This toolkit is a living document, which we’ll continue to update as we encounter and create new resources for engagement, growth, and advocacy.
What’s in this document:
- Educate yourself & your community about Islam and American Muslims
- Get to know your Muslim neighbors
- Push for local and national resolutions
- Be an upstander
- Raise your voice publicly
- Pay attention, take action, & spread the word
Educate yourself & your community about Islam and American Muslims
There is a lot of bad information out there about Islam and Muslims, and if you only learn about this religious community through the news, you’re hearing a very tiny fragment of the story. Here are some resources to learn more:
● American Muslim poll, from the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding
● The Diversity of Muslims in the United States (a report from US Institute of Peace)
● Responses to FAQs about American Muslims
● Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative has put together a Heritage Series webpage with numerous resources highlighting the diversity of the American Muslim community, linked here
● Learn from ISPU how anti-Muslim legislative measures overlap with other legislative pushes that target and marginalize minorities and vulnerable communities, and thereby presents both a theoretical and very tangible threat to all communities.
● Read about organizing happening through Muslims for American Progress.
● There are a LOT of good books out there to learn more about Islam, the Qur’an, and American Muslims. Here’s an (always growing) list we’ve compiled.
Get to know your Muslim neighbors.
Call up your local mosque, reach out to a Muslim parent at your school, or contact Shoulder to Shoulder if you need help finding Muslim partners in your area to connect with. You don’t need to put together a major interfaith gathering to get to know people- just have dinner or coffee to get started! Here are a few resources that might be helpful in taking the first steps:
- Here’s a guide from Ilhan Cagri, of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, for starting a relationship with Muslim neighbors
- This Dinner Dialogue guide is helpful if you are looking for something a bit more structured
- Check out our Ramadan Guidebook linked on our website
Push for local resolutions.
Team up with others in your area to press your city council or school board to adopt an anti-Islamophobia resolution (linked here, with resources for making it happen).
Be an upstander.
One of the discouraging things about a number of the recent incidents of harassment and hate violence directed at Muslims (as well as other communities) is that there have been several incidents where bystanders didn’t do anything to help the person being harassed. Be ready to step in if you see something happening- here’s a great comic showing what that might look like.
Raise your voice publicly.
As an individual, you could write an op-ed or Letter to the Editor (LTE) to push back against hateful rhetoric or incidents. Here’s a guide on lifting your voice publicly, including some (tested!) messaging advice.
As a community, your house of worship could put up a banner indicating your solidarity with your Muslim neighbors. Here’s a link to purchase one!
Pay attention, take action, & spread the word.
Following American Muslim leaders on social media is one helpful (and expedient) way to stay up-to-speed on policy issues as they come up.