May 2017

Ramadan Mubarak from the Poligon Team!

Ramadan Mubarak!
From all of us at Poligon Education Fund, we wish you a very happy Ramadan, filled with self reflection, service, and faith. It is easy to feel defeated these days, in the midst of heightened Islamophobia and chaos on the national and global level, but we hope Muslim Americans will join us this holy month in stepping back and reflecting on our values of peace, justice, and pluralism – as well as our ability to create real positive change in our country. As God tells us in the Quran, “Oh you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God.” (Surah An-Nisa:135).

May this month be a time of spiritual blessing and rejuvenation for us all.

Warmly,
The Poligon Team

P.S. As Ramadan is a time of great generosity, will you make a $100 donation to support our work? All contributions are Zakat eligible and tax deductible.

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Upcoming Events

#WearOrange – June 2
We are partnering with Everytown for Gun Safety to help turn America orange. 93 Americans are killed and hundreds are injured by gun violence every day. We must do more to end it. Show your support by creating your own #WearOrange image on social media and attending a related event in your area. Call your legislators and ask them to Wear Orange as well. Together, we can make America safer.

Poligon partners with #Fasting5K in D.C. – Saturday, June 10
Looking for a fun way to give back this Ramadan? Sign up for the Fasting 5K: DC challenge! Proceeds raised will be donated to Poligon to create and deliver Congressional Advocacy workshops for youth on engagement around issues like Islamophobia and bullying.

Poligon in the Community

​Congressional Advocacy Workshop
Our first in-person workshop was held in Washington, D.C. Co-hosted with MUPPIES DC, it covered how policy is made in Congress, as well as best practices for Congressional visits and town halls. Participants left motivated and equipped with the tools needed to actively engage their representatives. If you are interested in bringing this workshop to your state please email us at info@poligonnational.org.

#RiseUp Protest for Immigrant Rights: 
Poligon participated in the Rise Up protests in D.C. in support for immigrant rights, along with hundreds of thousands across the country “to demonstrate the power, resilience and strength of immigrant communities in America.” (www.indivisibleguide.com)

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing
​Poligon attended and live tweeted the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on the rise of Religious Hate Crimes. However, no Muslim individuals or organizations were included on the panel, despite the community being severely affected by religious hate crimes.

Muslim Ban Press Conference
​We co-sponsored the Muslim Ban press conference outside Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond VA, where the travel ban hearing was held. The court later  denounced the ban and determined that it “speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination” wrote U.S. Chief Circuit Judge Roger Gregory#NoMuslimBanEver

Newsroom

Weekly Hill Happenings:
We’ve been keeping you up-to-date on the latest on Capitol Hill with our Hill Happenings going straight to your inboxes every Friday.

Hill Happenings – May 5, 2017Government shutdown and the new spending bill, the repeal of Obamacare, the new Executive Order allowing religious groups to retain tax-exempt status while politically active, and highlights from the Senate Judiciary hearing​

Hill Happenings – May 12, 2017: Congress reacts to Comey firing, new G.O.P. Health Bill in Senate is being written by 13 men…and no women, House Republicans experience hostile town halls after passing bill to repeal Obamacare, and Action Alert on the Muslim Community Week of Resistance

Hill Happenings – May 19, 2017: Over 40 Civil Rights groups urge Congress to vote “NO” on warrantless searches, Senate Republicans run into early obstacles drafting Healthcare bill, Equality Act of 2017, and Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act

Hill Happenings – May 26, 2017Access to Health Insurance Coverage Bill, Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2017, The Renew Act, Mulvaney testifies on Trump’s 2018 budget proposal, CBO scores Republican repeal bill, 4th Circuit Appeals Court upholds Muslim-Ban injunction, and Action Alert – call your representative about the ACT for America “March Against Sharia” protest

Don’t forget to visit our website to view our policy briefs and the latest updates. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter to stay up-to-date on news affecting Muslim Americans and our allies on Capitol Hill. Share the knowledge and forward this newsletter to others.

Poligon Education Fund is working tirelessly to monitor and hold accountable Congress and educate American Muslims on effective advocacy. We are just getting started and can only continue this work with your generous support. Please consider making a donation of $10, $25, $100 or any amount you choose. All donations are tax deductible and Zakat eligible.
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Poligon Celebrates Defeat of the House Farm Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 18, 2018
CONTACT: info@poligonnational.org

Washington, D.C. – Poligon Education Fund welcomes the defeat of HR 2, Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, also known as the Farm Bill, in the House of Representatives today. The version of the bill that failed to pass proposed to cut $20 billion dollars in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits over the next 10 years, the equivalent of 13 billion meals, and impose harsher work requirements on those seeking to access food assistance, creating additional barriers to SNAP participation.
Poligon is honored to have worked with many organizational partners and faith communities to fight against the Farm Bill’s proposal to cut funding for SNAP, and its defeat in the House today is a welcome victory,” said Poligon Acting Executive Director Afif Rahman. “SNAP is a tremendously effective program against hunger and poverty, serving nearly 42 million Americans and lifting up 8 million people out of poverty on an annual basis. In this holy month of Ramadan, we are reminded that the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘He who fills his stomach while his neighbor next door goes hungry, is not a believer.’”
While the fight is not over as the Farm Bill awaits to be brought forth for another vote soon, we hope that Members of Congress draft a version that protects SNAP and does not punish those in need for being poor.”

Poligon Education Fund urges request members of Congress on both sides of the aisle embrace democracy and bipartisanship to draft a Farm Bill that protects and increases funding for SNAP and does not force Americans to decide between working and staying alive.
Poligon Education Fund is a non profit, non-partisan organization working to strengthen Muslim American engagement with Congress through education and advocacy on issues of concern to the community and its allies. Learn more at www.poligonnational.org.

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Concerned about Trumpcare? Tell Your Member of Congress!

Take Action: May 8th-15th
​Although the AHCA already passed the House, it will most likely return after the Senate makes changes. This means, you need to call your House Reps and Senators and make your voice heard.

Sample script: Hi, my name is _______ and I’m a constituent of Congressman/Senator ___________. I’m calling to express my concern about the new healthcare bill. [Short personal anecdote about your healthcare experience/concern if applicable]. According to the Congressional Budget Office, TrumpCare will result in millions of Americans losing their healthcare, paying higher premiums, and receiving worse coverage. It also gives a major tax cut to the wealthiest Americans as well as insurance and drug companies. This is unacceptable. Will the representative oppose this legislation?

Additional scripts available here.

Especially vulnerable Republican House members who voted for the AHCA are:

  • Rep. Issa (R-CA-49.)
  • Rep. Curbelo (R-FL-26.)
  • Rep. Kinzinger (R-IL-16.)
  • Rep. Denham (R-CA-10)
  • Rep. Valadao (R-CA-21)
  • Rep. Amodei (R-NV-02),
  • Rep. Faso (R-NY-19)
  • Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL-18)

Muslim Community Week of Resistance: May 8-15th

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Raise awareness and continue the resistance against the Muslim and refugee bans. Make sure that the courts and the country hear the voices of affected communities and allies.

Poligon is co-sponsoring a press conference outside the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals courtroom during the May 8th hearing. Follow on Twitterand Facebook around 1:15 PM EST. We’ll use hashtag #NoMuslimBanEver.

Activities

  • Pack the courtroom or hold a rally outside in Virginia (May 8) or Seattle area (May 15).
  • Hold peaceful and supportive gatherings in front of federal courthouses on May 8th and May 15th in other parts of the country.
  • Hold a discussion at your local place of worship, campus, or community center. Invite local community activists and organizations to speak about the impact of the Muslim and refugee bans.  
  • Organize events at airports to welcome immigrants and refugees: Airport protests around the country paved the way for opposition to the Muslim and refugee bans.  Collaborate on an action with local groups that are organizing at airports.
  • Join Twitter Town Halls on May 9th and May 15th at 2PM EST/11AM PST using #NoMuslimBanEver to raise awareness online.​