The Justice for Muslims Collective has organized a growing coalition of justice groups standing in solidarity with Noor Salman and demanding an end to the prosecution against her. DRAD has joined the coalition and has deep concerns about the charges against Ms. Salman and prosecutorial misconduct in the case. Over eighty organizations have already endorsed the following statements (endorsements are still welcome, send an email to email@example.com for more info or to add your organization’s name).
Noor Salman currently stands trial in Orlando, Florida in a case related to the 2016 mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub by her deceased husband, Omar Mateen. On Monday, January 15, 2017, Ms. Salman, a 31-year-old Muslim mother of a three year old and a domestic violence survivor, was arrested on two charges, which include aiding and abetting Mateen in providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, and obstruction of justice for providing conflicting statements to the FBI. If convicted of the charges against her, Ms. Salman faces life in prison.
Our organizations work for gender and reproductive justice, LGBTQ justice, racial and economic justice, disability justice, civil rights and human rights in different communities across the United States. We share the grief and pain for those whose lives were lost, those who survived and their loved ones and communities. And, we oppose this prosecution, which scapegoats Ms. Salman in the quest to ensure that someone pay the price for Mateen’s actions. We stand with Noor Salman, a mother and survivor of domestic violence.
The prosecution of Ms. Salman is rooted in gendered Islamophobia and patriarchy. She is being prosecuted under the guise of guilt by association as a Muslim woman married to a Muslim man who committed mass violence. As noted in theIntercept, there are numerous weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against Salman, which essentially serves as a test case to prosecute partners of accused terrorists on the grounds of complicity. The FBI has aimed to hold girlfriends and wives accountable for their partners’ actions for some time, especially when the couple is Muslim. Furthermore, Ms. Salman’s religious identity has been used by the FBI to threaten her. During the initial interrogation by the FBI which took place over 17 hours in which she was detained and questioned, including hours in which her infant child was present and no legal counsel was present, FBI officials threatened to take her son away from her and place him in a Christian home. She is a victim of the domestic War on Terror, through which the government has used racial and religious profiling tactics to subject Arabs, South Asians, and Muslims to investigations, interrogations, deportations, and prosecutions simply because of their faith, relationships, and guilt by association.
Ms. Salman is also a domestic violence survivor. The government’s charges against Ms. Salman disregard the history of domestic abuse, rape, and threats that Ms. Salman endured during her marriage to Mateen and the impact of intimate partner violence on her and her child’s life. This abuse has been documented, for example, in a recent New York Times article that reported that “Ms. Salman has said her husband punched her, choked her, threatened to kill her, and coerced her into sex and left her isolated in their home.” Ms. Salman publicly disclosed the abuse she endured within six months of being married, which included physical abuse during her pregnancy and threats to take sole custody of their child. Ms. Salman’s cousin, Susan Adieh, also affirmed that Mateen mistreated his wife. Upon seeing the news about the mass shooting, Ms. Adieh worried that “[Mateen] had killed [Ms. Salman] at the house before he went [to Orlando].” Accusations of abuse against Mateen were not only made by Ms. Salman, but by his first wife, Sitora Yusify. Domestic violence expert Jacquelyn Campbell evaluated Ms. Salman’s case, and asserted that based on the dynamics of violence in the relationship, Ms. Salman could not have been aware of Mateen’s plans.
This prosecution punishes Ms. Salman for the actions of Omar Mateen and the violence he inflicted upon those around him, including her. This criminalization of Ms. Salman continues the cycle of dehumanization and terror that she experienced in her marriage to Mateen, and does not allow her to heal and re-build her life. The prosecution of Ms. Salman in today’s climate of Islamophobia and the War on Terror has alarming repercussions for Muslim women and for all survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault who are criminalized for the actions of their abusive partners.
We stand with Noor Salman and demand an end to the prosecution against her.
A Safe Place
About Face: Veterans Against the War
Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
APIENC (API Equaity – Northern California)
Apna Ghar, Inc. (Our Home)
Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC)
Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence
Asian Women’s Shelter
Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project
Black and Pink, Inc.
BYP100 DC Chapter
CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities
California Partnership to End Domestic Violence
Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS)
Community Acupuncture Project
Community Responders Network
Community United Against Violence (CUAV)
CONNECT – Preventing Interpersonal Violence, Promoting Gender Justice
DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Defending Rights & Dissent
DIVAS: Discussing Intimate Violence & Accessing Support ~ A Program for Incarcerated Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence
Domestic Harmony Foundation
DRUM – Desis Rising Up & Moving
End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin
Facing Abuse in Community Environments (FACE)
Feminist Islamic Troublemakers of North America
Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign
Futures Without Violence
Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY)
Gender Violence Clinic, University of Maryland Carey School of Law
Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence
HEART Women & Girls
Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence
Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence
IMI Corona, Queens
INCITE! Women & Trans People of Color Against Violence
Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Inc
International Muslim Women’s Initiative For Self-Empowerment
Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Jewish Voice For Peace
Jews Against Anti-Muslim Racism
Justice For Muslims Collective
Kankakee County Coalition Against Domestic Violence / Harbor House
Korean American Coalition to End Domestic Abuse
Make The Road NY
Middle Way House, Inc.
Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition
Muslim Alliance For Sexual And Gender Diversity (MASGD)
Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC)
Muslim Women For
Muslim Women Kreate
Muslim Womxn at Ryerson
Naree-O-Shonghothok ; Bangladeshi Feminist Collective
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
National Lawyers Guild
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
NC Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Ohio Domestic Violence Network
Partnership For The Advancement of New Americans
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
South Asian Youth Action
Southerners On New Ground (SONG)
Sugarlimb Consulting, LLC
Survived & Punished
The Aafia Foundation, Inc.
Transgender Law Center
Turning Point for Women and Families
Ujima Inc: The National Resource Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community
Vermont Network Against Domestic & Sexual Violence
Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance
WA State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
War Resisters League
Witness Against Torture
Women of Color Network, Inc.