November 22, 2023

Over 100 CA Muslim Organizations Publish Joint Open Letter to Governor Newsom and Congressional Officials Urging Support for Ceasefire in Gaza

(SACRAMENTO, CA – 11/21/2023) – The California chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA), along with more than 100 Muslim community organizations, today sent a joint letter to Governor Gavin Newsom, Senators Alex Padilla and Laphonza Butler, and other Congressional officials on behalf of one million Muslims in California. The letter calls on them to uphold their civic duty to represent their constituents and call for an immediate, unconditional ceasefire to end the brutal violence in Gaza.   

Elected officials have shown reluctance to support the Ceasefire Now Resolution and voice opposition to military aid to Israel, despite a national poll showing that 66% of all voters support a ceasefire. As of today, Nov. 21, only 10 California Congressional members have issued statements supporting a ceasefire, and two—Representative Mark DeSaulnier and Representative Barbra Lee—have signed onto the Ceasefire Now Resolution. Many elected officials initially issued biased, one-sided statements in support of Israel, which have contributed to a rise in Islamophobia and the dehumanization of Palestinians. 

CAIR National reported a 216% increase in complaints of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bias since Oct. 7. CAIR-CA’s offices statewide have received numerous direct reports of hate and bias—largely targeting students and employees. Community members have reported intimidation, harassment, discriminatory termination, and even physical assault for being Muslim, Palestinian, Arab, or showing support for Palestine. 

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In a statement, CAIR-CA CEO Hussam Ayloush said:

“Our joint letter is a collective cry for justice for the over 12,300 Palestinians who have been senselessly murdered in Israel’s ruthless assault of Gaza. It echoes the sentiments of one million Muslims in California and millions of others who value justice and peace nationwide—a national majority support for a ceasefire cannot be ignored. 

“It is time for elected officials to acknowledge the weight of their responsibility to represent all constituents and listen to their voices. They must fully and loudly support an unconditional ceasefire and stand behind the principles of justice and humanity.”

CAIR-CA demands that Governor Newsom, Senators Padilla and Butler, and all other Congressional elected officials:

  1. Call for an unconditional ceasefire from all sides of the conflict and support the Ceasefire Now Resolution.
  2. Call for an immediate humanitarian aid response, with the Federal Government playing a central role in the effort.
  3. Oppose any new military aid to Israel.
  4. Become leading voices in support of solving this conflict based on International Law. 
  5. Immediately commit to changing the false and insidious paradigm of viewing Israeli lives as more valuable than Palestinian lives.

Organizations who have signed on to the letter and stand unwavering in the pursuit of justice include the Northern California Islamic Council, Shura Muslim Council of Southern California, and the Sacramento Area League of Associated Muslims. 

CAIR-CA is a chapter of CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.  

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