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Georgia Activists Unite To Oppose Islamaphobia, Support Newton Muslims

Georgia Activists Unite To Oppose Islamaphobia, Support Newton Muslims

Author Asma Elhuni by

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The simple reality is that our nation struggles with many forms of racism. Islamophobia is one of them.

We live in times when society considers it acceptable to bash and discriminate against Muslims. Georgia is no different. Every once in awhile, government officials and leaders say something positive about Muslims.

President Obama has said Muslims are not enemies but rather, part of the fabric of this nation. Muslims celebrated and shared his words as if his words were going to be a reality, but nothing was farther from the truth.

We see government officials doing everything possible to keep Muslims away from their towns and cities, including forbidding them from building mosques and cemeteries out of fear that it would possibly attract more Muslims.  It’s almost as if we were a disease that people are running from while claiming they have no issues with us.

On August 15th in Newton County, GA, the construction of a mosque and cemetery were blocked by county commissioners even though local law permitted the project to move forward. The commission’s decision happened after many residents complained they did not want a mosque or cemetery in their town.

I watched a video on 11 Alive News that showed residents cheering as the commissioners voted to stop continued construction of the mosque and cemetery for at least several weeks.  The cheers, claps, and smiles were like daggers piercing my heart.

How can people hold such animosity and hatred, then turn around and act like people with values and morals? These are not a people uncomfortable with religion. In fact, a quick Google search unveils that there are more than 40 churches and at least eight cemeteries in Covington. None of these had a moratorium on their construction like this mosque or cemetery has.

As a political science major, I was taught that our system of government is supposed to protect minorities from discrimination at the hands of the majority.

Yet Muslims are obviously not the only ones that have faced discrimination. Hence the show of support from different organizations across Georgia.

CAIR-GA has written a letter to the Commission chairman imploring him to not give in to wishes motivated by hate, to uphold the law, and to give the Muslim community the same rights as local churches. I am incredibly happy to know that many organizations have co-signed the letter, including the Georgia NAACP, Project South and the ACLU of Georgia.

I hope Newton County realizes that residents of Georgia will not back down or stay quiet if the government continues stomping on the rights of the Muslim community. Islamophobia will not be tolerated.

A Facebook page was created to support the Newton County Muslim community that counters a page supporting the block of the mosque.

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