Dr. Hatem Bazian – Chair, NCIC
As a community, we are facing a most difficult period in our collective histories at home and abroad. The rising tide of Islamophobia is creating dangerous conditions and has reached a tipping point toward violence and open attacks on mosques and individuals alike. Muslim women are facing an avalanche of attacks revolving around the hijab, their identity and personhood, while Muslim kids in school are being bullied daily. This atmosphere is not only alarming but dangerous considering the level of hatred and bigotry being expressed by the Republican presidential candidates. In these circumstances, we have no other choice than to effectively organize the community so as to protect all its members and double our institutional building efforts that are directed at self-empowerment. We have to rapidly become far more engaged in civil society, build a massive and diverse civil and human rights coalition that is based on indivisible social justice and dignity for all. The time to organize is now and the responsibility is on all of us. I call upon your institution, mosque and center to partner with NCIC and use it as a collective vehicle for empowering and defending the community in these difficult times.