Established in 2005, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) was a strictly volunteer organization until August 2008, when it opened its national office in Palos Heights, Ilinois. Today AMP consists of more than a dozen chapters in several U.S. states, and claims to be “not affiliated with any mosque or other Islamic organization.” Asserting that “the tenets of justice and equality are interwoven throughout Islam,” and that “the Quran celebrates the vast and rich diversity that exists among the global human family,” AMP “firmly stands against all forms of bigotry and racism.”
AMP's mission is to educate the public about: “the just cause of Palestine and the rights of self-determination, liberty and justice”; “how the people of Palestine have been living … for decades” under an Israeili “occupation” characterized by “flagrant and continual violations of international law and human rights abuses”; how American “tax dollars support the longest-lasting ... military occupation in modern history”; and how Israel's construction of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem not only “violate[s] international law,” but serves “as a vehicle for ethnic cleansing” whereby the Jewish state can “annex more Palestinian land illegally and ... isolate Palestinian communities into cantons and Bantustans, much like Apartheid South Africa.” To address these grievances, AMP demands that Congress “change [American] foreign policy in the Middle East to one that is more balanced and just for everyone living in the Holy Land.”
* The Al-Nakba Campaign, which seeks to draw public attention to Israel's alleged historical transgressions, is rooted in AMP's belief that May 15, 1948—the day on which the state of Israel was created—was “the beginning of al-Nakba,” or “the Catastrophe,” for the Palestinian people. Reasoning from that premise, AMP explains that the Palestinian Intifadas of 1987 and 2000—whose hallmarks were relentless waves of murderous terrorism—were legitimate “uprisings against Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”
Moreover, AMP's Al-Nakba Campaign “unequivocally supports” the Palestinian “Right of Return” to Israel—not only for the relatively few remaining survivors who were among the 725,000 original Arab refugees who fled Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, but also for their 5 million-plus descendants. To AMP, this is an “individual right enshrined in international law.” For details on the Right of Return and its implications for Israel's survival as a nation, click here.
* The Gaza campaign aims to “raise awareness” of, and “build a grassroots movement” against, Israel's unprovoked “massacre” of innocent Palestinian “martyrs” in the Gaza Strip.
* The Occupation-Free Dates campaign, which allies itself with the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions movement, has organized boycotts aginst the sale of dates that are “grown in illegal Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian land and harvested through unfair labor practices.”
AMP has been involved in a number of university campus initiatives over the years. In October 2009, for instance, the organization worked alongside the Muslim American Society to boycott and protest a speech by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at the University of Chicago.
On February 6, 2010, in collaboration with the Middle East Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, AMP presented a “Palestine, Remembered!” exhibition and screened the propaganda film, Occupation 101: Voices of the Silenced Majority. Using the scurrilous Goldstone Report as a basis, organizers of this event sought to commemorate the late Rachel Corrie and other “victims of the Israeli occupation.”
At AMP's 2011 annual conference on Palestinian activism (which was held in Chicago):
Jamal Said lauded “the activists and freedom fighters who gave up their personal ambitions and their own lives so our cause may live.”
Archbishop Atallah Hanna of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem expressed his support for the “honorable strugglers” resisting “the racist [Israeli] Occupation.”
Islamic Society of Milwaukee executive director Othman Atta claimed that “when the PLO ... Hamas, Hizballah and other groups [are] designated as terrorist groups, it is a political decision” made in deference to Israel.
Hatem Bazian is the current chairman of AMP's national board. Other board members include Islamic Center of Detroit president Sufian An-Nabhan, who in 2002 confessed to sending money to the Hamas-allied HLF; former Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) employee Salah Sarsour, who helped raise money for Hamas; and Osama Abuirshaid, former editor of an Arabic newspaper published by the IAP. For a comprehensive list of AMP board members, click here.