Statement by AMP Executive Director: Our community stands with Palestine
It has come to my attention that a “Palestine Black List” has been developed and published online. The website claims to uncover “the dangerous organizational affiliations of American Muslims with Zionist organizations” including the Muslim Leadership Institute (MLI), Anti-Defamation League, Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council, Inter Jewish Muslim Alliance, American Jewish Committee (AJC), Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU), Emgage, and Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom (SoSS).
I want to be clear, straightforward, and categorical; AMP did not create this list, nor were we consulted in the creation of this list. After review, I found some concerning flaws, including sweeping generalizations made and the lack of clear and established criteria for being blacklisted. The postings also seemed to be made of incomplete data and unspecified calculations for who qualifies as Zionists, normalizers, and enablers.
Some individuals who are listed don’t belong there. Some of them are respected leaders in our community, with a proven record of standing with Palestine and Palestinians. I personally know many of them as people of high integrity and dignity. Others have already renounced their previous affiliations or participations with Zionist groups.
That being said, many of the individuals and organizations listed qualify to be identified for the destructive role they have played in our community over the years. They have rejected repeated opportunities to self-correct and renounce their harmful partnerships, affiliations, and connections with Islamophobes and Zionists who don’t conceal their animosity to our religion, our community, our rights, and our just causes.
For these reasons, I do not embrace equating the innocent with the guilty on this blacklist. This is why it is crucial to include national movement organizers and grassroots advocacy organizations in developing clear criteria and understanding the role some disputed figures have played in the movement for Palestine, both privately and publicly.
In closing, and because of the aforementioned issues of concern, I ask that the creators of this website, at minimum, un-publish the website until further consultation with Palestine grassroots advocates to create a more robust strategy in classifying problematic individuals and organizations in the community.
Dr. Osama Abu Irshaid
Executive Director, American Muslims for Palestine