JVP-NC Denounces Recent Islamophobia, Joins Calls for Community to Show Respect for Many Faiths

     As members of the Durham, NC chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, we were extremely dismayed by recent acts of Islamophobia in our community. Duke University made the decision — caving to Christian extremist threats to withdraw alumni funding — to cancel the Muslim call to prayer (Adhan) scheduled to be called from Duke’s bell tower a week ago. We’ve also learned that Imam Khalid Griggs (co-founder of the local Muslims for Social Justice organization) is facing similar Islamophobic attacks by a donor urging Wake Forest University to withhold funding in order to terminate Imam Khalid Griggs’ position as Muslim chaplain (Imam) there. We understand these extremist pressures in the context of a wave of Islamophobic ideological and financial threats targeting our nation’s institutes of higher learning. Because we believe strongly that people of conscience must speak out to challenge bigotry in all its forms, we are writing publicly in support of the Muslim students, faculty, and staff in the Duke community, the Wake Forest University community, and in all communities in North Carolina facing these threats.
We want to express our disappointment in Duke’s choice to capitulate to right-wing extremist fear-mongering rather than protecting and promoting their students’ freedom to worship; rather than furthering the cause of understanding; rather than cementing their commitment to respect for all cultures.
We appreciate that the Duke Chapel bell tower is regularly used for Christian observances and is from time to time used for Jewish observances, and are pained that the same courtesies are not being extended to Duke’s Muslim community. Such a double standard reinforces our perception that moves to overturn or further delay use of the bell tower for a Muslim call to prayer stem from prejudice. As Jewish Voice for Peace members, we believe it is our responsibility to denounce this decision — made out of pressure from extremist bigotry — and publicly declare that Islamopohobia has no place in our houses of worship, our schools, our workplaces, our homes, or anywhere else in our community.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” We refuse to be those who are complicit through their silence.
And as Professor Omid Safi recently wrote, “How we respond as a community is up to us. Let us repel evil with something lovelier, as the Qur’an says.” We stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters at Duke, at Wake Forest University, and anywhere where Islamophobia needs to be uprooted, denounced, and condemned as hate speech. We commit to take a stand against anti-Muslim and anti-Arab racism in our synagogues, organizations, and our work for social justice. And we hope that soon, those who spout fear will be drowned out instead by those who espouse humanity, pluralism, and compassion.
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Next Meeting 2/15, Upcoming Events, Donate to Gaza

Next JVP-NC meeting is Sunday, 2/15 from 4-6 pm. Location TBA

NATIONAL MEMBER MEETING

Click here for more info.

upcoming events:

Tuesday, 1/20, Mirath — Lebanese Heritage film at NCSU
Friday, 1/23, NAACP Legal Defense fund at Duke law school from 9-3 pm
Thursday, 2/5, Steven Salaita at UNC
Saturday, 2/14, HK on J march in Raleigh
Sunday, 2/15, next JVP-NC meeting
Tuesday, 2/17 – Khalil Muhammed at Stone Center
Tuesday, 2/17 film on Palestine in Oxford, NC
 
to give $$$ to Gaza right now:
Donate to provide plastic sheeting, warm clothes, blankets, and heaters to families in Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon
Donate Now »
Dear [JVP],

I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the terrible cold, wet weather in Palestine and neighboring countries.

The situation is very, very serious. Since the major assault in the summer, many families in Gaza are living in homes with missing windows, partial walls and leaking roofs. Some are still in shelters. And Israel is still not allowing building materials or enough fuel into Gaza. Some families have eight hours of electricity, some have just two hours, and some have no electricity at all.

Already, three infants in Gaza have died of the cold.

The refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon—where more than a million people have fled from Syria—are facing similar desperate conditions. They are living in tents or in schools and mosques, unprotected from the cold and rain.  Many left their homes in Syria with almost nothing.  No warm clothes, no blankets, no heaters.

If you need more information, please see the articles and videos to the right.  But the facts are simple.  And the solution is simple too, if we can count on your support again now.

Please, make a special contribution so that MECA can purchase and deliver plastic sheets to cover walls and roofs, heaters, baby blankets, thermal socks and underwear. Our staff and partners are on the ground talking to families to find out what they need.

The families in Gaza and the families who fled Syria have suffered so much terrible loss, pain and deprivation. Right now, we can bring themthe gift of warmth to help them survive this hard winter.

It is still very cold. Winter is always harder for families who cannot afford good shelter, clothes, blankets or heat. But, now, in this disastrous cold and wet weather, their suffering is so much worse.

Thank you so much for your compassion and your generosity,

Josie Shields-Stromsness
MECA Program Director
Bethlehem, Palestine

Next Meeting Sunday 1/18!

Our next meeting is Sunday, 1/18 from 4-6 pm at 204 Rigsbee Avenue Unit 201 in downtown Durham.
Included in our agenda:
-Duke banned Muslim prayer in the chapel after Christian fundamentalist pressure: WHAT DO WE DO?
-let’s get SOLID on the leadership team + MEMBERSHIP
-GENNA WILL LEAD US IN A BRIEF aerobic dance!
-come on out to the national member meeting
-what more can we do as a JVP chapter to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement locally?
(let us know if folks have more to discuss?)
see you at 4 pm! 
Sunday, 1/18 from 4-6 pm at 204 Rigsbee Avenue Unit 201 in downtown Durham
 
Other upcoming events:

***from UNC-Students for Justice in Palestine
UNC’s MLK Memorial Lecture this year is featuring author and activist Angela Davis, and will be at UNC’s Memorial Hall on January 19th at 7:30pm. Her lecture is titled Racism, Militarism, Poverty: From Ferguson To Palestine.
If you’re interested in attending, please send me an e-mail at laylakquran@gmail.com. They have some tickets reserved for SJP.
There are other events planned throughout the week centered around honoring MLK’s legacy. For more info visit diversity.unc.edu/mlk .

Happy New Year! + Updates and Events

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hi there + happy new year to all!
Thanks for coming out to our JVP-NC Chanukkah party in December! We raised $100 for Rasmea Odeh’s legal defense fund (read more on her case here.) If you’d like to donate, visit http://www.stopfbi.net/donate
AND the photo we tweeted out got re-tweeted by the Justice for Rasmea and the US Palestinian Network. See above.
 ***next JVP-NC meeting is Sunday, 1/18 from 4-6 pm at 204 Rigsbee Avenue Unit 201 in downtown Durham***
UPCOMING EVENTS:
***Raleigh Friends Meeting and The Coalition for Peace with Justice invite you to a documentary film screening and discussion.

                    Thursday, January 15th, 2015  @ 7pm
     “At the Gate: Stories of Palestinian Non Violence:” a documentary that shows the largely unreported Palestinian tradition of non-violent resistance to the Occupation.Film producers,  Kathy Kamphoefner and Paul Pierce,  worked for many years with Christian Peacemaker Teams in Hebron, Palestine and served as American Friends Service representatives in Jerusalem, will facilitate discussion following the film.
Experienced trainers of nonviolence, conflict transformation, and human rights observers, they worked regularly with Palestinian and Israeli peace buildersFree and open to the public. Donations appreciated.
Thursday, January 15th @ 7pm,  (6:30 coffee/snacks)
Raleigh Friends Meeting house, 625 Tower Street, Raleigh 27607. Near Cameron Village.  Street parking.

sponsor: Raleigh Friends Meeting
co sponsor: The Coalition for Peace with Justice

questions:  919 914 9881  email  contact@peace-with-justice.org

***from UNC-Students for Justice in Palestine
UNC’s MLK Memorial Lecture this year is featuring author and activist Angela Davis, and will be at UNC’s Memorial Hall on January 19th at 7:30pm. Her lecture is titled Racism, Militarism, Poverty: From Ferguson To Palestine.
If you’re interested in attending, please e-mail laylakquran@gmail.com for free tickets.
There are other events planned throughout the week centered around honoring MLK’s legacy. For more info visit diversity.unc.edu/mlk .