ACT Against Islamophobia; June 10: A Rally Against Anti-Muslim Fascists
Support the Muslim Community, Support Immigrants, Defend the Working Class!

When: Saturday, June 10, 11:00AM
Where: Minnesota State Capital, St Paul, MN

(Minneapolis, MN, June 10, 2017) – On Saturday, June 10, 2017, at 11:00 AM, the General Defense Committee (GDC) will rally in support of the Muslim community against the anti-Muslim fascist group ACT for America. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes ACT for America as the largest grassroots anti-Muslim hate group in the country. The ideology of this group has made its way to the White House in the person of Stephen K. Bannon, chief strategist for President Trump. Our goal is to support Muslims in our community as they defend themselves against this vicious attack. In supporting Muslims and immigrants in the Twin Cities, the GDC will defend the working class against this religiously-based fascist and racist group. We fight for the “separation of church and hate.”

ACT for America claims that Muslims wish to impose “Sharia law” on non-Muslim Americans. This is fascist propaganda and a racist myth. The imposition of a Christian theocracy is a thousand times more likely than the imposition of Sharia law as American civil law. Like Jews who follow the 613 commandments of Jewish law and Christians who subscribe to the Ten Commands, sharia is a set of norms and prescriptions for how Muslims should live within their religious communities. It is not civil law. There is no effort to make it civil law. There is not even the remotest possibility, except in the bizarre imagination of anti-Muslim bigots, that sharia could ever become civil law. It has no basis in reality. Rather, “sharia law” is a racist trope that refers to those brown and black people that “we” don’t like. Like the term “law and order,” which is meant to conjure images of marauding black criminals, “sharia law” is merely an expression of anti-Muslim bigotry. This religious-based bigotry is closely tied to racial bigotry against brown and black immigrants.

The fascists in ACT for America regard all Muslims as jihadis, their term for terrorists. They want to create an environment in which Muslims fear for their safety and their very lives by encouraging non-Muslims to regard them with fear, suspicion, and hate. The fascists want to delegitimize Muslims, to make commitment to Islam illegitimate. In a manner analogous to the view of LGBTQ individuals within the “ex-gay movement,” the only good Muslim is an ex-Muslim. ACT for America wants to “make America great again” by making it “Christian” if not white. They see Muslims as an anti-American “fifth column,” a religiously veiled Trojan horse. ACT for America wants to scapegoat Muslims the way that fascists scapegoat anarchists and communists. They are trying to scare Americans into thinking that there is a Muslim suicide bomber behind every beard, under every hijab, praying in every masjid. These bigots, racists, and fascists are working overtime to deny to Muslims the same “religious liberty” that they claim for themselves. The right-wing concept of religious liberty is extremely dubious. However, one does not need to be pro-religion to fight against this dangerous hypocrisy.

Rather than follow the example of religious bigots and haters, let us follow the example of the Rev. Martin Niemöller (1892-1984) who, during another time when German fascists were on the march, wrote the following:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

On Saturday, June 10 we will speak out. We will not speak for Muslims. They can speak for themselves. But we will speak in support of Muslims and immigrants and we will act to defend the working class from the fascists, racists, and bigots who threaten us. Join the GDC in fighting against ACT for America and for the “separation of church and hate.”

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