As salaam Alaikum to the Muslim Ummah and As salaam Alaikum to all of those who bear witness to the one creator of the universe.
I seek refuge in Almighty God Allah from Shaitan, his whispers and those who follow him consciously and unconsciously. I begin in the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful and I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship but Allah and I bear witness that Mohammed, peace and blessings be upon him, is his messenger.
I begin by wishing all of our Muslim brothers and sisters throughout the Ummah Eid Mubarak! May Allah bless all of the returning Hajji’s and Hajja’s with a successful Eid.
On behalf of the International Council for Urban Peace, Justice and Empowerment and in conjunction with the West Coast Urban Peace, and Justice Coalition, I would like to take this opportunity to invite and request all of the Muslims throughout the United States and particularly those in the West Coast region to join with us and the International Council in helping to make the West Coast Peace, Justice and Empowerment Summit a successful one.
A Call to Universal Oneness!
We will be gathering Insha’Allah in Los Angeles, California on April 29-May 1, 2011. As many of you know and for those who are not familiar, the International Council for Urban Peace, Justice and Empowerment grew out of the National Urban Gang Peace and Justice Summits that were held in the early 1990’s throughout the United States. Those of us that have worked with the National Islamic leadership and many of the National Muslim organizations throughout the country are familiar with our work.
Our organization and those we collaborated with and partnered with in the late 1980’s represent the veterans of the National Urban Peace and Justice Movement. The Urban Peace and Justice Movement came together through the grace and mercy of Allah and his attribute as Al-Jami (the gatherer) and we reached out to organizations-faith and community based organizations-in all major cities in the United States to confront youth violence, crime, gang and other destructive behaviors that had reached epidemic proportions in our cities. These efforts and other similar efforts came together and culminated in historical cease fires, truces and peace treaties in many major cities throughout the United States.
First came Chicago, which was at the time, as it is now, one of the highest homicide rates in the United States. It experienced a 10 year drop in homicides and gang related violence following the summits, but the promised peace dividends did not materialize and the homicides rose to their current level. Then came California, home to some of the most earth shattering gang violence in the country.
Many of the Muslim leadership from these major cities throughout the United States convened in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Atlanta, New York and Washington, D.C. in order to develop a consensus on how to best approach these efforts. Thanks to many of the leaders that are alive today, and those that are incarcerated, as well as those that have made the transition, we were able to establish with faith and community based organizations, a national movement that was responsible for what we called an urban peace initiative. The urban peace initiative revolved for us around what almighty god Allah has enjoined upon us in his Quran as the answer to violent tribalism, within division and gang violence that was rampant and is rampant in many parts of the United States.
Bismilla’-Hir-Rahma’-Nir-Rahim. In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. And hold fast, all of you together by the Rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and do not be divided among yourselves (being Muslims); And remember with thank Allah’s favor on you; For you were enemies and he joined your hearts together in love, so that by His Grace you became brethren; And you were on the brink of the Pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make His Signs clear to you: that you may be guided. (Sura 3: Iyat 103)
As the Stop the Killing and Stop the Madness Movements began to take root, the seeds that were planted in these major cities throughout the country began to grow. Coalitions were formed to address the madness from a holistic, cultural specific perspective. Many of those street organizations and their leadership, as well as grassroots spiritual, social, cultural, political leadership and activists came together and actually signed peace treaties, and cease fire agreements to work together to resolve conflicts.
But also while these efforts were going on. Allah brought together like minded people to give structure to this effort including Imam Jamil Al Amin, Musham-Bey, Minister Louis Farrakhan and members of the Nation of Islam , Members of the Moorish Science Temple of America, Imam Warith Deen Muhammad, the late El Hajj Omar Ali-Bey, Amir Khalid Samad, Imam T. Rashad Byrdsong, members of Al Ummah, and the leadership of Shurah Councils from throughout the United States.
After the summits, after the cease fires, truces, peace treaties and were declared in Chicago and Los Angeles; we came together in Kansas City and then in Cleveland to give structure to the organization called the National Council for Urban (Gang) Peace and Justice after the Kansas City, Missouri Summit in 1993. Gang related homicides, assaults, and other crimes decreased by as much as 25% in major urban centers like Chicago, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
So my brothers and sisters, this is a call to action and mobilization. Let us continue to work together and let us join hands with our other community and faith partners to make the West Coast Summit successful.
Please contact any of the following people for more information and to see how you can help make this summit a success:
Jitu Sadiki 760-409-1745 (California) · Nisa Shabazz (678) 480-6555 (Atlanta) · Amir Khalid Samad (216) 538-4043 (Cleveland)· Rashad Byrdsong (412) 371-3689 (Pittsburgh) · Minister Rashid (786) 402-5286 (Flordia)· Wallace “Gator” Bradley (312) 371-6914 (Chicago) ·Ibrahim “Yanga” Abdul Qahaar (404) 207-7026 (Atlanta)·Minister Damu Crenshaw-El (216) 559-1536 (Cleveland).
As salaam Alaikum,
Amir El-Hajj Khalid A. Samad