October 2021 Newsletter
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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Check our newsletters for the latest updates at the Indiana Statehouse and upcoming events in the Muslim community.