What Allies Can Do to Help
No question, there are non-Muslims out there on our side ready to help. We’ve seen it most recently at the global Women’s March for social justice and equality—and it was amazing! Here are some quick and easy ways you can continue to provide support as an ally. Your partnership with Muslims in the United States against this ban is needed more than ever. Here’s what you can do:
1. Get the word out.
Alert friends, family, coworkers, and any other people on your radar of what is happening. Remind them that this is not unprecedented. Between 1938 and 1944, the United States turned away thousands of Jewish asylum seekers from Europe, due largely to antisemitism in President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s cabinet. We know what happened to those who were forced to return to Europe. More than 70% of them perished in Hitler’s “Final Solution.”
Use social media, email, word of mouth. Tell everyone you know of the dire situations in many of these countries, and why the people fleeing these areas need our compassion, not our bigotry.
2. Put those fingers to work.
Now that you’ve built a network of other allies, start emailing and snail-mailing your representatives. You can find your senators and house representatives through these links. Here, you can also find a link to locate your state legislators.
3. Get old-school.
Break out the phone and call your senators, representatives, and state legislators.
Tell everyone you know of the dire situations in many of these countries, and why the people fleeing these areas need our compassion, not our bigotry.
4. Put your good boots on.
Prepare to march. No protest movement is complete without a good march, and perhaps a die-in or sit-in. Check out these practical guides to protesting and be on the lookout for future marches associated with protesting the “Muslim ban.” Don’t see one? Organize one! Strap on those comfortable shoes and get those boots on the ground.
Here are some sites that will guide you in the right direction:
- LifeHacker: How to Protest Safely and Legally
- WikiHow: How to Protest
- ACLU: What to Do If Your Rights Are Violated at a Demonstration or Protest
5. Visit your local mosque or Muslim Student Association.
Engage with the Muslims in your community. If your local mosques are holding any meetings that are open to the public, if you know of a university Muslim Student Association that could use assistance, show up.
Contact administration, community organizers, and clergy through their websites (most mosques have an online presence). If you have a hard time getting in touch through the internet, show up to Friday prayer service, and ask how you can help. Make friends, get to know your Muslim neighbors.
6. Support refugees.
Donate to organizations that support refugees that are fleeing areas in turmoil.
7. Champion civil liberties for all peoples.
Support and contact the American Civil Liberties Union.
8. Stay vigilant.
This is not the last policy Trump will create based on Islamophobic bigotry, fear, and misinformation. Stay vigilant and keep an eye on press releases and news coming out of the White House. Also pay attention to any news stories which paint Muslims as a monolithic terrorist organization. Challenge the hateful rhetoric and read news coverage from a variety of sources to get the entire story.
9. Build a bridge, tear down a wall.
Support and follow organizations like CAIR, the ACLU, CODE PINK, and ISNA.