AMP presses State Department on Al Aqsa; Syrian refugee issues

(WASHINGTON DC 10/06/2015) – The American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), a national education and advocacy organization, along with several other Muslim and policy organizations met today with State Department officials to discuss Israeli threats against Al Aqsa mosque compound and also to request more Syrian refugees be allowed into the United States. AMP organized the meeting. 

AMP also presented Mr. Christopher Henzel, director of the office of Israel and Palestinian affairs, with a statement asking the State Department to ensure Israel abides by international and American law in protecting Palestinian Muslims’ and Christians’ right to worship. The statement was signed by 20 Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Arab organizations. 

“It was important to convey that the Al Aqsa mosque sanctuary is extremely important to American Muslims and that as Americans we want Israel to be held to the same human rights standards as other recipients of our US foreign aid,” said Dr. Osama Abuirshaid, AMP national policy director. “At the same time, we made it clear that when other countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Germany, have opened their borders to Syrian refugees, the US should also admit more than the 10,000 slated to be accepted over the next two years.”

AMP was joined by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR); Muslim American Society (MAS); the Islamic Circle of North American (ICNA) and the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL).

AMP is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about Palestine’s rich cultural, historical and religious heritage. For more information, go to

UN speech step in right direction; words must be strengthened with actions

(WASHINGTON DC 10/01/2015) – The American Muslims for Palestine, a national education and advocacy organization, is heartened by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ comments before the United National General Assembly yesterday for focusing the world’s attention on Israeli breaches of the Oslo Accords and for demanding Israel to take full responsibility for its occupation of Palestine. At the same time, AMP strongly asserts this rhetoric must be supported by concrete actions, which will serve to unite the Palestinian body politic and could help in ending Israel’s colonizing, apartheid enterprise in Palestine and freedom and dignity for the Palestinian people.

While President Abbas did not call for an end to the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords outright, he said Palestinians will no longer abide by the agreement in light of Israel's consistent failure to do so for that last 22 years. Since the Accords were signed, the settler population in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has more than doubled; settlement construction continued unabated; an apartheid wall and checkpoints have prohibited Palestinians' freedom of movement and Israel has enforced a total blockade on Gaza. Palestinians daily are faced with the threat that Israeli authorities will divide Al Aqsa mosque and prohibit Palestinians’ presence from a significant portion of the Al Aqsa sanctuary.

Interfaith groups call for the protection of Palestinians' freedom of worship in Jerusalem

prayWe, the undersigned, come together in solidarity with Palestinians, especially those who have been prohibited from worshiping in peace and security at the Al Aqsa mosque sanctuary due to the escalation of Israeli settler violence, which is supported by the Israeli police and military.

As a diverse community and as Americans we sincerely believe in freedom of worship for all people. This is not a religious conflict between Muslims and Jews. Nor is this a conflict about access to space to pray as the settler groups have said. This is a struggle between an occupier and an occupied people. The tensions arise because of provocations from the Temple Movement, a loose coalition of several messianic, extremist Jewish groups – backed by Israeli authorities -- intent on seizing control of the Al Aqsa sanctuary for themselves. Palestinian Christians also are prohibited from accessing their churches in Jerusalem and frequently find themselves targets of settler price tag attacks as well.

High-ranking Israeli officials have threatened to take Al Aqsa’s sovereignty from the Jordan-based Islamic Trust. Bills circulating in the Israeli Knesset and Jerusalem Municipality, if successful, effectively would expel Palestinians from portions of the sanctuary, including a large percentage of Al Aqsa mosque itself. This all leads to a climate of fear and great instability, which could spill over into the larger Muslim world if these measures come to fruition.

Remembering Sabra and Shatila as Palestinians struggle against settler violence at Al Aqsa

(WASHINGTON DC 09/15/2015) – As Palestinians have endured settler violence for three days at Al Aqsa sanctuary, we also remember the thousands of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps who were wiped out in a brutal raid on Sept. 16-18, 1982.

On that date, Lebanese Christian Phalangists, under the approving eye of then-Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, launched a three-day assault on PalestinianS in Sabra and Shatila. The Palestinians were made refugees in 1948 and 1967 and were forced to remain refugees because Israeli policies prohibit their return home, in contravention of international law.

Officially, no one has ever been able to arrive at an exact number of dead, though figures range from the 1,000 corpses buried in a mass grave by the International Committee of the Red Cross to at least 3,500. Many people were buried beneath of the rubble of demolished homes and buildings and hundreds were rounded up and carried away on trucks, never to return, according to Dr. Laurie King-Irani, who has conducted research into this massacre.

Empowerment Through Education and Action

The American Muslims for Palestine firmly believes that educating the American public is key to bringing about change in the Middle East. Because once Americans know what is truly happening on the ground in Palestine, they will no longer allow their tax dollars to be used to support Israel's military occupation of Palestine, the world's last and longest-lasting occupation. We are all empowered to act for justice when we know the truth.

Donate      Get Updates     Action Alerts