September 2017

We’re standing up to discrimination

Salaam, and welcome to our September newsletter! See below for what we were up to this month as well as our upcoming events:
 
No Muslim Ban Ever Rally
Poligon co-sponsored a rally in response to President Trump’s third attempt at an anti-Muslim travel ban. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY-10), Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA-4), and advocates from many partner organizations spoke out against the devastating impact of this new ban and the importance of advocating to elected officials to take action.
 
#NoMuslimBanEver Twitter town halls
As part of the ongoing No Muslim Ban Ever campaign, Poligon also participated in #NoMuslimBanEver Twitter town hall discussions on September 19 and 28.
 
Hill Briefings on The Color of Surveillance Under Section 702
Poligon attended briefings by the Arab American Institute and the Fourth Amendment Advisory Committee on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which is set to come up for Congressional reauthorization later this year. This legislation allows government agencies to monitor communications between U.S. citizens and foreign nationals, even if the foreign national is not suspected as a terror threat. Low-income, immigrant, and Muslim communities are particularly at risk for discriminatory targeting using the powers authorized in this law.
 
Hill Briefing on Urban and Rural Poverty
We also attended a briefing by the Salvation Army on the Human Needs Index, a unique way of measuring poverty in American communities using the organization’s data the services it provides. The study showed that rural communities may have more basic needs than government data shows, because it is more difficult for them to access government services. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), who participated in a discussion of the findings, highlighted the importance of providing hope and opportunity to low-income communities and the role of both governments and non-profits in alleviating poverty.

In the News

In anticipation of a rally by the hate group ACT for America, the Huffington Post featured an op-ed by our president Wardah Khalid entitled Less than One Month After Charlottesville, Bigotry is Back, in which she discusses the influence of Islamophobic groups on the country’s political discourse and what Congress can do to condemn bigotry and violence.

Upcoming Events

No Muslim Ban Ever March
On October 18 when the new travel ban goes fully into effect, join us in Washington, DC to stand with Muslims, immigrants, and others impacted by this discriminatory policy. 

Trainings
We’ve got lots of legislative trainings coming this fall. Keep an eye out for save the dates! You can learn more about our trainings, click here. If you’d like a training in your community, email us: info@poligonnational.org

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 – September 22, 2017:
 Hill Headlines: Graham-Cassidy Health Care Reform, National Defense Budget Increase, Criminal Justice Reform, Keeping Kids’ Insurance Dependable and Secure Act, Grow American Incomes Now Act, DREAM Act Discussions

​Hill Happenings – September 29, 2017:
 Hill Headlines: Graham-Cassidy, GOP Tax Reform Plan, The CHRONIC Care Act, The Reverse Mass Incarceration Act, Tax Relief for Hurricane Victims

Press Releases

Actions

Thanks to your advocacy, we helped stop Amendment 115 to the House’s annual Appropriations bill, which would have blocked Islamic Relief Worldwide from receiving federal funding for its charity work.

We’re Hiring

This month we welcomed our new legislative fellow, Mariam Ahmed! We’re still looking for additional dynamic individuals passionate about Muslim Congressional advocacy to join our team! Please visit bit.ly/PoligonNational to learn more about these positions and how to apply:

  • Graphic Designer (part time, volunteer, remote)
  • Marketing and Social Media Intern (part time, volunteer, remote)

Don’t forget to visit our website to view our policy briefs and the latest updates. Like our Facebook page, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter to stay up-to-date on news affecting American Muslims and our allies on Capitol Hill. Feel free to forward this newsletter to others.

Stay active,
Ayesha, Afif, Nadia, and Wardah

Poligon Education Fund Condemns President Trump’s Revised Travel Ban

SEPTEMBER 25, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: info@poligonnational.org

Washington, D.C. – Poligon Education Fund strongly condemns President Trump’s third attempt at a Muslim travel ban. The latest iteration, announced late last night, places severe limits on people travelling to the United States from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. While the list of countries may have changed slightly from the first travel ban, it does not make it any less discriminatory or erase the fact that at its core, it is still a Muslim ban.

“This proclamation not only harms visitors, students, and business travelers from these countries, but it is also a thinly-veiled attempt to mask the unconstitutional, discriminatory nature of the original Muslim ban President Trump clearly proposed during the 2016 presidential election campaign and defended in subsequent statements,” said Wardah Khalid, President of Poligon Education Fund. “The addition of Chad, a Muslim majority country, North Korea, and Venezuela, does not dilute the intent of the ban to target Muslim immigrants. We are confident the courts will strike it down, as they did previous versions, and urge our elected officials in Congress to join us in opposing this despicable policy that does nothing to enhance our national security.”

For Poligon’s previous statements surrounding the Muslim Ban, please click here.

Poligon Education Fund is a non profit, non-partisan organization working to strengthen Muslim American engagement with Congress through research and education on issues of concern to the community and its allies. Learn more at www.poligonnational.org.###

Call your reps NOW to oppose amendment targeting Islamic Relief

Call your representatives to oppose DeSantis amendment
Today, the House of Representatives will be voting on the DeSantis Amendment (115-31) to make it illegal to give funds to Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), a humanitarian organization dedicated to the alleviation of poverty and suffering. This is Congress’s latest attempt to shut down Muslim advocacy, charity, and humanitarian organizations by claiming they are affiliated with terrorists. ​

What You Can Do Now

Call Congress Today: Call your Representatives at (202) 224-3121 NOW (the vote is scheduled for this afternoon).

Sample Script:“I strongly oppose and urge you to vote against Rep. DeSantis’s amendment #115 for the State & Foreign Operations Appropriations in H.R. 3354. Islamic Relief is a humanitarian organization that has been subjected to over 500 audits, none of which have found evidence to support Mr. DeSantis’s allegations. In fact, its US branch has been doing amazing work with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. This is simply Congress’s latest attempt to shut down Muslim civil rights, humanitarian and advocacy organizations under the guise of terrorism, and I request you vote against it.”
Use Social Media: Follow our Twitter and Facebook page for sample tweets and posts you can share on your networks. 

Stay active,
Afif, Nadia, Ayesha, and Wardah

Poligon Condemns Heartless Decision to Terminate DACA Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 6, 2017
Contact: info@poligonnational.org

Washington, D.C. – Poligon Education Fund strongly condemns President Trump’s decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program protects young immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children, sometimes escaping dangerous conditions in their birthplaces, and have grown up as Americans. As a result of the administration’s actions, 800,000 youth, productive members of our society’s educational system, workforce, and current and former members of the military are now at risk for deportation – an action that goes against the very values and morals of our country.

The Islamic tradition teaches that even enemy combatants seeking safety should  be granted security and returned to security. DREAMers, who are not a threat, should be treated even better and certainly not turned away.  Terminating DACA risks tearing “DREAMers” away from the only country they call home and “returning” them to countries where they may have no family, no home, no expectation of citizenship or asylum, and may face significant safety risks.

“DACA recipients include Muslims and affect our community, too,” said Poligon board President Wardah Khalid. “The announcement is yet another iteration of this administration’s anti-immigrant agenda, which included the Muslim travel ban. We stand in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters from around the world against this politically motivated and heartless decision.”

Poligon Education Fund urges Congress to condemn and stand against DACA termination and provide a means to protect these youth from deportation along with a path to citizenship. DACA recipients are Americans, and it is time for our government and its leaders recognize them as such.

Poligon Education Fund is a non profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to strengthening Muslim American engagement with Congress through research, education, and advocacy. Learn more at www.poligonnational.org.

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