My name is Dr. Maha Hilal and I am Muslim, Arab, and American. For members of my community, the post 9/11 context in the United States has been increasingly difficult and we have continued to face state violence in the form of detention, torture, and even death. We have also been among the targets of Trump’s immigration polices and have been subjected to three consecutive Muslim bans.
For Muslims like myself, each time there is an attack perpetrated by a fellow Muslim, we know the state will reciprocate in equally violent ways – throughout the Trump administration, every attack by a Muslim has lead to him doubling down on immigration restrictions. This has made life extremely difficult for Muslims domestically and abroad.
But I know the Muslim community is just one of many that are scapegoated for failed policies supposedly aimed at protecting our national security.
This is one of the reasons why I joined the School of the Americas Watch Council – because I wanted to fight alongside the Latinx community, some of whom are Muslim, and all of whom face the daily weight of state violence. Whether it’s the Muslim ban or DACA being revoked, I have learned that none of us is as strong as all of us.
This is exactly what SOAW is about – a collective movement to challenge and resist state violence wherever and whenever it occurs. It’s also about a movement that refuses to acquiesce to the power of the state in obscuring its crimes. It’s about a movement that seeks to get at the root of forced migration and countries’ instability. And it’s about a movement that leverages the political power of the Latinx community to work for radical change.
As you know, this is not easy and we need all hands on deck. That’s why I’m asking for your support for SOAW today so we can resist injustice at every turn.
The road ahead might be long, but I know that when we fight back, we win.
Dr. Maha Hilal