A group of Muslim leaders and organizers has begun gathering signatures for a petition calling upon Muslim organizations to drop Emgage USA. The petition comes after leaders at Emgage USA have repeatedly disregarded the legitimate interests of Muslim communities in the United States to the detriment of the constituencies they claim to represent. Instead of politically empowering Muslim communities, Emgage USA has debilitated Muslim organizations and leaders through its associations and affiliations with anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian groups. In addition, Muslim leaders call upon the Joe Biden campaign to immediately remove Farooq Mitha, as he simply does not represent the views or will of American Muslims.
Leaders at Emgage have repeatedly disregarded the legitimate interests of Muslim communities in the United States to the detriment of the constituencies they claim to represent.
According to recent reporting, many high-ranking members of Emgage, including board members, chairs, founders, and the CEO, as well as the organization itself, have worked in lockstep with AIPAC, the Muslim Leadership Initiative (MLI), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the American Jewish Committee (AJC), and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP).
One need not list how AIPAC engages in deep Islamophobic and anti-Palestinian activity.
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) was founded by AIPAC leaders and has consistently defended Israeli policies.
The ADL boasts that it “has always been a strong voice for Israel,” denouncing BDS as anti-Semitic and justifying Israeli crimes. Its long history of suppression of movements for social justice and attacking communities of color extends beyond Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian smear campaigns to engaging in deadly exchange programs between American police forces and Israel. These ADL-sponsored programs promote expanded surveillance, racial profiling, and the suppression of public protests through the use of force. Dozens of progressive groups, representing Palestinians, Jews, and African Americans, have urged all peoples to sever ties with the ADL.
MLI is a propaganda-laden trip to Israel sponsored by the Jerusalem-based Shalom Hartman Institute, which works closely with the Israeli military and is funded by the Russell Berrie Foundation, a funder of notorious Islamophobes Steve Emerson and Daniel Pipes.
Notable Emgage Involvement with Zionist Orgtanizations:
- Board Member Farooq Mitha, who also serves as Joe Biden’s Muslim Engagement Advisor, has boasted to former employees that he is or was a member of AIPAC and has attended AIPAC events. He also worked at the Pentagon during the Obama administration, helping to normalize ties between Israel and Arab nations under the banner of “Track II diplomacy.”
- Emgage CEO Wael Alzayat served as an “expert” at WINEP. He also currently serves on the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council, a project of the AJC and ISNA (Islamic Society of North America). He also partnered with the ADL on a joint letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Finally, even after Emgage’s recent claims of an alleged policy from 2018 to no longer attend MLI, Alzayat, in December 2019, partnered with the Shalom Hartman Institute and the ADL to launch yet another faithwashing initiative.
- Emgage Co-Chair Khurrum Wahid attended MLI in 2015. He sits on the Civil Rights Committee of the ADL in Miami, where he has served for at least ten years. Along with Mitha, he also hosted a fundraiser in 2010 for former Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Miami-area Republican and one of the most far-right supporters of Israel in Congress.
- Emgage Texas Executive Director Nabila Mansoor attended MLI and has partnered with the ADL in Texas. Mansoor also gave a talk at South by Southwest (SXSW) with a panel including the Alumni Director for MLI, Maital Friedman, where they talk about the benefits of MLI.
- In 2018, Emgage National Co-Chair AJ Durrani was given an award by the ADL in Houston. Durrani and Emgage Texas Board Member Farrukh Shamsi attended MLI together as well.
As an illustration of Emgage’s harmful political activity, after the Joe Biden campaign issued a public disavowal of Palestinian-Muslim-American DNC National Delegate Linda Sarsour, Wahid and Mitha sought to obtain concessions in the form of more appointments in the Biden campaign and/or transition team in lieu of a public apology. Such an apology was the specific demand of Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim American leaders and activists.
Palestinians have been nearly unanimous in their calls urging all people to reject interacting with any of the above groups, as such activity serves to normalize Israeli aggressions against the Palestinian people.
Despite a recent statement by Emgage expressing support for BDS and the Palestinian right of return, we have witnessed no accountability or apology from the organization for the above-cited litany of harmful actions. We have seen neither a pledge from Emgage to formally end its normalization activities nor a statement denouncing Zionism as a racist ideology.
In light of all of the above, we call on all organizations and individuals to drop any affiliations with Emgage.
We also call upon the Joe Biden campaign to immediately remove Farooq Mitha as he simply does not represent the views or will of our communities.
We urge all people of conscience to no longer tolerate unprincipled leadership threatening our community and undermining the voices of grassroots Muslim and Palestinian activists.
- Nadia Ahmad, 2020 DNC National Delegate – FL
- Samia Assed, 2020 DNC National Delegate – NM
- Amer Zahr, New Generation for Palestine, President
- Noura Erakat, Jadaliyya
- Leena Al-Arian, Coalition for Civil Freedoms, Executive Director
- Sam Hindi, Foster City, CA Councilmember, 2020 DNC National Delegate – CA
- Amani Barakat, Al-Awda Palestinian Right to Return Coaliton
- Iyad Afalqa, President, California Democratic Council (CDC, Executive Board Member, California Democratic Party ), 2016 DNC National Delegate-CA
- Murad Sarama, Democrats for Justice in Palestine, Chairman
- Ahmed Bedier, United Voices for America, President, 2016 DNC National Delegate – FL
- Aftab Siddiqui, American Muslim Democratic Caucus, 2020 DNC National Delegate – TX
- Syed Hasan, American Muslim Democratic Caucus, 2020 DNC National Delegate – TX
- Mustafaa Carroll, American Muslim Democratic Caucus
- Imran Shareef, American Muslim Democratic Caucus
- Sarwat Malik-Hassan, Progressive Organizer and Activist
- Ayesha Mughal, Central Jersey Democratic Socialists of America, Co-Chair
- Fatima Mughal, Central Jersey Democratic Socialists of America
- Syed Raheel Hassan, Attending Physician
- Hamzah Raza, Journalist
- Ghiyath Alazzah, Palestinian Youth Movement
- Dr. Sahar Ghumkhor, University of Melbourne, Academic
- Aliyah Khan, NoVA Democratic Socialists of America, Member
- Imran Salha, Imam and Faith Leader
- Ayman Khader
- Olivia Cantu, Mustino Times, Executive Director
- Hebh Jamal
- Dina Sayed Ahmed, Amnesty International and WNYC
- Carmel Abuzaid, Palestinian Youth Movement
- Sofia Ahsan, Muslims4Bernie
- Farrah Ahsan, Muslims4Bernie Volunteer
- Lamis J. Deek, Human Rights Attorney, NLG, Al-Awda, NY4Palestine
- Celine Qussiny, Palestinian Youth Movement
- Naushaba Saher, Muslims4Bernie Volunteer
- Naeem Raja, Coalition of Americans for Political and Social Awareness
- Mohamad Almasry, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies
- Kawthar Abdullah
- Hannah Rajah, Muslims4Bernie Volunteer
- Palos Verdes Estates, Humanitarian and Peace Activist
(Organizational affiliations listed for identification purposes only.)
Link to become a signatory: http://bit.ly/dropemgage