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  • SMF

Shia Muslim Foundation Joins Civil Rights Meeting with Federal Agencies

(WASHINGTON, DC - February 27, 2024) The Shia Muslim Foundation (SMF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the rights and welfare of Shia Muslims in the United States, participated in a meeting with federal agencies on civil rights issues affecting Arab, Palestinian, and Muslim communities on February 27, 2024.

The meeting, hosted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), brought together representatives from various community groups and civil rights organizations to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing their communities in the areas of hate crimes, federal profiling, education, and employment.

The meeting was opened by Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at DOJ, and Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at DHS, who reaffirmed their commitment to protecting the civil rights and civil liberties of all Americans, regardless of their race, religion, national origin, or ethnicity.

The SMF, along with other groups such as Emgage, CAIR, Muflehun, ADC, Muslim Advocates, and MPAC, presented their concerns and recommendations on various topics, including:

  • The increase in reported hate crimes and incidents targeting Arab, Palestinian, and Muslim communities, especially in the wake of the recent conflict in Gaza and the upcoming presidential election.

  • The impact of targeted violence on institutions and communities, and the need for more agency efforts to prevent anti-Arab and Islamophobic hate from impacting neighborhoods and houses of worship.

  • The federal profiling and targeting of Arabs, Palestinians, and Muslims by law enforcement and immigration authorities, and the need for more transparency and accountability on watchlist policies, cell phone searches, nondiscrimination standards, and parole programs.

  • The censorship and suppression of Arab, Palestinian, and Muslim voices online by social media companies, and the need for more oversight and regulation on content moderation and free speech.

  • The rise in Islamophobia in the education sector, and the need for more strategies and resources to combat discrimination and harassment of students and teachers in schools and universities.

  • The effect of anti-Arab discrimination and Islamophobia on employment, and the need for more EEOC involvement and community engagement on this issue.

The meeting served as a valuable forum for open dialogue and collaboration between the government and Muslim community organizations. Both agencies expressed their commitment to working together to address the concerns raised and ensure the safety and well-being of all Americans.


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