Jaylani Hussein is based in Minnesota.
Trump's Muslim Ban rally
- Minneapolis, MN – Despite cold and rain, 60 people rallied in Minneapolis to voice their opposition to Trump’s Muslim Ban, March 16. Starting the rally out were chants of “Hey Trump, let’s be clear: Muslims are welcome here!” and “No Trump, no KKK, no racist USA!” which reverberated off the glass of both the Federal Court Building and the Minneapolis City Hall across the street. The protest was organized by the Minnesota Anti-War Committee.
- The protest’s speakers represented the broad coalition necessary to defeat Trump’s Muslim ban and included Imam Hassan Mohamud, Director of the Islamic Dawah Center; Stephanie Taylor, Anti-War Committee; Imam Hassan Jama, Executive Director of Islamic Association of North America; Brad Sigal, Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee’s No More Deportation Campaign, and Jaylani Hussein, Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations - MN. The diverse speakers emphasized confidence and resolution with the latest court victory against Trump’s Muslim Ban.
Trump’s "Muslim ban" protest
Minneapolis, MN - On June 26 2018, over 600 protesters rallied at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Minneapolis and then marched through downtown to protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Trump’s Muslim ban. The rally was organized by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the MN Anti-War Committee (AWC) as an emergency response to the Court’s 5-4 decision in Trump v. Hawaii.
Since being elected, President Trump has tried to implement his Muslim ban three times. Each time, thousands of Minnesotans have taken to the streets and to the airport to call Trump out on his attempt to put anti-Muslim bigotry into law.
Jaylani Hussein, executive director of CAIR - Minnesota, started off the protest. “I am here today on land stolen from Native Americans. I am standing here today with still the fear, the anger, all the emotions that we have felt this week - in North Minneapolis with Thurman Blevins loss. I am here today with the same horrific feeling that we saw on the border of this nation when children were removed from their parents and put into child prisons. I am here today in solidarity with all of the struggles and know that many of us are reminded of this every single day. So, what I want to tell you today is they have come for the Muslims but they are coming for everybody. The Supreme Court today was wrong, and we have to say that!”
Speaker Tracy Molm, a member of the Anti-War Committee, explained the connection between Trump’s immigration policy and his foreign policy, “It is immoral for the Court to not see this ban for what it is – justification for a racist federal policy that attacks people from countries that the U.S. is bombing or threatening to bomb. We need to demand not only an end to the Muslim ban but to demand an end to U.S. drone strikes and special forces operations in Somalia, to an end to intervention in Syria, to war threats on North Korea and Iran and to threats to topple the government of Venezuela. Trump’s racist Muslim ban is directly related to his policy of expanding U.S. warfare and threats in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America.”
Mohamud Mohamed, an organizer with the Young Muslims Collective, gave an impassioned speech: “If legality is a measure for morality for you then you’re doing it wrong. If every time we tell you that these things are eating at the heart of our community and are tearing us apart and you say ‘Well the state legislature passed it...I don’t know what to say’ or ‘your state rep or the mayor said it was ok’ or ‘Andrew Luger said it was moral’ ...legality can never be a measure of what is moral because we have seen what that does to our country. We’ve seen policies that have pursued that we have known for a fact are unethical and fly in the face of what it means to be human. And the only thing evil needs is the silence of good people.”
Other speakers at the rally included U.S. Representative Keith Ellison; the civil rights director from CAIR Amir Malik; Gordon Nakagawa from the Twin Cities Japanese American Citizens League; State Representative Ilhan Omar; Samantha Sanchez from the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee; Rachel English from Jewish Community Action; Sarah Brenes from Advocates from Human Rights, and Leilah Issa from the Palestinian Youth Movement.
John Keller, executive director at the Immigrant Law Center, said, “Just Sunday, President Trump explained his preference that anyone arriving on the southern border should be deprived of access to a court and deprived access to due process. These are elements of a similar policy that represents intolerance and I believe it represents a clear and present threat to our democracy.”
In January 2015 CAIR - Minnesota named Jaylani Hussein as the new executive director of the organization.
Hussein, whose family moved to Minnesota from Somalia in 1993, has been CAIR-MN's outreach director. Before that, he worked as community liaison officer at [Metro State University] and was a planner for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
He succeeds CAIR-MN co-founder and former executive director Lori Saroya, who said in the announcement: "CAIR-MN has completed its founding phase. We are certain that Jaylani's excellent leadership skills, sincerity and passion for civil rights will help move CAIR-MN into its next stage."
Dayton visits with Muslim leaders
Imam Asad Zaman July 5, 2016,
The community, primarily of East African descent, protested against being forced to work at an inhuman pace, not having a place to do daily prayer, and against their bosses not representing or understanding the unique struggles that they face on a daily basis.
The community showed up in solidarity with the workers who went on strike, and speeches came from CAIR director Jaylani Hussein and plant worker Khadra Kassim. Other members of the community came together to express their outrage at the company, and to present their demands for better working conditions to Amazon.
A plant worker described how in Chicago, despite the fact that she was the only Somali and the only Muslim at the facility, she had a place to pray at work. At the Shakopee facility, however, the workforce is 95 percent Muslim, but the facility has no such amenity for workers there. The workers promised that until Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest man alive, heard and met their demands, that they would continue their struggle.
Among these demands are safer working conditions. Kassim was working while pregnant, and sustained an injury which caused bleeding. The onsite health office told her there was nothing they could or would do in the face of such a potentially serious condition. She left work in the face of this injury, and thankfully delivered a healthy girl, but it is both ridiculous and obscene that a pregnant woman was not given adequately safe working conditions and adequate medical attention in the face of a workplace injury.
Imam Ahmed Anshur spoke about why the Muslim community showed solidarity with the workers of the plant saying, “We have showed up because many Amazon workers live in unaffordable housing, with failing public schools, and many cannot afford to take care of their families. When workers leave Amazon they leave with back pain and injury. They come to us for support, and they still have to buy groceries and get medical care. We will not stand by while Amazon does this to our community… The only moral and ethical choice is for Amazon to fully fund the community fund that we’ve been in negotiations about.”
After the speeches made by the community and leaders, there was a brief march to the main entrance of Amazon, with workers chanting “Hey Jeff Bezos, our backs are tired and our funds are low.” Later, as they left, they chanted “We will be back”.