Monday, October 12, 2015

American Muslims Respond to Anti-Islam Rallies with Voter Registration Campaign

 We are all in this together, on a case by case basis. 

CAIR: American Muslims Respond to Anti-Islam Rallies with Voter Registration Campaign

Organizations supporting the voter registration campaign include:
American Muslim Alliance (AMA),American Muslim Institution (AMI), American Muslim Taskforce (AMT), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Diyanet Center of America, Emerge USA, Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), MPOWER Change, Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Muslim American Citizens Coalition & Public Affairs Council(MACCPAC), Prince George's County Muslim Council, and Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA).
Mike Ghouse

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Anti-Muslim Protests articles and role of American Muslims

Anti-Muslim Protest Articles published 

Christian Science Monitor

Armed anti-Muslim protests: An opportunity for dialogue

Yahoo News
Armed anti-Muslim protests: An opportunity for dialogue? 

US-News: Protesters Gather to Hold Anti-Islam Rally at Phoenix Mosque

American Muslim Institution's Director Mike Ghouse is cited in the report.

---- Instead of “hiding,” US Muslims should openly engage with protesters at the mosques, even serve them water and “kosher hot dogs,” writes Mike Ghouse, a well-known moderate Muslim thinker and writer, in the Illinois-based The Arab Daily News. Ghouse points out that “inaction, isolation, retraction, silo-ing ourselves or hiding behind walls are not options for us; it simply prolongs the transition process and may inadvertently serve to intensify the sense of distrust that exists among a few.” The planned anti-mosque protests are the largest and most aggressive iteration yet of a new strategy by self-described “American patriots” who say they’re concerned about the march of radical Islam into the heartland. ----

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Muslim Response to anti-Muslim Protests


Mike Ghouse (214) 325-1916 text/talk

Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 7, 2015 -- A phone conference was held today by American Muslims and Interfaith leaders from across the country to discuss handling the planned anti-Muslim protests in front of 20 mosques, community centers and government offices scheduled for on October 9th and 10th.

Below are the suggestions that emerged from the conference call relating to handling expected protests.

  • Every Masjid (Mosque) to operate normally, no need to stay home.
  • Every Masjid involved in the program to fly one or more American Flags.
  • Every Masjid involved in the program to serve water for the visitors in front of the building through vendors, and, if funds are available, serve kosher hot dogs.
  • Let every demonstrator be treated with utmost respect, and let them see for themselves a real image of Muslims as caring, hospitable people; hopefully this will change their negative perceptions about Muslims.
  • Allow the law enforcement officials to handle safety matters, and obeying them is required and the right thing to do. You can video tape if you believe certain actions are wrong, but no arguments. 
  • Police should be informed and present if your Mosque is on the city targeted list in an “open carry arm state” state.
  • Refrain from the temptations to argue or shout; this not the moment and place for dialogue.
  •  Send a press release, a very short if necessary to local TV, Radio and other News outlets, better yet, fax them in the morning. (A sample press release is attached) 

It is best to view the situation in this way: No one is our enemy, and no one is out to get us. People have questions, and we should try to address them to allay their fears if we can. We have to come together as Americans and solve our problems together.

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(To be faxed or emailed to your local media outlet by the Masjid – Customize to your own needs)


Muslims of _______ City have chosen to respond to anti-Muslim demonstrations with an open mind and constructively.  

We believe in the freedom of speech and the freedom to protest and have collectively decided to treat the protesters as our honored guests and would welcome them.

We sincerely believe that when the protesters meet and engage with ordinary American Muslims, they will find a kindred spirit in them, similar to their own aspirations of taking care of their families, and living in peace and harmony. 

We have designated Mr. _____________ and Ms. _____________ to be our spokespersons, please feel free to contact them or stop by the mosque.

Mr. ___________________ Phone: __________________ Email: ________________

Ms. ___________________ Phone: __________________ Email: ________________

Proposed Guidelines for engagement

Here are suggestions from Mr. Oz Sultan, who had handled PR and Police engagement for Park51 AKA the "Ground Zero Mosque". He recommends the following guidelines are for armed and un-armed protests. Even though most Muslims do not carry arms, it is a good ideas to be aware of it.

Mike Ghouse
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If your Masjid anticipates an armed protest of your state has open carry laws, it's recommended that you take the following steps:

Police Protection

1)  Designate a Masjid Elder or Leader as a point person for Police Engagement
2) Contact the Community Outreach Office or the office of the Commissioner / Sheriff / etc.
3) Ensure that the police are aware of the demonstrations and Mosque open and close timings. Police should be present if your Mosque is on the city targeted list in an open carry state.

Here is a map of open carry states. If your state is yellow, you need police present:

Community Police or the local Sheriff / Police office should be aware that additional officers may be needed if a large protest crowd accumulates.

Oversight and Communication: Congregations

1) Ensure by Friday that Police presence will be at the Masjid from Open to Close, if you are on the targeted list.

1) Each Masjid should issue an email and call the phone tree of all Mosque elders to highlight the protest risk this weekend.

While we want Muslims to continue their normal weekend and Sunday school activites, there are many that may be apprehensive of protest. 

2) Follow the Guidelines Mike has set for orderly engagement and prevention of conflict

In Mosque Engagement: Armed protesters

1) If you are in an Open Carry state, have your local police ready to set up a weapons check for armed protesters. For those unfamiliar, a weapons check is like a coat check - only for guns. No Masjid personnel should handle weapons under any circumstances.

2) For Armed and Unarmed protester engagement: have 2 - 3 members of the congregation who can converse clearly in English and be prepared for questions on what Islam is and what Muslims believe. Leaflets or handouts would be useful if you have them available, otherwise be prepared for conversations.

If you are unprepared for conversations, then don't do the in Masjid engagement.

3) Welcoming protesters into the Masjid: Protesters should be greeted with a hello and then Salam, if they do not seem agitated. If protesters seem agitated keep conversations in English and it may make sense to forego any in Masjid engagement


1) For both of the scheduled protest days, communicate with your congregations where they should park, in order to prevent congregants from being blocked in by protesters, as this will incite panic. 

2) Have designated parking areas for protesters and use the local Police to help coordinate, should there be any issues.

Refreshments and Food

1) A few cases of water from Costco will send a message that's very different than what protesters expect. It may also be helpful to have a BBQ setup and grill chicken kebabs (everyone loves kebabs) and it helps them identify an aspect of our culture with BBQ culture.

Lastly. Keep a cool head - this like all things will pass. Jazakaallah Kahir.


Oz Sultan
Digital and Big Data Strategy
Twitter: @ozsultan

Monday, October 5, 2015


Conference call with Muslim Leadership

We would like to host a conference call on Wednesday at 2:00 PM EST, and would request your participation. Please confirm to set you up on the call. Please text me with your email and full name and your role to (214) 325-1916 and I will send the invitation to join the phone conference.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Anti-Muslim protests on October 9th and 10th and Muslim Response


Mike Ghouse (214) 325-1916 text/talk

On Oct. 9 and 10, a group of loosely connected protesters plan to host anti-Muslim demonstrations in front of at least
20 mosques, community centers and government offices. While some organizers have urged participants to leave their weapons at home, others are urging protesters to exercise “ALL of your Constitutional Rights.”

While this group has the right to stage lawful demonstrations, all places of worship are legally protected. So, please work with your law enforcement officials to provide officers to protect the Masjid during the demonstrations.

No one is our enemy, and no one is out to get us. They have questions, and we need to boldly address them to allay their fears. We have to come together as Americans and solve our problems together. 
Inaction, isolation, retraction, silo-ing ourselves or hiding behind presumably safe walls is not an option; it simply prolongs the integration process and intensifies the distrust.

  • Let every Masjid that our friends want to demonstrate around operate normally, no need to stay home.
  • Every Masjid should fly the American Flag.
  • Let every Masjid provide water for the visitors in front of the building through vendors, and, if funds are available, serve kosher hot dogs.
  • Muslim women and youth to hold Placards or Banners to say

    1.  We welcome our friends, fellow Americans to 
    2. Join us in an interfaith prayer led by a Pastor, Rabbi, Imam or a Priest
    3.  We are Americans, this is our home
    4. We abide by our American Laws
    5. We believe in U.S. Constitution
    6.  Safety of All Americans is our prime goal
    7. We are all Americans, let’s join hands

E.     We are designing the placards and will make them available on our website .

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