Thaousands Rally in DC Rejecting President Trump's Declaration on Jerusalem
On Saturday December 16, 2017, the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) held one of the largest rallies for Palestine in the nation's capital, in order to reject President Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and emphasize the rights of the Palestinian people. Thousands attended, coming by mass transportation, car and bus from New York, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Florida, Massachusetts, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. The rally began at The Ellipse, where the crowd was addressed by leaders of several American Muslim organizations as well as guest speakers from Christian and Jewish groups, all whom denounced the President's announcement as illegal, provocative, and divisive. The protesters then marched peacefully down Pennsylvania Avenue towards Capitol Hill.
Statement of the US Council of Muslim Organizations on President Trump's Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel
(Washington, D.C., 12/07/2017)The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) vehemently opposes President Donald Trump's unilateral and reckless declaration that the United States will recognize the Holy City of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and denounces his order to relocate the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem as an unwise deviation from long-standing U.S. policy. This move is a violation of the international status of the Holy City of Jerusalem and is considered by most U.S. allies and the international community as counterproductive to future peace settlement between Palestinians and Israelis.
USCMO believes that President Trump's declaration is offensive and provocative not only to the 12 million Palestinian Christians and Muslims but also to the 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide.
The sacrosanct status of the city as holy to the world's 4 billion Muslims, Christians, and Jews, and its central status to Palestinian aspirations to achieve basic human rights in their own land, is recognized by all countries of the world, including the United States.
This declaration rings the death knell of any hope for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
- It harms American interests worldwide and puts beyond the pale the role of the United States as an honest broker of peace in the Middle East.
- It is the match lighting the fuse of explosive conflagration in the already combusting Middle East, afire with war, slaughter, and suffering.
- It is an incendiary that will reap its inflammatory intent among Muslim populations across the world for generations.
- It is the further turning of America, the once-global leader and model republic, into a pariah among the nations of the world.
The US Council of Muslim Organizations calls upon the American people and our political leadership to reject this dangerous declaration and to begin the process of walking it back before it plunges the world deeper into intractable conflict.
USCMO Sends it's Sincere Condolences to the Loved Ones of the Victims of the Sutherland Springs, Tx Shooting at First Baptist Church
USCMO Deplores the Brutal Attack in Manhattan, New York
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/01/17) - The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of leading national and local Muslim-American organizations, denounces in the strongest terms the terrorist attack in Manhattan, New York, yesterday afternoon. USCMO and the Muslim community unequivocally stands against such criminal activities.
This cowardly act, planned and carried out by criminal minds, is reprehensible. We offer our sincerest condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims and stand in solidarity with the people of New York and our nation.
USCMO Meets With Myanmar, OIC, Turkish Ambassadors Demanding Halt to Rohingya Ethnic Cleansing
(Washington, D.C., 9/15/17) - The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), the largest coalition of leading national and local Muslim organizations in America, met separately in the last few days with the ambassadors of Myanmar, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and Turkey, intensifying its international diplomatic campaign to immediately end the brutal ethnic cleansing and savage persecution of the Rohingya by Myanmar and to open all routes for their humanitarian assistance ahead of a comprehensive political solution.
"We held constructive meetings with each of the ambassadors, who obviously represent entities with very different positions and commitments regarding the Rohingya" says Oussama Jammal, USCMO Secretary General. "We focused on common ground to establish channels for American Muslims to help the Rohingya survive the catastrophe they face now and to undo the insupportable conditions that have allowed it for their future."
Jammal cautions that the meetings constituted "verbal affirmations" for "first steps" of cooperation with American Muslim organizations, particularly with Myanmar.
"We have considerable differences with Myanmar but came to several crucial in-principle agreements which we hope to announce jointly with its ambassador in a few days," he says.
"First and foremost, it is about creating in-person contact and dialogue with Myanmar Ambassador U Aung Lynn and finding ways to formalize and regularize both. Our push is to open a direct door for American Muslims to help alleviate the Rohingya's literally life-and-death needs now, to become firsthand observers of their conditions and to advocate for their human rights and political enfranchisement into the future."
USCMO representatives also met with OIC's Agshin Mediyev, ambassador for its permanent observer mission to the United Nations. They thanked him for the OIC's September 2 statement in defense of the Rohingya, but urged OIC Muslim member nations to take much more persuasive, unified diplomatic and economic actions against Myanmar, and to set comprehensive policies of humanitarian aid and enforced human rights protection for this stateless, downtrodden Muslim people with no champion. OIC and USCMO will continue their communications to monitor the situation in Myanmar.
USCMO also paid a special visit to the Turkish Embassy and expressed their gratitude to the Turkish people in standing up for the Rohingya in their meeting with Ambassador Serdar Kiliç. They commended in particular the initiative of First Lady Emine Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoğlu for their recent visit to the Rohingya of the Kutupalong refugee camp. There they personally consoled wounded residents and distributed much needed aid, announcing Turkey's intention to supply as many as 100,000 Rohingya families with food, medicine, and winter necessities.
"We want the Turkish people to know that American Muslims have taken note of their president's witness on behalf of the Rohingya, that we seek to cooperate in upholding the Rohingya's human rights and in helping them recover their lives, rights, and future. Whatever their religion, it is about the greater good of all." Jammal says.
USCMO officials continue to vigorously pursue their diplomatic initiative on behalf of the Rohingya and will announce the results of their full slate of meetings scheduled with both American and international political and consulate representatives as they occur.
USCMO strongly urge American Muslims to continue to press their congressional representatives and Senators to enact a life-saving bill now in support of the beleaguered Rohingya.
Denouncing Myanmar's Massacre and "Textbook Ethnic Cleansing" of the Rohingya
(Washington, D.C., 9/11/2017) - The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), the largest coalition of leading national and local Muslim organizations in America, strongly condemns the Myanmar government's ongoing systematic and categorical persecution and ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya civilian population, in flagrant neglect of the longstanding, urgent warnings by top UN officials against these unethical practices that are illegal under international law.
We are shocked and dismayed at State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi's tacit approval of the recent mass deployment of the state army to indiscriminately brutalize the already abjectly dispossessed and shamefully despoiled Rohingya. We further denounce her perfidious and feeble justification of it-in the face of the near-universal international condemnation of her-in the tired name of terrorism.
Rather, Myanmar's political and military authorities have clearly descended to the disgraceful actions of terrorizing the Rohingya into leaving the lands and homes of their ancient birthright and legacy because of the depraved incitements of a base religious bigotry and political expedience, in what the UN has branded as a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing."
The Myanmar army's well-documented use of heavy artillery against unarmed innocents, along with rocket launchers and helicopter gunships, and its merciless program of burning out villagers, mass slaughter, rape, torture, and extrajudicial killings are utterly unconscionable acts of inhumanity. This unjustifiable systematized exercise of both a government's inherently coercive force and the use of its deadliest war machines against its own inhabitants constitutes sufficient cause to delegitimize the political leadership of any party or individual, even to revoke the claimed rights of nationhood of any complicit people.
That is the lesson of Nuremburg, and, indeed, it is by the standards of genocide that independent observers have now begun to measure Myanmar's political and military authorities' heartless assault on the havenless Rohingya, whom Myanmar has deliberately kept in a stateless status with no civil or human rights.
The sheer savagery of the Myanmar security forces against the Rohingya, especially in northern Arakan, since August 11-whether the Rohingya were cowering in their homes, fleeing upon the open road, hiding in the mountains, braving its jungles, or skirting its rivers and dales-leaves few other names than 'genocide' by which this mass atrocity may be called. Since August 25, an astounding 313,000 Rohingya have crossed the River Naf into Bangladesh in "urgent need of life-saving assistance," according to the International Organization for Migration.
The Myanmar government cannot contest these egregious facts by what the UN calls a "complete denial of reality" but only by allowing independent humanitarian agencies, including Muslim agencies, to minister to the cordoned-off Rohingya's grave traumas-mental, physical, and social-and by permitting independent media to tell their stories and human rights advocates to assess their allegations and conditions.
USCMO urges our United States government, the UN Security Council, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to take concrete steps in holding the government of Myanmar responsible and accountable, to immediately demand the protection and enfranchisement of the Rohingya people, and to open safe passage for countries and relief organizations to provide the life-saving humanitarian assistance that the Rohingya now so desperately need.
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USCMO soon to launch the Muslim Census Project
On the first day of USCMO's formation, the Census Project of Muslim Americans was announced as its major and signature project. With so much variation in the number of Muslims in America, this project will help identify how many Muslim Americans do actually count. Details will soon be announced. Click here if you are interested to volunteer.