Assalam-alekum. Please distribute the following press release (also in the attachment) to your member lists. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org SEPTEMBER 12, 2001 TO: Muslim Women in America FROM: Young Muslim Women Professionals (YMWP) RE: Safety Precautions to All Muslim Women (Washington, DC) As the United States reels under the greatest attack in the nation^“s history, American Muslims send their deepest condolences and prayers to their brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends, and fellow Americans who were innocently caught in the middle of this unforgettable tragedy. We ask Allah to help those in need and to provide mercy to the victims who lost their lives. We ask Allah to give strength and patience to the families whose lives have been unduly shattered as they struggle to understand these devastating events. And we ask Allah to provide us with patience and faith as we ourselves must once again face the repercussions of anti-Muslim rhetoric that is to be expected from such an incident. Muslims have a direct responsibility to spread tolerance and peace, not just in their own communities, but also in the wider communities in which they live and work on a daily basis. Muslim women, who are able, must be proactive and take part in the country^“s efforts to treat its injured people. Whether it be donating blood in the numerous blood drives all across the country, or whether it be volunteering as counselors at hospitals in the New York or Washington DC area, Muslim women must show a dynamic expression of sympathy and support for their fellow people as the country attempts to regain a sense of normalcy. Headlines around the country and throughout the world are all blaring the same message ^”America Under Attack^‘. There are strong implications against Islamic groups deemed responsible for these cowardly, so-called acts against the American people. And American Muslims must undergo their own struggle to alleviate the consequent backlash that permeates as an undercurrent throughout the society. Muslim women are especially vulnerable to the attacks that occur in this period of misunderstanding and anger. By donning the hijab, wearing Islamic attire, or simply being known as a Muslim woman, many will be obvious targets and will stand out as they represent Islam. Many will face hardship and will be tried and tested. And many will have the strength to overcome this challenge insha^“Allah. Just as the two companions at the time of the Prophet, Sumayya (may Allah be pleased with her), who was tortured in Mecca because of her faith and Khansa (may Allah be pleased with her), who was tested with patience as she lost her four children, Muslim women today must have belief in their imaan and must also increase their strength and endurance to deal with any and all circumstances that may come their way. The following are a few pointers to help Muslim women in this time of confusion as the country undergoes a period of recovery: * Be careful of verbal abuse and do not get caught up in responding to ethnic slurs and remarks. If there is an absolute need, then respond by stating that Islam forbids terrorism and this kind of behavior. Provide the example of the Oklahoma City bombing when there were over 200 verbal and physical attacks to Muslims, and in the end, the verdict was completely unrelated to Islam. Speak calmly and with patience. * Do not argue about nationalist or other such related causes. Everyone is rushing to judgments and speculation; refrain from commenting or engaging in any conversation related to the incidents. * Walk in well-lighted areas, and do not make eye contact with any passersby who may stare for a prolonged time period. * Take protective measures, be cautious and set up escort services to go out in groups, especially at night. Encourage Muslim brothers to escort sisters. Report any incidents of harassment to local authorities immediately. * Encourage Muslim sisters to have meetings either on campus or in local communities. Develop a phone or e-mail tree where everyone has one or two contact numbers, so if any occurrence happens, they can reach their contact. * Find isolated sisters who are not active in Islamic activities, but may also be subject to harassment; give them contact numbers as well and encourage them to use escort services. The situation in the United States is unpredictable and may get worse. All Muslims are saddened by those who have suffered, and pray that all Americans, regardless of their faith, will unite together to increase their strength and support for one another. And as Muslims, they should set aside any differences and unite to stand up for peace and justice while continuing to preserve their Islamic identity in the face of any hardship, as written in the Holy Qur^“an: The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil^Ňon them will Allah pour His mercy: for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise. (9:71) ###END RELEASE### YMWP -Dedicated to providing professional and social services and striving to promote an atmosphere for the exchange of ideas, support, advocacy, and empowerment for young Muslim women through its various activities and functions guided by Islamic values and principles as dictated in the Holy Quran.