In The Media
Kamran Memon, president of the Chicago-based Muslims for Safe America, countered that many Muslim Americans are veterans, too. An estimated 20,000 Muslim Americans serve in the U.S. military, he said. “American soldiers have fought and died side-by-side with Afghan and Iraqi troops fighting against a common enemy,” he said. Memon said he understands the tensions, owing to some Muslim American extremists’ attempted attacks on American soil.
“This situation could prompt the church leaders and others to organize a forum, not for a warm and fuzzy discussion, but for a really serious discussion. And that’s what our group can help with,” Memon said. Prayer banned from vet service; Islamic Call to Prayer portion of program outlawed, Traverse City Record-Eagle, November 16, 2012
Muslims for a Safe America, a Chicago group led by Kamran Memon, seeks to address tensions within Muslim communities about American policies in this country and abroad. Preparing for 2012, Police Create Counterterrorism Unit, The New York Times, September 9, 2011
Kamran Memon, a civil rights lawyer in Chicago who also heads the grassroots group Muslims for a Safe America, said education isn’t the problem. Rather, it is the subject matter. While Muslim Americans are good at talking about Islam’s appealing aspects, Memon said, they haven’t addressed legitimate concerns about Islamic scriptures and beliefs that have been used to justify violence. “When people are so scared of something, you can’t change the subject, you have to address the issue,” Memon said. “Talking about peace in Islam is like trying to change the subject, and you can’t change the subject when someone asks, ‘Why are some Muslims trying to kill us?”‘ Muslims In America Divided On Improving Image 10 Years After 9/11, The Huffington Post, August 24, 2011
What began as a quaint introduction became a heartfelt discussion between community members as individuals debated both sides of the topics. Is it okay for the government to monitor mosques? To one sister, it was perfectly legitimate and Muslims should expect it in light of recent acts of terrorism. To another, the very idea of allowing such activity to go unquestioned was a blow to civil liberties and should not only not be tolerated but should be spoken against. If you’ve ever wondered if Muslims should join the armed forces or found yourself engaged in heated arguments over whether or not the FBI is listening into your conversations, you’re likely not alone. Brimming with controversy, these issues, and issues like them have found there way into everything from backyard barbecues to official meetings. In an effort to educate Muslim American’s on these issues, Memon and his organization, are tackling taboo topics in Muslim communities around the nation. ADAMS Hosts Discussion on Muslims, National Security, The Muslim Link Newspaper, August 4, 2010
New Security Measures in Airports, Radio Islam, January 4, 2010 [Interview starts at 5:40 of the recording.]
They say one motive for radicalization is the fact that the US is currently at war in parts of the Muslim world. “The only thing we can do is try to deal with the religious implications of that narrative. In other words, what is the Islamically correct way for American Muslims to respond to the fact that the US is at war with Muslims in some parts of the world?,” said Kamran Memon of Muslims For A Safe America in an e-mail. “One option is anti-American violence designed to try to change American foreign policy toward the Muslim world. Another option is political activism designed to try to change American foreign policy towards the Muslim world. But grassroots American Muslims are not convinced about the usefulness of political activism,” he said. “Of course, the third option is to simply do nothing. That’s the option that has been chosen by the majority of American Muslims.” Mr. Memon suggests more political activism is the answer. “Political activism can channel American Muslim frustration and energy regarding America’s actions in the Muslim world.” US Muslim group: Muslims must rally to counter radicalization, The Christian Science Monitor, December 12, 2009
Islam and the Use of Force or Violence By American Muslims, Radio Islam, December 4, 2009 [Interview starts at 7:50 of the recording.]
Kamran Memon of the organisation Muslims For a Safe America says the subject splits America’s Muslim community down the middle. “Those at one end of the spectrum say we should have nothing to do with the US armed forces as they are involved in wars with our fellow Muslims abroad,” he told the BBC. “Those at the other end say we should definitely serve and help defend our country against those who wish to attack it.” Shooting raises fears for Muslims in US army, BBC, November 6, 2009
Still, in a 2007 Pew Research Center survey, 60 percent of Muslim Americans said they did not believe that Arabs were behind the attacks. “The opinion is definitely out there,” said Kamran Memon of Chicago, founder of Muslims for a Safe America, which challenges Muslims to examine their views on national security and law enforcement. In his talks at mosques and elsewhere, Memon said he often encounters fellow Muslims who say, “`Muslims didn’t do this. We’re not the ones who pose a threat to this country. We’re not the ones who need to be watched.’” Terror probe highlights police-Muslim tensions, The Associated Press, September 23, 2009
“A significant number of U.S. Muslims contend that no one of their faith could have perpetrated the hijackings. They resist suggestions that they should be monitoring their own communities for extremism. Kamran Memon, an Illinois lawyer, has taken a different approach, founding Muslims for A Safe America, which challenges fellow Muslims to learn more about national security.” US Muslims: backlash fear builds each 9/11, The Associated Press, September 10, 2009
“More than 300 Muslim leaders, entrepreneurs and followers of the faith are gathered in Tinley Park this weekend for The Mosque Cares’ annual four-day convention. The Mosque Cares is a Chicago-area charitable organization that was established by Imam W. Deen Mohammed. … Other Muslim groups also will be present throughout the weekend, such as Muslims for a Safe America, which is an organization that educates Muslims on national security issues, and several Muslim nonprofit charities.” Tinley Park Muslim convention focuses on unity, Southtown Star, September 4, 2009
“American Muslims are in an ideal position to help educate our fellow Americans about Islamic beliefs on such issues as violence and totalitarianism. We shouldn’t avoid the challenge. These questions won’t go away just because we ignore them.” Muslims ignore Obsession concerns, The Providence Journal, April 9, 2009
Radio Islam (1450 AM in Chicago) interview about our “mock debate” project, December 2, 2008
“Some American Muslims think Obama should take a strong stand against anti-Muslim sentiment in America, even if it hurts him politically. But few American Muslims seem to be willing to help Obama solve his ‘Muslim problem.’ They don’t acknowledge that the American Muslim community has the power to improve the public standing of Islam between now and Election Day, which would help take the heat off Obama. Instead, they want Obama to do all the work.” Obama’s “Muslim Problem,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 6, 2008
“So why do so many American Muslims oppose those policies of the Bush administration described as preventive measures against attacks on the US by perpretators portrayed as Muslims? It’s simple. Six years after 9/11, many Muslims in America don’t believe that any Muslims were involved in the 9/11 attacks.” Making America Safer by Addressing Questions About 9/11 and the “War on Terror”, Islamica Magazine, January 2008
“Needless to say, I’m disheartened by my religious community’s negative ratings. But I’m not surprised. Furthermore, I know that American Muslims will unfortunately continue to endure poor ratings (and the resulting discrimination by presidential candidates and other Americans) until our community addresses the genuine fears of other Americans.” Presidential Candidates Fear, Distrust Muslims, Austin American-Statesman, January 7, 2008
A picture of our booth at the 2007 ISNA Convention in Chicago appeared in the Daily Herald‘s coverage of the convention, on Saturday, September 1, 2007.
“Al-Qaida types did not just spring from the soil of Islam; they were fertilized by decades of shortsighted U.S. policies, argues civil rights lawyer KAMRAN MEMON.” Muslim discontent, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 22, 2007
“The nuclear bomb that exploded during a recent episode of Fox’s 24 did not raise new questions about whether Islam and Muslims pose a threat to America. Instead, the blast just reinforced and amplified the questions that many Americans have been asking since 9/11…”
Muslims must engage fellow Americans on terror, The Baltimore Sun, January 25, 2007
American Muslims must help dispel myths, Deseret News, January 27, 2007
Muslims Must Engage Fellow Americans on Terror, The Canton Repository, January 27, 2007
American Muslims must engage in talk on how to make U.S. safer, St. Paul Pioneer Press, January 28, 2007
Muslims must engage fellow Americans on terror fears, Mobile Register (Alabama), January 28, 2007
Muslims Must Engage Fellow Americans on Terror, The Salt Lake Tribune, January 29, 2007
Muslims must engage fellow Americans, Herald News, January 29, 2007
Hear Us, Muslims For A Safe America, The Providence Journal, February 2, 2007
American Muslims must reach out, The Seattle Times, February 8, 2007
“As a civil rights lawyer, and as an American Muslim, I was disturbed to learn that six Imams, who were guilty of no wrongdoing, were removed from an airplane in Minnesota after they were seen praying and speaking about Iraq. However, I was not surprised. Furthermore, I know that American Muslims will unfortunately continue to suffer such discrimination until our community addresses the genuine fears of other Americans…”
American Muslims must speak honestly, The Cincinnati Enquirer, December 3, 2006
“On the Muslims for a Safe America blog, where American Muslims discuss Islam and national security, civil rights attorney Kamran Memon compiles a comprehensive ‘pros and cons’ list detailing arguments for and against allowing a company operated by Muslims to manage U.S. ports.”
Slate.com, March 9, 2006
“Revelations of secret surveillance seem to have sparked little discussion among American Muslims, said Kamran Memon, a civil rights attorney in Chicago who started the Web site Muslimsforasafeamerica.org as a forum where American Muslims could talk about national security and related issues. ‘They may feel like it’s not a big deal since the monitoring has been non-intrusive,’ said Memom, who belongs to several American Muslim online discussion groups, or, ‘They feel that government surveillance and monitoring have become so pervasive that they can’t do anything about it, and they’ve come to accept it, and just go on with their lives.’”
Comments on surveillance of Muslims in The Catholic Voice, December 30, 2005
ABC News Chicago picture of Muslims For A Safe America’s booth at the MAS/ICNA Convention, Chicago, December 2005
“‘We have been focused to a great extent on the civil liberties side. We have not paid as much attention to the national security side and to issues like what we as American Muslims can do to help make our country safer,’ said Kamran Memon, civil rights attorney. Muslim-Americans say their community needs to do more than PSA’s. Groups say an open discussion about national security is needed with different religions, government agencies and average Americans.”
Comments on ABC News Chicago on July 14, 2005
Comments on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, July 11, 2005, relating to the July 2005 London bombings (starting at 26:25 of the show)
“Still, there is one good thing that could come out of this season of ’24,’ in addition to Jack Bauer saving America again: We need more open discussion within the American Muslim community – and among Muslims and Americans of other faiths – about Islam, violence, national security, foreign policy and the obligations of citizenship. If ’24′ stirs more Americans of all faiths to step forward and engage their neighbors and co-workers in honest conversations about these subjects, that would be a positive ending to this story line.”
Op-ed on the 2005 season of “24,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 7, 2005
“Kamran Memon, a Chicago lawyer, said in the teleconference that Muslims need to be re-educated about the peaceful tenets of the faith.” Muslims say help ignored: Leaders in the U.S. want backing for a plan to fight extremism in their communities, The Press-Enterprise, July 11, 2004
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