April 2021 Newsletter
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.
April 2021 Newsletter
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.