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Tue. Apr 16th, 2024
NY Muslims Call on NYC Council to Uphold Free Speech & Apologize to Muslim Leaders Who Were Verbally Attacked at Anti-BDS Hearing
The Majlis Ash Shura A.K.A Islamic Leadership Council of Metropolitan New York is disturbed by recent actions of New York City Council members to chill free speech of those who support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS). As New Yorkers and Americans, we are committed to the fundamental rights afforded to us by the US Constitution and we expect the same from those elected to represent us. New York City Council members should focus on pressing issues impacting New Yorkers such as public safety, affordable housing and healthcare. This is a time to bring New Yorkers together not engage in divisiveness.
We are also outraged at the treatment of Muslim leaders during the hearing on Thursday, September 8th to discuss Resolution 1058A. Our leaders have track records of community service, interfaith work, and fighting for justice for all. They provided powerful and moving testimonies emphasizing the importance of free speech. They were disrespected and attacked by City Councilman Rory Lancman and met by silence from other New York City council members. The hearing was disorganized and lacked leadership. When New York City Council members disrespect leaders in our communities, the very integrity of the Council has been compromised. We demand an immediate apology to Linda Sarsour and Imam Talib Abdur-Rashid.
We are dismayed with the swiftness that this vote is coming to the floor. We want to reiterate for the record that we are outraged that the New York City Council has chosen to be on the wrong side of history.  You have chosen to chill free speech and have forgotten the important role protest and boycotts have played in prior movements such as the movement to end the South African Apartheid. The Islamic Leadership Council of Metropolitan New York, its member organizations, our partners and allies are committed to upholding the US Constitution and committed to supporting justice for Palestinians using non-violent means protected by our constitution. We also are committed to continuously organize, educate and mobilize our communities to fight for and protect our rights as citizens.

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