COLUMBUS, Ohio – In response to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza, the Muslim community in Ohio is taking a proactive stance by demanding action from elected officials. The Ohio chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio), alongside various advocacy groups and mosques, has issued an open letter directed at Ohio’s elected representatives. The primary objectives are to prompt a response to the situation overseas, combat Islamophobia, and advocate for the humane treatment of the victims caught in the crossfire.
While the Ohio legislature has expressed openness to sending relief and aid and condemning the violence abroad, State Representative Munira Yasin Abdullahi, the first Muslim-Somali lawmaker in Ohio, has been vocal in speaking up for all those affected by the conflict, facing isolation for her views.
The comprehensive letter addressed to the entire Ohio General Assembly conveys deep concern regarding the ongoing violence overseas and its profound impact on Muslims in Ohio. It sheds light on the staggering number of Palestinian lives lost, with a particular focus on the tragic toll on 4,630 children.
“Enough is enough. Ohio is witnessing a disturbing spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes fueled by the ongoing genocide in Palestine,” emphasized CAIR-Ohio Outreach Director Victoria Hickcox. “This open letter is not just a plea; it’s a demand for accountability. Our elected officials must actively combat discrimination, condemn violence, and stand firm against any form of bigotry targeting our Muslim, Palestinian, and Arab communities.”
CAIR-Ohio specifically addresses the rise in Islamophobia, hate crimes, and assaults linked to the war. The organization underscores that misinformation is contributing to increased violence among Americans seeking peaceful lives. The letter delves into issues of racism, discrimination, and the fundamental human rights deserving of both Israelis and Palestinians. Importantly, it clarifies that the issue is not a conflict between Muslim and Jewish individuals but a humanitarian crisis that calls for collective action and a plea for a ceasefire.
Highlighting the urgency of the matter, CAIR-Ohio reveals that, in the past month alone, they have received 195 complaints, with 151 directly related to the Ohio-Israel situation. These numbers underscore the immediate need for attention, understanding, and a concerted effort to address the multifaceted challenges arising from the conflict.