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an open letter of solidarity by jewish and muslim activists

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after the hanukkah attack in nyc (late last year) and the surge in islamophobia accompanying american aggression and a possible war with iran, young jewish and muslim activists based in rochester wanted to raise their collective voice and recommit to solidarity. theirs is a solidarity rooted in a desire for justice and a political understanding of their respective struggles. in their view, solidarity is safety.

thank u Smriti Jacob and the Rochester Beacon for publishing our open letter. thank u Nate Baldo, Arseniy Justice, Tori Madway, Halima Aweis, Ian Layton, Hatun Guler, Fatimah Arshad, and Mawia Elawad for ur profound understanding of our world.

“In the wake of the December 2019 Hanukkah attack in New York City, Gov. Cuomo announced an increase in security including a $45 million grant administered by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services for communications equipment upgrades. This is meant to assuage Jewish communities and make them feel safer.

But actual safety comes from solidarity, not greater state scrutiny and criminalization, which disproportionately impact people of color and vulnerable communities. Employing state forces as barriers between our fractured communities only furthers our fragmentation and contributes to future distrust and misunderstandings.

We, Muslim and Jewish activists based in Rochester, understand this and are committed to a decolonial understanding of our histories and struggles. We aim to stay invested in and show up for one another, and we urge all our diverse communities to do the same. Let’s band together against the rising tides of violence, in our country and across the globe. Solidarity is safety.” More here.

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