October 2017

Pumpkin spice and political empowerment

Salaam, and welcome to our October newsletter! See below for what we were up to this month as well as our upcoming events:

Hill Briefing: Republican Budget Impact on Families

Poligon attended a discussion on the Republicans’ tax reform plan by Democratic members of the House Budget Committee. Ranking Member Rep. Yarmuth (D-KY-3), Rep. Lee (D-CA-13), and Rep. Jayapal (D-WA-7) gave an overview of the plan’s potential effects on low-income and middle class families, and presented their alternatives.

Domestic Human Needs Hill Day

We joined other faith-based organizations, including the Friends Committee on National Legislation, Bread for the World, and the Religious Action Center, for an Interreligious Working Group on Domestic Human Needs (DHN) advocacy day on Capitol Hill. We met with the offices of Sen. Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Wyden (D-OR), and other Senators to discuss the importance of having a federal budget that embodies faithful principles like justice and compassion.

No Muslim Ban Ever DC Mobilization

On October 18th we marched from the White House to the Trump International Hotel with Muslims and allies to take a stand against President Trump’s third attempt at a discriminatory travel ban, showing how different communities can support each other in the face of injustice.

Facebook Live Discussion: Congress’ Response to the Muslim Ban

After the march our team members Ayesha and Mariam held a Facebook Live discussion to reflect on the march, review the history of President Trump’s travel bans, and give advice for engaging members of Congress to help push back against the current ban and any future versions.

WISE Up Summit

Poligon attended the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality & Equality (WISE)’s summit to launch the WISE Up Report, a guide for policymakers and advocates on confronting religious extremism and Islamophobia. The summit featured discussions by religious scholars, policy experts, and other community leaders on the role of Muslims in American civic society. In a letter of support to the summit’s organizers, Rep. Carson (D-IN-7) stated that it was “imperative to join forces to combat hatred in all its forms.”

Upcoming Events

11/2: Training with Mason Muslim Public Affairs Council
Join us at George Mason University on November 2 for a training on Congressional advocacy!

To 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.
October 6, 2017: GOP Budget Proposal, Gun Regulation, CHIP Funding Expiration, DACA Relief, The Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act

October 13, 2017: Disaster Relief, Limiting Government Surveillance, Reforming ACA Insurance Requirements, Department of Justice Oversight

October 20, 2017: GOP Budget Advances, Bipartisan Healthcare Reform, Defunding the Muslim Ban, the Hate Crime Victim Assistance Act, Student Loan Relief, the Gender Equity in Education Act

October 27, 2017: Executive Order on Refugee Screening, the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act, Expanding Civil Liberties, the CAMPUS HATE Crimes Act

Press Releases

October 2, 2017: Poligon Education Fund Statement on Las Vegas Mass Shooting
October 17, 2017: Poligon Education Fund Welcomes Hawaii Federal Court Decision on Muslim Ban 3.0
October 25, 2017: Poligon Education Fund Condemns Executive Order on “Extreme Vetting” for Refugees

We’re Hiring

We’re looking for 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 Executive Order on “Extreme Vetting” for Refugees

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

Washington, D.C. – Poligon Education Fund condemns President Trump’s executive order to institute “extreme vetting” procedures for refugees seeking admittance into the United States, along with a 90-day restriction on refugee resettlement for stateless Palestinians and citizens from 11 countries. Unofficial reports indicate that the 11 countries come from a pre-existing list of countries designated for Security Advisory Opinion refugee screenings, and nine of the countries – Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen – are predominantly Muslim.

In addition to new mandates including social media checks, the executive order requires refugee status applicants to provide detailed background information such as employment for the past ten years, doubling the existing requirement of five years. Applicants will also be required to list addresses for all immediate family members, which could be infeasible if some family members are also escaping conflict.

“Refugees already go through a rigorous vetting process to gain entry to the United States, and there is no evidence that refugees are a security threat to our country,” said Afif Rahman, Acting Executive Director of Poligon Education Fund. “These burdensome new requirements will severely reduce the number of refugees admitted. By specifically targeting countries with large Muslim populations, this executive order reflects a flawed, prejudiced view of Muslims as inherently threatening to our national security. It is effectively a refugee ban and a Muslim ban by another name, and it goes against our country’s values of rejecting religious and ethnic discrimination.”

Poligon supports the continuation of the United States’ tradition of welcoming refugees, and continues to work with members of Congress toward this end. With the administration’s repeated use of divisive rhetoric and promulgation of unfounded narratives and discriminatory policies around refugee resettlements, Congress must urgently execute its responsibility to block such an irresponsible course of action and protect the promise of the United States as a land of prosperity and refuge for all.

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.###

Poligon Education Fund Welcomes Hawaii Federal Court Decision on Muslim Ban 3.0

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCTOBER 17, 2017
CONTACT
info@poligonnational.org

Washington, D.C. – Poligon Education Fund supports U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson’s order to block President Trump’s third travel ban nationwide, on the day before the ban was set to take full effect.
The travel ban seeks to prevent immigrants and many visitors from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen – as well as certain Venezuelan government officials and their families – from entering the United States. Six of the eight countries affected are majority-Muslim.

Watson has blocked the implementation of the ban for all affected countries except North Korea and Venezuela, saying in his ruling that the ban “suffers from the same maladies as its predecessor” and “plainly discriminates based on nationality.”

“Just like past versions of the ban that have also been stopped by the courts, this new ban violates our nation’s principles of equality and tolerance without doing anything to enhance national security.” said Poligon Board Member Ayesha Ali. “Although the court’s decision is a temporary measure against the ban, it will be a relief to many Americans with relatives in the targeted countries.”

Poligon will continue to oppose any further versions of this discriminatory ban and encourage members of Congress to do the same.

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.

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Poligon Education Fund Statement on Las Vegas Mass Shooting

OCTOBER 2, 2017
​FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: info@poligonnational.org

Washington, D.C. – Poligon Education Fund offers its condolences to the victims and families affected by last night’s mass shooting at Route 91 Harvest Festival near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. In light of the tragedy being one of the deadliest mass shootings in the country’s history, Poligon also continues to urge members of Congress to take actions to prevent similar tragedies in the future:

“Thoughts and prayers from our elected officials are not enough,” said Afif Rahman, Acting Executive Director of Poligon Education Fund. “Mass shootings have been occurring with alarming regularity in recent years, and Congress must work to enact policies – such as increased support for mental health care and common-sense restrictions on access to guns – that will directly address this unique threat to Americans’ safety.”

Mass shootings affect communities of all races, classes, and religious backgrounds, and thus Americans must come together as one to stand against gun violence. In June, Poligon Education Fund partnered with Everytown for Gun Safety’s Wear Orange campaign, which seeks to raise awareness about gun violence in America and promote policy solutions for gun violence prevention.

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.
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