JVP-Triangle Statement in Solidarity with Muslim community in Raeford, NC

Jewish Voice for Peace-Triangle NC expresses our deep concern about the recent attacks on Masjid Al Madina in Raeford, NC.  This past Thursday, bacon was left outside the back entrance to the mosque; a white man with three loaded handguns and additional ammunition in his vehicle threatened to kill members of the mosque, including children gathered there. He then moved to run over people going to evening prayer services.

We know that these attacks are not isolated incidents — this fall, the new Mosque in Burlington received online threats from a local white supremacist group.  We also know that this attack did not come out of nowhere — it was precipitated by an anti-Muslim speaker hosted in Pinehurst just a few weeks ago, and occurs in the context of both ongoing racist and Islamophobic rhetoric in the presidential and local elections and a U.S. foreign policy that devalues Muslim lives.  We must speak out to challenge hateful rhetoric, because it is clear that it incites physical violence against Muslim people across the state, nation, and globe.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Muslim communities in Raeford and Fayetteville, as you celebrate the holy month of Ramadan.  We are in solidarity with you, and will show up to support you however we can — and we call on our communities to do the same.

As we finalize this statement, we are learning of the horrific shooting in Orlando, FL and are distressed both by this attack on LGBTQ communities of color, and by subsequent news coverage demonizing Muslims.  We are grateful to those eloquently offering analysis in this time of grief — including the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity (MASGD) and JVP’s National Network Against Islamophobia.  We join in MASGD’s call to “resist the forces of division and hatred.”

We are grateful to be fighting Islamophobia as a member of the Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia (MERI), and we hope that our collective efforts, together, will lead to real safety and freedom here in NC and around the globe — for Muslims, Black people, immigrants, people of Color, indigenous people, Jews, LGBTQ people, and all people.