Manzoor Cheema

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Manzoor Cheema

Manzoor Cheema is a Durham North Carolina activist. Founder at Media Diversion and Founder at Muslims for Social Justice. Coordinator at Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia.

Married to Linda Oneal Cheema.

Field Organizer at Project South.

Endorsed Bernie Sanders

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In 2020 Manzoor Cheema endorsed Bernie Sanders.

Muslims for Social Justice


Manzoor Cheema is a leader of Muslims for Social Justice.Muslims for Social Justice was founded in North Carolina in 2013 to offer a liberation theology perspective in Islam. Key founding members included Saladin Muhammad (Black Workers for Justice), Shafeah M'Balia (Black Workers for Justice) and Manzoor Cheema (human rights activists).[1]

Organizing Against Racism

Manzoor Cheema spoke at 50th anniversary of Malcolm X assassination on February 21, 2015 at Haytai Heritage Center. This event was organized by Workers World Party and also featured Ajamu Dillahunt, Jr., Desmera Gatewood, Larry Hales (Workers World Party, NJ) among others. [2]

MSJ comrades


Muslims for Social Justice supporters February 28, 2015, Manzoor Cheema, Sameer Abdel-Khalek, Ahmad Jitan, Mousa Shehadeh, Faisal R. Khan, Shafeah M'Balia, Sijal Nasralla, Fatimeh Alsayed and Saladin Muhammad.

Supporting the Kurds


December 28, 2015, Sendolo Diaminah posted on his FaceBook page supporting the Kurds;

The Kurdish people have been engaged in an inspiring struggle to carve out freedom and autonomy for themselves, both from the corrupt states of Turkey, Iraq, and Syria AND from ISIS. Now the Turkish government is ramping up its repression of the Kurdish freedom movement. The first step in solidarity must be educating ourselves about this powerful struggle for freedom and rallying to its defense. Anthony Maglione, Manzoor Cheema, Hiram Rivera Marcano, Bryan Proffitt, Aaron Bryant, Thomas Wayne Walker, Jadebroo KS, Hashim Benford, Melissa Norton, Sijal Nasralla, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Gary Broderick, Aiden Riley Graham, Rufus Firefly, Zaina Alsous, Laila Nur, Sabeen Shaiq, Theo Luebke, Caitlin Breedlove...

Forum: Challenging Islamophobia and Racism


November 16, 2015 Public Forum: Challenging racism and Islamophobia. Where: Cumberland County Public Library, 300 Maiden Lane, Fayetteville, NC.

Speeches/presentations by: Manzoor Cheema, Zaina Alsous, Beth Bruch, Eva Panjwani and Ahmad Jitan.

Background: We are witnessing an increase in Islamophobia (a hatred of Islam, Muslims and people who appear as Muslims) and attacks on people of color in North Carolina and around the country. North Carolina-based organization Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia (MERI) will organize a forum to discuss how to challenge Islamophobia and racism.

Sponsored by: Quaker House, North Carolina Conference United Methodist Missions Team, Cumberland County Library, Cumberland County Progressives, NAACP, Democracy NC, Fayetteville and Cumberland County Black Leadership Conference, NC League of Conservation Voters, Human Relations Commission, Masjid Omar Ibn Sayyid, and Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia, Muslims for Social Justice, Jewish Voice for Peace – NC, Black Workers for Justice, NC Justice Center, Abrahamic Initiative on the Middle East (AIME), Methodist Federation for Social Action – NC Chapter, Peace Committee of Chapel Hill Friends Meeting, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Balance and Accuracy in Journalism.

Contact: Lynn Newsom, Manzoor Cheema.

"Solidarity with the Oppressed in Pakistan"

"Solidarity with the Oppressed in Pakistan: A Talk in the Wake of Christian Massacre in Pakistan" April 7, 2015, sponsored by UNC Chapel Hill Muslim Student Association, Muslims for Social Justice; Contacts Ahsan Kamal, Manzoor Cheema, Zubaida Khan.

Rising extremism and violence in Pakistan has impacted all lives but minority ethnic, religious, and sectarian groups have suffered the most. The recent attacks on the Christian community add to the long list of attacks against minority and the oppressed groups. The violence is rooted in the complex overlap of imperial wars, Pakistani state’s support for reactionary ideologies, and extreme socio-economic disparities in Pakistan. While people of different faiths, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds have been raising their voices against these injustices, the real challenge lies in building solidarity networks and organizing progressive societal elements that can empower people at the grassroots.
This panel will highlight the causes and nature of violence against minority groups in Pakistan, and discuss some of the efforts by activists and grassroots groups to address these challenges. Focusing on working class networks and connections across religious and ethnic divides, the panel will also highlight the need and the possibility of establishing these connections among oppressed peoples’ movements in Pakistan and the USA.

Panellists - Ahsan Kamal, Manzoor Cheema.[3]

"Supporting "progressive county commissioners"


Sendolo Diaminah wrote on his Facebook page February 24 2016;

Kaji is so hyped to phone bank for progressive county commissioners that he came a week early--even tho there was a tornado warning! Y'all better get on his level!!… Durham we have a chance to elect commissioners who can use local office to defend our communities from all the attacks coming from the republican New Confederacy. Let's use our power! You know what I mean Nia, Zaina, Alec, Santos, Seamus, Ann, Ajamu, D'atra, Cheema, Mandy, Ade, Aiden, Lorisa, Bro Ray, Melissa...

SURJ workshop

A workshop titled “Disrupting Islamophobia” was presented to the members of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) Triangle. This workshop was facilitated by Qasima Wideman, Eva Panjwani and Manzoor Cheema, February 28, 2016.[4]

Duke-Durham occupation


Sendolo Diaminah backed the Duke-Durham occupation April 8 at 6:40pm, 2016. ·

Come celebrate the struggle as it moves from occupation to the next stage! Bryan Proffitt, Kaji Reyes, Laila Nur, Rufus Firefly, Anca Stefan, Alec Greenwald, Manzoor Cheema, Monica Huerta, James Hill, Elena Everett, Chanelle Croxton, D’atra Jackson, Ajamu Dillahunt, Jr., Jadebroo KS, Nia Wilson, Anthony Maglione, Sijal Nasralla, Gary B Durham, Alec Greenwald, Aiden Graham, Melissa Norton, Bro Ray, Saba Taj, Ade Oh.

"Immigration to the South"


Manzoor Cheema attended the "Immigration to the South" conference at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, October 2016.

It is exciting to meet Azadeh N. Shahshahani, Nayely Irais and friends. It was great presenting on Islamophobia with Azadeh.

Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing

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Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing, was a nationwide conference call organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Sunday October 30, 2016.

What's the nature of this right-wing threat? What has this election cycle changed about the political terrain we're fighting on? How do we need to prepare for whats coming after the election? Hear about these crucial questions from our panel of top political strategists, including Nelini Stamp, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Linda Burnham, and Sendolo Diaminah.

Those indicating interest in attending, on Facebook included Manzoor Cheema.[5]

Black Lives Matter panel

North Carolina Public Workers Union, UE Local 150, organized biannual convention in Raleigh on July 16-17, 2016. Delegates from 16 workplaces from across the state gathered to discuss the current political landscape, to support the Black Lives Matter movement, and show important gains of the Fight for $15 movement and plan steps for the next 2 years of struggle! UE Local 150 is rank-and-file and predominantly Black workers led organization. Nationally, UE (United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America) is one of the most progressive unions in the country that believes in workers empowerment than business unionism. UE has embraced the movement for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against Israeli occupation, based on a motion by UE Local 150 chapter. This makes UE the only national union to adopt such a measure.

During the convention, a panel on Black Lives Matter and Ending Islamophobia was organized. This invited speeches by Danielle Purifoy from Durham Beyond Policing and Manzoor Cheema from Muslims for Social Justice. This panel explored the theme of police oppression and envisioning a future without policing. Islamophobia is an extension of anti-Black racism and it is increasingly employed as a divide-and-conquer strategy.[6]

Anti-Klan rally


December 2016, Manzoor Cheema at an anti-KKK rally in downtown Raleigh. — with Lamont Musa Lipford, Fatema Ahmad, Ahsan Kamal, Maryam Arain and Ahmad Jitan.

Press conference with SDS

Chapel Hill, NC - Campus and city workers, union organizers and students held a press conference at the university here, Sept. 13 2007, to denounce University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill administration’s censorship of an article on collective bargaining. The North Carolina Public Sector Workers Union, UE Local 150, organized the press conference to demand the article be published.

Manzoor Cheema, a research technician at UNC and UE 150 member, said, “We need to put the pressure on Chancellor Moeser and the UNC Board of Governors. This censored article needs to be published immediately. Collective bargaining is a basic workers’ and human right and North Carolina is violating that right.”

UE 150, along with members of Chapel Hill SDS and Student Action with Workers, demanded that UNC publish the censored article, issue a formal apology, and adopt a policy of non-interference in union organizing on campus. SDS member Tamara Tal said, “We call on students to join in this struggle against the blatant denial of workers’ rights.”

Ashaki Binta, coordinator for UE’s International Worker Justice Campaign, explained at the press conference, “We have a bill pending, House Bill 1583, to repeal this statute. We call on UNC to support that and to sit down across the table with workers in Chapel Hill to negotiate on the basic issues affecting their lives.”

The North Carolina legislature will take up the bill to repeal G.S. 95-98 in the summer of 2008. UE 150, along with the North Carolina NAACP and many other progressive organizations, is leading a major state-wide campaign to raise public support and put pressure on the politicians to repeal the statute.

Cheema explained, “We know what it’s going to take. We need a grassroots movement to empower rank-and-file workers and build community support to abolish General Statute 95-98.”

He continued, “Here at UNC, outreach to students can help shift the balance of power in our favor. Students should understand the pain and troubles of workers. UNC is a good school and they have many classes on labor rights and poverty issues - but students need to go beyond textbooks and see the reality for workers on this campus.”[7]