, National Network for Arab American Communities
Abed Ayoub, ADC
Magari Aziza, Muslim ARC
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, Founder, Muslim Girl
Masih Fouladi, CAIR-Washington
Sarah Farouq, MSA West
Jehan Hakim, YAC
Sophia Armen, SWANA Alliance
Lexi Alexander, filmmaker
Darakshan Raja, Justice for Muslims Collective
Ramla Sahid, PANA
Mohamed M Elnakib
Fatima Zehra Ladha
Seemab Hussaini, CAIR-Oregon
Maha Hilal, Justice for Muslims Collective
Melina Abdullah, Black Lives Matter- Los Angeles
Thandiwe Abdullah, co-founder, Black Lives Matter – Youth Vanguard
Adam Soltani, CAIR-Oklahoma
Professor Hatem Bazian
Sana Qutubuddin, Indian American Muslim Council
Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, Director and Senior Scholar, Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies, San Francisco State University
Afaf Nasher, CAIR-NY
Sophia Andary, Women’s March San Francisco
Nerdeen Kiswani, Within Our Lifetime
Kifah Shah, MPowerChange
Zakir Khan, CAIR-Oregon
Ekram Haque, CAIR-Dallas Fort Worth
Lubabah Abdullah, CAIR-Houston
Kristy Sabbah, Arizona Muslim Alliance
Justice for Muslims Collective
CAIR-Washington State Chapter
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
Adalah Justice Project
Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC)
US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)
Musim Student Association West (MSA West)
Palestinian Youth Movement-USA
Within Our Lifetime- United for Palestine
US Campaign for Palestinian Rights