The Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign works to equip faith leaders and people of goodwill, to end anti-Muslim bigotry. We do this through national campaigns, advocacy, and local community building. In the last 10 years we have seen hate crimes rise and in 2016 there was an overall rise by 4%. 2017 statistics have yet to be released, but according to reports by our partners and organizations who collect reports and support victims of hate crimes, reporting rose again in 2017. While hate crimes against Jewish and black Americans are still the highest of both religious and racially based hate crimes, crimes against Muslims rose 67%.
How can you help?
We have put together a toolkit outlining 6 ways to help end anti-Muslim bigotry.
- Educate yourself: 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. In our toolkit we link to over a dozen websites and resources where you can get accurate and complete information about the diverse Muslim community in the United States and around the world.
- Get to know your Muslim neighbor: 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!
- 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.
- Be an up-stander: Learn the best practices to stand up against harassment. 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. You can learn and practice with friends how to stand up and stand by people experiencing bullying and harassment.
- 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. As a community, your house of worship could put up a banner indicating your solidarity with your Muslim neighbors.
- 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. Following these leaders and your friends on social media will give you better insight on what is important and how people are talking about certain issues and events.
The toolkit has lots more information and ways to connect with other people who are as passionate as you are about ending anti-Muslim bigotry.