Inshallah, we hope this message finds you surrounded by the blessings of this holy month of Ramadhan.
The situation in Iraq is dire and it is our responsibility as American Muslims to do all we can to influence our government to take the correct course of action. In that effort, Souls March is asking all American Muslims and concerned citizens to send the letter below to their Congressional representatives.
You can use the following link to find your House Representative:
Once you have done so, click on the small envelope icon next to your representative’s name/picture to be taken to her/his contact form. Then cut and paste the suggested letter below and press send. It’s that easy. If you do not agree with any part of the letter, please change it as you like.
Alternatively, you may print and mail the letter, attached as a PDF for your convenience, after signing and writing in your personal information. Thank you for doing your civic duty to help alleviate the crisis in Iraq.
Souls March Coordinating Committee
Iraq is on the verge of full-scale civil war and, as an American Muslim, I am very concerned. First and foremost, I call on you and your fellow Members of Congress, the President, and his administration to reject the use of military intervention in response to the current outbreak of violence in Iraq. I stand with all those who advocate for the self-determination of the Iraqi people. Any solution to the current problem should be inclusive of all Iraqis, regardless of their religious or ethnic backgrounds. The solution to Iraq’s problems is in the hand’s of the Iraqi people and I am very confident that they are capable of resolving their own issues.
In addition, I demand that our government take the following 6 steps right away:
- 1. Support an all-inclusive democratic Iraqi government. All Iraqis – Shia, Sunni, Christian, Jewish, Arab or Kurd – have the same right to Iraq and all should be included in a constructive and democratic process, which respects freedom of speech, religion, and basic human rights for all. No group should impose its views on another and no group should take control of swaths of Iraqi land based on the demographic of the area.
- 2. Call for sanctions, asset freezes and travel bans on private donors to ISIS/ISIL. As reported by the New York Times and other leading national media outlets, the terrorist group ISIS/ISIL is receiving funding from “private” donors in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Kuwait. These donors must be identified by our government and placed on State Department terrorist lists; their assets should be frozen, they should be issued travel bans and be investigated for terrorism-related charges. We demand that our government put all necessary pressure on these nations to help bring these “private” donors to justice.
- 3. Call for and support an immediate arms embargo on all sub-state actors. That means pressuring U.S. regional allies to stop providing weapons and money to various militias.
- 4. Do all in its power to stop the ongoing online recruitment campaign by ISIS/ISIL. ISIS/ISIL is utilizing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media tools very effectively to attract young fighters and supporters from across the globe. This is an alarming situation, which our government should seek to immediately curtail to prevent the recruitment of future terrorists.
- 5. Engage with other powers. Get the United Nations to take the lead in organizing international negotiations for a political solution to the crisis now enveloping Iraq, as well as Syria. Those talks must include all sides, including non-violent Syrian and Iraqi activists, civil society organizations, women, and representatives of refugees and displaced people forced from their homes. All relevant outside parties, including Iran, must be included. Building on the success of the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran, Washington should continue to broaden its engagement with Tehran with the goal of helping to bring the Syrian and Iraqi wars to an immediate end.
- 6. Provide humanitarian support as needed. The Iraq war is creating an enormous new refugee and humanitarian crisis, escalating the crisis of the Syrian war, and spreading across the entire region. Over 1 million Iraqis have been displaced in the past weeks. Many are in limbo and many are being forced to return to their war-torn cities and villages to dangerous lives due to the lack of financial resources to sustain themselves. The United States has pledged one of the largest grants of humanitarian aid for refugees from Syria, but it is still too small, and much of it has not been paid out. We ask our government to do all in its power to support refugee camps and to provide much needed food, medicine and aid to war-torn areas through UN agencies and to help create refugee camps for the displaced.
Finally, it is imperative that our government respect the statements of Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, who emphasized the responsibility of all able Iraqis to defend Iraq’s sovereignty from a foreign terrorist invasion. As an American Muslim, I strongly believe in a united and undivided Iraq. All parts of Iraqi territory belong to all its citizens, including its wealth and resources. Ultimately, as my Congressman, it is essential that you impress upon your colleagues and the President that they approach this crisis not through a sectarian lens, but as a conflict between those who want peace and democracy and those who rely on violence and extremism.