Women Against War

PO Box 505, Delmar, New York 12054

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 ▪ Muslim Solidarity
 ▪ End the Occupation of Iraq

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Muslim Solidarity

Women Against War has supported and encouraged the work of The Muslim Solidarity Committee since its founding. Join other Women Against War activists in the Committee's projects - visit the website of the Muslim Solidarity Committee for details on:

  • Supporting the Aref and Hossain Families
  • Vigils and other public demonstrations
  • Judicial and legislative work
  • Media and educational campaigns

Why is Women Against War an active supporter of the Muslim Solidarity Committee?

In a national climate where our government has defended military policies by linking Muslims and terrorism, seeking peace with justice takes courage. Such courage can only come from open communication and shared experiences. We're honored to call The Muslim Solidarity Committee allies in the effort to create a more just and peaceful world.

The Muslim Solidarity Committee was founded by a group of concerned Capital District citizens to deal with the defense and support of two Muslim men tried and convicted after an FBI sting operation that took place in Albany during the winter, spring and summer of 2004. Imam Yassin Aref and Mosque founder Mohammed Musharref Hossain were convicted in the "sting" trial in November of 2006. They are each currently serving 15-year prison sentences, Yassin in the Communications Management Unit of the Federal Prison in Terre Haute, Indiana and Mohammed in Fairton Federal Corrections Institute in New Jersey.

Women Against War sees this as an (unfortunately) bipartisan and national issue and not as an isolated local incident. We've been all too aware of the increased targeting of Muslims by local and national law enforcement agencies since the tragedy of September 11th. This New York State and nationwide trend was recently discussed at a MSC sponsored conference, "The Muslim Innocence Project" held at Albany Law School on Saturday August 23, 2008.

Women Against War's work of trying to prevent the invasion of Iraq and in promoting humanitarian aid and true reconstruction while ending the brutal occupation has taught us once again that the major victims of war are women and children. This is also true of the victims of the domestic "war on terror." In this case Yassin Aref and Musharref Hossain are also the wage earners, husbands and fathers of two families, with a total of 10 young children. Their family members are just as much the victims of the sting operation as the convicted men.

Since 2002, among other peace and justice activities, Women Against War has worked to support the families of Muslim Americans in our community and beyond, who have been targeted for inappropriate investigations, detentions and deportations.

We have also sponsored community educational programs about the potential for abuse with the increase in the federal executive branch's investigatory powers, particularly with regard to the Patriot Act.

Several members of Women Against War are active in organizing the efforts of the Muslim Solidarity Committee. Activities of the committee include offering financial and general support to the Aref and Hossain families. There are several sub-committees working on educational and outreach activities within the Capital District community and sponsoring social events to help Muslim and non-Muslim neighbors to get to know each other.

On December 19, 2006, Women Against War joined the Muslim Solidarity Committee in sponsoring a Women's Vigil in front of the Federal courthouse where many Muslim and non-Muslim women wore headscarves to show our solidarity with each other. It was an interesting experience to walk up State Street after the vigil, wearing the headscarf and to see and feel the responses of other pedestrians.

Since then many members of Women Against War and Grannies for Peace have planned and participated in Muslim Solidarity committees and events. These included our co-sponsorship of the August 2007 and August 2008 Third and Fourth Anniversary Commemoration march and vigils to mark the arrests of Yassin and Mohammed and to demonstrate community support for them and for their families. We were in good company. Sponsors of the 2007 event included Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, Capital District Chapter Interfaith Alliance, Capital District Labor Religion Coalition, Capital District Pax Christi, Center For Law and Justice, Chatham Peace Initiative, Commission On Peace and Justice of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, Dr. Dhafir Support Committee, Grannies For Peace, Capital District Green Party, Capital District Chapter CAIR, Masjid As-Salam, NYCLU capital region chapter, Pax Christi Schenectady, Pine Hills Neighbors For Peace, Saratoga Peace Alliance, Schenectady Neighbors For Peace, Social Responsibilities Council First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, Solidarity Committee of the Capital District, Troy Neighbors For Peace, Upper Hudson Peace Action, Veterans For Peace, and Women Against War.

August 22, 2008

Fourth anniversary commemoration of the
Arrests of Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain

Priscilla Fairbanks and Mickie Lynn in front of the Albany Armory on Washington Avenue.

Photograph by Katherine Hughes of Syracuse, NY.

For more information, please visit the Muslim Solidarity Committee.

If you need further help or information about connecting with the activities of this group, please contact Mickie@womenagainstwar.org.