Our Statement Regarding White House Meeting Invitation

Emgage recently received an invitation along with other Muslim American representatives to a meeting with the President, Vice President, and senior team members. In consultation with our team and community, we made the decision not to attend.

At Emgage, we embrace the power of engagement. However, in these holiest of days of Ramadan, Emgage stands with our community who have loudly voiced their discontent with the President’s policy on Gaza. Recent electoral outcomes in Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, and beyond reflect our community’s support for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza. We share our community’s deep pain over the Biden administration’s continued unconditional military aid to Israel, which has resulted in more than 30,000 Palestinians being killed and over 70,000 injured, including thousands of  innocent children. The majority of civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, universities, and schools, has been destroyed. A humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions has been unfolding with millions now facing famine and disease. In this moment of tremendous pain and suffering, we have asked the White House to postpone this gathering and to convene a proper policy meeting with representatives of the community’s choosing, rather than those selected by the White House.

Right now, the most extreme government in Israel’s history still has no plan for peace. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to undermine efforts to end hostilities by undertaking escalatory steps including by threatening to attack Rafah, deepening attacks against Lebanon, and planning on restricting access to Al Aqsa masjid during Ramadan. In order to truly resolve this crisis, we believe that the Biden Administration can and should leverage its enormous support for Israel and begin to take demonstrable actions regarding the following:

  • An immediate and permanent ceasefire.
  • Unfettered access for humanitarian aid convoys and the resumption of UNRWA funding.
  • An end to any Israeli plans to invade Rafah, where 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering.
  • The initiation of a legitimate political track that leads to Palestinian statehood.

Emgage is ready to support efforts that engage in a substantive manner on the above priorities. However, without more Palestinian voices and policy experts in the room, we do not believe today’s meeting will provide for such an opportunity. Should the meeting still proceed, we respect the agency of those who choose to participate. Muslims are the most diverse faith group in the U.S. today, and all of our communities deserve the chance to advocate for the priorities closest to them.

Emgage remains committed to fighting oppression in all its forms. In the final ten days of Ramadan, we urge our community to pray for those suffering near and far. Let’s keep in our hearts and prayers those confronting adversity, whether it be Muslim Americans affected by domestic policies of over-policing, surveillance, and inequity or our siblings abroad in Palestine, Sudan, Burma, China, India, Syria, Yemen, and all victims of senseless violence and oppression irrespective of their faith. We pray for the united strength of our Ummah because it will take our collective power to stand not only to confront these challenges, but to triumph over them and pave the way for a future marked by lasting peace.