CAIR-NJ Echoes NJ Islamic Center Coalitions’ Disappointment in Elected Officials, Calls for Ceasefire 

(NEWARK, NJ, 11/03/2023) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today echoed the message of a coalition of New Jersey Islamic centers.

60 Islamic centers from across New Jersey have co-authored a letter addressed to Governor Phil Murphy and  New Jersey’s federal Senators and Representatives.

Their coalition letter states, in part:

“Your initial statements in particular were devoid of any context and largely ignored the reality of death, despair and destruction long befalling millions of innocent Palestinian civilians. These statements and those of our national leaders have also put the lives of Muslim, Arab and Palestinian Americans in jeopardy including a rise in Islamophobia and putting our constitutional rights at risk as our students and professionals are subject to intimidation and harassment. As concerned citizens who value justice and peace on a global scale, we feel compelled to express our concerns about the direction of the one-sided support that you have provided.”

It goes on to state:

“We now address you as bellwethers of a changing tide of sentiment between the Muslim community and our elected representatives. This division will mark a significant shift in public opinion of elected officials who are supposed to represent them. To date, only Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman has shown the courage and integrity to stand with the rest of the world’s voices (120 countries) and vote for an immediate ceasefire.”

SEE: New Jersey Muslim Coalition Letter

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said:

“This letter representants the collective frustration of New Jersey’s American Muslim community. We demand our representatives across the board do better. We echo the coalition’s demands and urge our elected officials to call for an immediate ceasefire, humanitarian aid, and to be a voice of justice, peace, and equality.

“It is outrageous to me that so many of our elected officials have prioritized the interests of a foreign government over their own constituents’ and that they have signed onto a genocide, over and over again, despite being implored not to. 

“New Jersey’s Palestinian and Muslim communities have been directly impacted by Israel’s bombardment of Palestine. Our call for a ceasefire has been met with a deafening silence beyond comprehension.

“This moment has marked a shifting tide between Muslims across the nation and in New Jersey specifically, and their elected officials who have neglected their responsibility to their constituents.” 

Maksut also noted that the CAIR-NJ office has received well over 100 calls for help in the past four weeks. That’s more than the past nine months combined. Normally CAIR-NJ receives two to four calls a week. Maksut called on New Jersey elected officials to condemn alarming rise in anti-Muslim incidents occuring in all sectors of public life. 

The Palestinian death toll in Gaza has risen past 9,000, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu adamantly rejects a ceasefire.

SEE:  Netanyahu declares it is ‘time for war’ as Israel hails hostage release

SEE: Gaza receives largest aid shipment so far as deaths top 8,000 and Israel widens military offensive   

CAIR-NJ continues to urge elected officials to push for a ceasefire in Gaza and across the West Bank as Israeli aggressions mount. The groups also mourns the loss of life in Palestine and stands firmly in unwavering solidarity with Palestinians and their right to freedom.

SEE: Ceasefire Now

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CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 908-668-5900 ext. 103