CAIR-NJ Releases Guide for Mosques Highlighting Right to Only Welcome Public Officials Who Support Gaza Ceasefire 

(Newark, NJ, 03/11/2024) — The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today released a civic guide for New Jersey mosques that highlights their right to only welcome public officials who support a Gaza ceasefire to mosques during Ramadan to address congregants.

This comes in light of Israel’s ongoing war on Gaza and public officials’ refusal to support constituents’ calls for a ceasefire in Palestine.

SEE: Harnessing Our Collective Power: A Guide to Civic Engagement in our Mosques

Ramadan is one of the holiest times of the Islamic calendar. Historically, elected officials have used the time to engage with their Muslim constituents and solicit their support at events such as community iftars and nightly prayers.

SEE: Why Ramadan will be different this year for the NJ chapter of CAIR

With the war on Gaza now in its fifth month, and with Israel continually denying Palestinians in Gaza adequate access to basic necessities such as food, water, and medical supplies, American Muslims in New Jersey are conveying their deep dismay in their representatives.

Of twelve, only three New Jersey congressmembers have publicly called for a ceasefire in Palestine. Palestinian Muslims in New Jersey have collectively had more than 1,000 family members killed by Israel since October.

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

“This year as Israel’s war on Gaza rages the Muslim community here in New Jersey is struggling to shake hands and break bread with the same officials who actively endorse Israel’s forcible displacement, mass starvation, and genocide of our sisters and brothers in Palestine.

“Muslims in New Jersey are harnessing their collective power this Ramadan. They are making their position and demands clear. Our houses of worship and dinner tables are sacred spaces. We will continuously elevate who gets to enjoy these spaces with us and our community.  

“A ceasefire in Palestine is the bare minimum. New Jersey public officials across the state must not only push for a ceasefire, but also re-evaluate the state’s commitment to Israel and uphold their sworn duty towards justice.”

Last week, CAIR’s national headquarters released its 2024 Ramadan toolkit, a comprehensive guide and resource for supporting the Muslim community during the month-long daybreak to sunset fast.

The toolkit includes template letters for workplace and student accommodations during Ramadan and advocacy resources such as letters and resolutions urging elected officials to recognize Eid and promote a Gaza ceasefire at state and local levels.

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

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CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 908-668-5900 ext. 103, 551-221-5592