Prominent American Muslim leaders arrested for civil disobedience

Imam Omar Suleiman [Image: Dallas Morning News]

The prominent American imam from Dallas, Omar Suleiman, was among several Muslim faith leaders and activists who were arrested on Monday while demanding protection for young immigrant “Dreamers”.

The activists were released about five hours later, Imam Suleiman said on social media.

On Tuesday, he wrote on Facebook: “I’m proud of the leaders who came out yesterday to join.

“It was an honour to be arrested with you! I pray that millions are inspired by your leadership.”

Other Muslim leaders that were detained included “Women’s March” co-chair Linda Sarsour, Dawud Walid, Zahra Billoo and Nihad Awad of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

More than a dozen Muslim activists had united on Monday in support of legislation to protect unauthorised immigrants who were brought into the U.S. as children, commonly known as “Dreamers”.

 

The group participated in civil disobedience outside the office of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan in Washington.

 

On Tuesday, Imam Suleiman who is the president of the Yaqeen Institute, encouraged his supporters on Facebook to keep protesting and urging U.S. officials to take action on immigration reform.

He wrote: “Hundreds of thousands of families are being ripped apart and we need to come to a permanent solution for them.

“Until we do, we must keep the pressure up on this racist regime. Paul Ryan’s staff didn’t have the decency to even open the door yesterday.

“The dreamers live in fear daily for no wrongdoing of their own while these politicians treat them like a chess piece.”

Last year, President Donald Trump announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme would be phased out, giving Congress a March 5 deadline to come up with an alternative.

No such legislation has moved forward, leading to protests across the country on Monday night.

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