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CAIR Georgia

Sapelo Island, African American History...

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Civil Rights attorney Mr. Reed Colfax of Washington, DC,

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Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on December 19, 2018 at 3:51pm

CAIR Georgia starts the conversation about the future of Sapelo Island,  Ga. , in a 

conference call today, Dec. 19th, at 3 pm regarding the African-American community living on Sapelo Island, off the coast of Georgia. As you may know, the island's historic black community was founded centuries ago by a freed African Muslim slave named Bilali Muhammad. 

Please read this BuzzFeed article, "Sapelo Islanders Have Survived Persecution and Slavery: C... for much more detail about the community's history and current difficulties.

The main issue they face is this: in order to make way for tourists and land prospectors, the local government has spent years pushing the island's remaining black inhabitants off their ancestral land by denying them access to basic public services (clean water, trash collection, schools, fire protection, etc.), drastically increasing their property taxes (which a federal court temporarily blocked), limiting their ability to travel (there is only one way in or off the island, by boat), and seizing land with dubious property contracts. 

If the government succeeds, an important part of African-American and Muslim history could be wiped away.

A federal lawsuit against the county is ongoing. In the meantime, the family and their lawyer, civil rights attorney Mr. Reed Colfax of Washington, DC, would like to elevate public awareness about this situation, particularly among Georgia civil rights activists, African-Americans, and American Muslims.

 

They would also like to renew a legislative push in the Georgia State Capitol to pass an updated version of a resolution that would recognize the Muslim history of the island and/or protect the current residents from forced eviction.

Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on December 19, 2018 at 3:56pm
Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on December 20, 2018 at 6:47am

Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on December 20, 2018 at 5:08pm

Points of Discussion At CAIR Phone Conference Call...

1) During the 2019 legislative session at the Georgia General Assembly, we plan to support two resolutions designed to support the community on Sapelo Island. 

The first, a symbolic resolution, would acknowledge the history of the island's Gullah Geechee community, and the importance of preserving that community. The second resolution would, ideally, protect the remaining families from drastic increases in their property taxes (which the county has pursued in the past so as to force the community off the land, making way for tourist homes and businesses; a federal court blocked such increases for years, but the block is about the expire).

We would welcome and encourage your organizations to support these resolutions during the legislative session.

2) Sometime in the first half of 2019, a group of us may visit Sapelo Island to meet the community members, tour the island, learn more about its Muslim origins, and thereby held spread awareness about the conditions there. If you're interested in joining such trip, let me know.

3) Please spread the word about this situation within your respective organizations, houses of worship, and communities by sharing this BuzzFeed article, "Sapelo Islanders Have Survived Persecution and Slavery: Can They S....

Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on December 29, 2018 at 7:52am

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