2021 Annual Report
It is the time of the year when we reflect back and celebrate our accomplishments. We achieved impact in three key areas: Influencing Public Policy, Community Engagement and Mobilizing the Muslim Vote.
Our sincere thanks go to our supporters for their commitment to our mission. Together, we can amplify the political voice of Muslim Hoosiers for a brighter Indiana.
Past Events: General Body Meeting
On Saturday, December 11, 2021, IMAN Associates held its General Body Meeting at the Alhuda Islamic Center of Indiana. Syed Ali Saeed, the organization’s president, opened the meeting with a recap of our legislative activities and community engagement efforts in the last year. Then, attendees had the opportunity to engage with State Representative Edward Delaney on legislation he intends to introduce this upcoming session to benefit the Afghan refugees. It was a robust discussion where community members shared their perspectives with Rep. Delaney and asked him questions about the bill.
IMAN Associates will take the lead on providing support to Rep. Delaney and pushing this legislation forward in the Indiana Statehouse. To get updates on this legislation, follow us on social media.
The meeting was concluded by a presentation on the Precinct Committee Chairs position. Hiba Alami, the organization’s Executive Director, urged attendees to consider running for that role, given its importance within the Republican and Democratic Indiana political parties. Filing for this position starts on January 5, 2022 and ends on February 4, 2022 at noon. For additional information on how to file, please contact us.
Thank you for Taking this Journey with us!
Vandalism of the Islamic Center of Bloomington
In the early hours of October 18, 2021, the Islamic Center of Bloomington was vandalized. Footage from security cameras showed the suspect damaging picnic tables, destroying metal fencing, removing an HVAC unit from the wall, breaking playground toys, disabling a security camera and dumping trash cans. The cost of destruction is estimated at $5,000. Bloomington Police Department arrested the suspect on Thursday October 21, 2021. According to court records, the suspect has seven other charges.
IMAN Associates issued a statement condemning the vandalism and calling on Bloomington Police Department to investigate it as a hate crime. Alongside mosque leaders, the organization attended meetings with law enforcement and offered its support. Our Executive Director, Hiba Alami, spoke about the surge in hate crimes on WishTV and underscored that there is no place for hate in Indiana.
IMAN Associates Board of Directors' Election
IMAN Associates' first board of directors has been steering the organization in the right direction since its inception in 2017. Last month, we held our board of directors' election. While some directors renewed their tenure, the organization welcomed new board members. We are excited that the following directors will put their talent and expertise to work while guiding the organization:
- Syed Ali Saeed, President (renewed his tenure)
- Azher Khan, Vice-President (renewed his tenure)
- Mehnaz Qureshi, Treasurer & Secretary
- Mahmood Iqbal (renewed his tenure)
- Ahmad Rami Saltagi (renewed his tenure)
- Moein Khawaja
- Saimir Qalliu
- Sameer Habib
- Ahmad Mossa-Basha
We give our sincere thanks to the following members who committed themselves to serving the organization in the last 4 years:
- Judge David Shaheed
- Samia Alajlouni
- Adam Paarlberg
- Eyas Raddad
- Asif Ansari
Upcoming Event: General Body Meeting
Governor Holcomb signed HB1581, confirming new maps
In a rushed, far from transparent process, the Indiana House and Senate approved new maps for Congressional, state senate and house districts. On October 4, 2021, Governor Holcomb signed the redistricting bill into law. While the supermajority touted the process as “fair and transparent,” All IN for Democracy coalition members, activists and Hoosiers were extremely disappointed. Their requests of holding public hearings across the state, giving Hoosiers more time to analyze the maps drawn by the legislature, and adopting the maps drawn by the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission were ignored. Also, the amendment by Senator Fady Qaddoura to HB 1581 that required maps to be redrawn by an independent citizens commission in 2031 was rejected.
With new maps that “continue to give outsized influence to rural interests, even as the state’s population shifts to urban areas,” the GOP is tightening its grip on once-competitive races. Slicing the City of Fort Wayne into four senate districts is an example of how the new maps can promote political partisanship. Given that Democrats had a stronghold of Fort Wayne since 2020, the state senate districts were redrawn to split communities of interest and muffle the voices of voters. The redrawn 50 state senate districts are opening the door for Democrats to consider the possibility of a legal challenge.
A Discussion on Hate Crimes with Prosecutor Ryan Mears
With the spike of Hate crimes in our nation, a new initiative led by the Marion County Prosecutor Office is a step in the right direction for eradicating hate crimes in our state. The new Hate Crimes Hotline will connect Hoosiers with a trained social worker and victim advocate who will document the incident and provide support to the caller. Tracking the number of hate crimes across the state will inform policy makers of the magnitude of the problem and help them pass laws to address the issue.
On September 21, 2021, Prosecutor Ryan Mears, IMAN Associates Executive Director, Hiba Alami, and Imam Ahmed Alamine of Masjid Alfajr discussed how hate crimes remain a real threat to the safety of the Muslim community, the difference between hate crimes and hate speech, the Indiana hate crimes law and other related points.
"According to the recent FBI hate crimes report, race ranks as the top bias that motivates hate crimes, followed by religion. Given that the Muslim community is racially diverse, our community is more likely to be the target of hate crimes than any other minority group," said Hiba Alami, IMAN Associates Executive Director.
We are grateful for the Marion County Prosecutors' new initiative, the Hate Crimes Hotline, that will provide Hoosiers a safe space to report hate crimes. Please call this number 317-327-5314 if you see a hate crime or are faced with one. For additional information about the hotline, you can visit this page and follow the Marion County Prosecutor Office on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
Our sincere thanks go to MOTW Cafe and Pastries for hosting the event.
Help our Afghan Allies rebuild their lives in the U.S.
To this date, nearly 7,000 Afghan refugees have arrived at Camp Atterbury, IN, fleeing an imminent danger after Taliban took control of Afghanistan in the wake of American troops exiting the country. The Afghan evacuees will stay at the camp to complete their intake process, and then resettle in different cities in Indiana and other states. Most of the refugees hold “humanitarian parole” status, which is a temporary immigration relief status and does not ensure their eligibility for resettlement services. While communities have been so generous in providing financial support and in-kind donations, they still need additional resources to provide much needed services to the children, women and men who have been uprooted and forced from their homes due to their affiliation with American troops. Hence, we need your help to urge Congress to take action and help our Afghan allies and friends rebuild their lives in Indiana and other states.
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Thank you for your unwavering support.
New Maps will be Drawn
Redistricting Reform has been one of the hot button issues lately. Redrawing the maps happens once every 10 years using the census data, and determines how congressional and legislative districts will look for the next decade. Indiana is growing more racially diverse, and the redrawn maps should encourage representation in the statehouse that looks more like Hoosiers. Our democracy is at stake, especially if partisan gerrymandering took hold of the process.
All IN for Democracy, a Redistricting Reform coalition comprised of community and faith-based organizations including IMAN Associates, has been demanding the Indiana General Assembly to draw fair maps, hold public testimonies and run a transparent process. Hearings have been scheduled for the next couple of weeks and we urge our members to attend and testify in favor of fair maps. Here is the schedule:
To keep the pressure on legislators, the coalition is planning the following events:
On September 1st, the coalition held a faith leaders press conference to urge legislators to follow their faith while drawing new maps. Imam Michael Saahir, of Nur-Allah Islamic Center, uplifted the Muslim voice in his call for fair maps. He underscored that any effort to draw unfair maps is "an act against the will of our creator."
You can watch the press conference on our facebook page. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for the latest action alerts and updates on Redistricting Reform.
Indiana Receives Afghan Refugees
As Indiana welcomes Afghan refugees in Camp Atterbury, we are thrilled to see the outpouring of support of Hoosiers and community organizations. Many organizations stepped up their operations to provide immediate and long term support to the evacuees. Muslim Alliance of Indiana took the lead on this initiative and has been organizing efforts with mosques and other community partners.
Feeling the urge to help? Check out the different ways you can support them through Muslim Alliance of Indiana.
Red Cross is playing a critical role in securing the immediate needs at Camp Atterbury. You can support the Afghan families by making a monetary donation here.
Once the resettlement process begins, in-kind and monetary donations to Exodus Refugee Immigration are encouraged to help out with housing and supplies. You can help out with those long term needs here.
Redistricting Reform: The Fight Continues
"Most of Indiana's rural counties have lost people while Central Indiana has continued to grow in population size over the last decade", according to the U.S. Census 2020 data that has been released last week. With this report, the Indiana General Assembly is closer to redraw statehouse and congressional maps for the next decade. Public testimonies were held across the state, giving the opportunity to Hoosiers to share their perspective on the redistricting process with the House and Senate Election committees.
All IN 4 Democracy has been sounding the alarm on this important issue for the last few years. As we approach the final stretch, the coalition members have been very active in raising awareness on how gerrymandering threatens our democracy and disenfranchises voters across the state. They continue to advocate for fair maps that allow competitiveness and preserve communities of interest together.
You too can take action! Sign our petition and demand legislators to draw fair maps.
Also, the coalition plans an action packed week from August 30- September 3. Make sure you participate and get your voice heard.
On September 1st, IMAN Associates will bring the Muslim voice to the Faith Leaders Press Conference. Faith leaders will call on legislators to use the upcoming redistricting process as a vehicle to perpetuate democracy in our state, rather than subverting it. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more updates on this action-packed week!
Get On Board
The organization is gearing up for its 2021 Board of Directors Elections. We extend our appreciation to community members who nominated themselves and/or other community members. Ballots will be sent out in the next week, so please be on the lookout!
We are grateful to see the engagement and support of the community throughout the process, and excited about the next chapter.
Congressional Advocacy 101 TrainingC
In collaboration with Poligon National, IMAN Associates is excited to
bring Muslim Hoosiers a virtual training that will empower them with
tools that will help them get their voice heard on capitol hill.
On Thursday, August 26th, Poligon's Policy and Advocacy
Manager, Johanna Mustafa, and board member, Nadia Mozaffar, will
walk the attendees through the best practices and emerging trends
of advocacy and take their questions.
Register for FREE and learn how to engage your Congress member
on issues that matter to you!
The All IN 4 Democracy coalition is ramping up its advocacy efforts in anticipation of the upcoming redistricting process. In the past few months, and with the help of the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission, the coalition has been educating Hoosiers on the ramifications of gerrymandered districts and its negative impact on our democracy.
Our friends at Women 4 Change Indiana, under the leadership of Executive Director Rima Shahid, have commissioned Dr. Christopher Warshaw, a tenured associate professor of political science at George Washington University, to analyze "Indiana's 2011 legislative and congressional maps based on 50 years of state and national data and on several accepted metrics for fairness." The study found that Indiana's maps are "more biased towards one party than 95% of all U.S. districting plans for which data is available enacted over the last 50 years."
If you feel Hoosiers deserve FAIR MAPS, you can urge the Indiana General Assembly to conduct a fair and transparent redistricting process. Here are two ways for you to get involved:
1. Sign IMAN Associates' petition to demand Indiana lawmakers to draw fair maps. We need competitive legislative districts that prioritize communities of interest together.
2. Participate in All IN 4 Democracy "Gerrymander Meander Votercade" tomorrow, July 17th, at 2pm. Participants will meet at North United Methodist Church, 3808 N. Meridian, in the parking lot. We’ll drive in a caravan up Meridian Street, by the Governor’s residence, to St. Luke’s United Methodist Church on 86th Street, where we’ll celebrate with birthday cake and ice cream.
The father, and namesake of gerrymandering, former Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry was born on July 17th so this votercade is a public event calling for an end to the practice he originated. It is one way to keep the pressure on for fair redistricting and remind our fellow citizens that redistricting still has to happen this year. RSVP now!
General Body Meeting
On May 23rd, IMAN Associates held its signature event “General Body Meeting.” Muslim community members got together to listen from the first Muslim American State Senator Fady Qaddoura about his experience in his first legislative session. Also, they heard from our guest speaker, State Rep. Cherrish Pryor, who shed a light on important legislation that the IBLC championed in the past legislative session, and asked her questions on the bills that the IBLC opposed.
In an attempt to capture our community’s latest legislative priorities, the attendees were surveyed on a number of topics and engaged in a discussion on those issues. You also can apprise us of your legislative priorities by completing this survey.
We thank our guests for their participation and we look forward to engaging with them soon.
Standing in Support of Congressman Andre´ Carson
Last month, the world witnessed Palestinians being forcibly removed from the homes they have been living in for generations in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, Muslim worshippers being attacked by Israeli forces in the Dome of the Rock, and an escalation between the Israeli forces and Hamas that caused the loss of more than 60 children and 30 women in Gaza. Those tragic incidents happening thousands of miles away from Indiana had touched the lives of our constituents. Thousands of Muslim, Christian, Jews, Black, Brown and White Hoosiers took to the streets in Indianapolis and protested against the disproportionate use of force against Palestinians, called for an immediate de-escalation of violence and demanded right of self-determination for Palestinians.
IMAN Associates issued a statement in support of the U.S. Congressman Andre´ Carson’s stance on the recent escalation of the Palestinian- Israeli conflict. Also, it mobilized the Muslim community in Indianapolis to contact their city councilors and urge them to learn more about the conflict before taking a stance on this foreign policy issue. 68 letters that include credible resources on the history of the conflict were sent to Indianapolis City Councillors. We will seek further opportunities to educate the Indiana legislature and other elected officials on the conflict.
A Prayer For Democracy
On June 7th, IMAN Associates, a member of the All IN for Democracy coalition for redistricting reform, joined other organizations in holding “Prayer for Democracy: Bringing Faith Communities into the Redistricting Conversation.”
Common Cause Indiana, Faith in Indiana, League of Women Voters Indiana, Citizens Action Coalition, the Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation and IMAN associates held the virtual webinar to bring attention among Indiana faith communities to the upcoming redistricting process. Our Public Policy Advisor, Hazem Bata, participated in the event and urged attendees to take action on the issue.
This report from the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission underscores that Hoosiers want more competitive legislative districts that prioritize communities of interest together. As our lawmakers prepare to draw the district maps for the next decade of elections, we must demand that they draw fair maps. Will you add your voice to our petition?
Prayer for Democracy: Bringing Your Faith Community into the Redistricting Conversation
Please join us on Monday, June 7, noon to 1 p.m. to discuss why faith communities should care about redistricting, and how to talk with your legislators about redistricting from a faith perspective.If you believe that everyone counts, we invite you to this virtual event about a process crucial to our democracy.
Register here: http://bit.ly/PrayerForDemocracy
All IN For Democracy
Indiana Muslim Advocacy Network
Common Cause Indiana
Faith in Indiana
League of Women Voters of Indiana
Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation
Citizens Action Coalition
The Indiana General Assembly takes a break
The Indiana General Assembly adjourned yesterday, only to re-convene in the fall for a special session to draw the maps. Redistricting, which uses census data, will determine the congressional, state and local districts for the next ten years.
From empty halls to restricted public testimonies, it was a legislative session like no other. However, your support has helped IMAN Associates team to continue its advocacy and amplify the Muslim voice on the following issues:
Speaking Out Against AAPI Hate
On April 15, 2021, IMAN Associates Executive Director, Hiba Alami, joined community organizations and elected officials in a Candlelit Vigil to honor the victims of the Atlanta shooting and amplify the call to stop Asian hate.
Organized by NAPAWF Indiana and Go Vote Indy, the event was held at St. Luke's United Methodist Church and was live streamed on Facebook. IndyStar captured tender moments in its coverage of the event.
A Statement Against the Horrific Fedex Shooting
On the heels of the horrific Fedex shooting that took place on the early hours of April 16, IMAN Associates, with the Central Indiana mosques and Islamic organizations, issued a joint statement condemning such a heart rendering crime and calling on the Indiana General Assembly to pass common sense gun control legislation that ban automatic assault weapons, as well as improve gun safety laws that protect Hoosiers and stand in the way of losing more lives.
We stand in solidarity and grief with the Sikh community and the families who lost loved ones. If you want to take action and support the families of the victims, please visit Indianapolis Fedex Shooting Fundraisers.
Ask the Indiana General Assembly to protect Hoosiers’ voting rights
One of the bills that has been on IMAN Associates’ watch list is Senate Bill353. This bill is currently pending in the House Committee on Election and Apportionment. It is on schedule to be heard on April 6, 2021.
We rise in opposition to this bill because it restricts Hoosier's ability to vote and does not withstand even modest scrutiny. SB353 (among other things) requires Hoosiers to present proof of citizenship when voting. On the surface this seems reasonable; after all, only citizens are allowed to vote. However, proof of citizenship is already required when registering to vote. Requiring proof of citizenship again when voting has been shown to disproportionately decrease voting among the poor and ethnic minorities. This is unacceptable.
SB353 is a solution in search of a problem. There is no evidence of significant voting-fraud in Indiana or any other state for that matter. SB353 needlessly and unfairly restricts voting and does not pass scrutiny.
IMAN Associates Public Policy Advisor, Hazem Bata, will testify against it during the committee hearing. You too can take action. Contact your legislator today and urge them to vote NO on this bill.
Hoosier Action’s “Reclaim Our Future” Event:
On March 23, 2021, Hoosier Action held an interfaith vigil and a call to action at the Indiana Statehouse. “Reclaim Our Future” event provided a space for Hoosiers to grieve the loss of their loved ones to the pandemic in the past year, and to urge legislators to pass legislation that helps them recover from this crisis.
State Senator Fady Qaddoura attended the event to “stand with all Hoosiers in mourning for those we have lost and in solidarity for those who are struggling.”
IMAN Associates supported this event and reached out to Imam Michael Saahir, Imam of Nur-Allah Islamic Center, to uplift the voice of the Muslim community during the event. Featured on the Indy Star, WLFI and WishTV, Imam Saahir participated in the interfaith vigil and shared comforting words that reflect the Islamic tradition. We thank Hoosier Action for bringing Hoosiers together safely and Imam Michael Saahir for taking part in the event.
Check our newsletters for the latest updates at the Indiana Statehouse and upcoming events in the Muslim community.