As an organization committed to uplift the Muslim American community, we are committed to transparency and coalition building as a means to strengthen our connections and partnerships. To this end, we would like to respond to some misconceptions about our organization.
Rumor #1: Emgage is part of a nefarious plot to take over America, alongside the Muslim Brotherhood.
Emgage is often accused by several far-right conspiracy theorists of being part of a Muslim Brotherhood plot to take over America. Emgage has no ties to any foreign entity, and is proud to stand for the democratic ideals that bring all Americans together.
However, this is a common anti-Muslim trope that prominent Muslim American voices, figures, and organizations commonly face. You can find more information on this issue at the Bridge Initiative by Georgetown University, here.
Rumor #2: Emgage receives problematic funding.
Emgage is funded by a combination of private donations and grants from reputable foundations. Any insinuation that Emgage receives funding from international sources is simply not true. This is another anti-Muslim trope that surfaces frequently in response to several prominent Muslim organizations, figures, and public servants.
Rumor #3: Emgage is a part of a Zionist conspiracy to undermine the rights of Palestinians.
Emgage has always supported the human rights and freedom of Palestinian peoples, and we actively support initiatives aimed at protecting and uplifting Palestinians who continue to endure unimaginable suffering. As a matter of principle, we oppose the continued occupation of Palestinian lands and Israeli settlement activities that displace them from their homes and heritage. We support the right to boycott, divest, and sanction (BDS), as well as the Right of Return of Palestinians — providing those displaced and their descendants with fair compensation, should they accept it.
In this regard, Emgage also opposes President Trump’s decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize Israeli annexation of occupied Syrian Golan Heights. Further, we strongly opposed his heartless decision to cut-off aid to UNRWA and effectively punish Palestinian children living in refugee camps.
Although Emgage is focused on a broad array of domestic and foreign policy issues, we frequently engage in support of human rights initiatives affecting Palestinians who continue to endure unimaginable suffering and hardship because of their continued occupation.
In fact, we ask every candidate seeking the endorsement of Emgage PAC to answer questions related to Palestine, settlements, and the right to boycott. This is a key part of our endorsement process.
Rumor #4: Emgage is affiliated with the Muslim Leadership Initiative (MLI).
Emgage has never had an official relationship with the Muslim Leadership Initiative (MLI). Our organization had three board members who went on an MLI trip 5 years ago. After these trips were taken, Emgage adopted a policy of not allowing this engagement even in personal capacity, and our chairman publicly apologized for the hurt or harm their participation may have caused.
Rumor #5: Emgage is affiliated with the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Council.
Emgage has no formal relationships with either of these organizations.
Rumor #6: Emgage is affiliated with Hindu nationalist parties in India.
Emgage is opposed to the racist ideology of the RSS, and the policies of the BJP and Prime Minister Modi. Any statement that Emgage works with or supports the RSS is a complete fabrication.
Emgage Action has been working with our partners and allies, both via our national efforts and in our chapters, to urge members of Congress to hold Prime Minister Narendra Modi accountable for the atrocities happening in Jammu and Kashmir, and the abysmal treatment of Muslims in India. These efforts include:
Emgage PAC Texas was accused of supporting the alleged RSS backed candidate in a Congressional race in 2020. The candidate was vetted and no endorsement was made. Misinformation alleging Emgage endorsed an RSS supported candidate had been falsely propagated for weeks prior to the actual non-endorsement.
Whether advocating in Congress, standing shoulder to shoulder protesting issues, organizing vital Congressional briefings, submitting statements for the record, or engaging our community to reach out to their officials, Emgage Action continues to focus on uplifting the voices of impacted communities. Specifically, we have a commitment to keep the voices of Kashmiri communities front and center.
Rumor #7: Emgage’s only function is to increase Muslim voter turnout.
Emgage is a family of institutions that seeks to empower Muslim Americans through political literacy and civic engagement. Emgage Foundation, a 501c3, is focused on maximizing Muslim voter turnout, educating Muslim communities about engagement in American politics, organizing candidate forums and townhalls, and more. Emgage Action is a 501c4 that focuses on legislative action on issues that matter most to our communities. Finally, Emgage PAC emphasizes endorsing candidates at local and national levels, and working to elect individuals in our government that represent our values of attaining justice and equality for all peoples.
Rumor #8: Emgage is a national organization, but not a grassroots organization.
While our organization’s national headquarters is in Washington, D.C., we have six chapters in Michigan, Florida, Virginia, Texas, Pennsylvania, and New York Metro (NY, NJ &CT) that directly mobilize Muslim American voters. Each state chapter has its own board, state director, staff, and volunteers.
Rumor #9: Emgage claims to represent all Muslims, at all times.
We recognize that it is impossible to represent all Muslims, and all issues pertaining to all Muslims, at all times. We are not perfect, and, like all organizations, have limited capacity. However, as our team and state chapters expand, we will always strive to make our work as inclusive and representative as possible. We vow to always do good by Muslim communities and to continue learning as we go along.
Rumor #10: Actions by a few members of Emgage’s team can be used to represent Emgage’s work as a whole.
Organizations are made up of individuals. Individuals are not always perfect. Individuals have the capacity to change. The cancel culture that resides in our communities is harmful, and only works to disenfranchise all of us. No community organization could ever be considered beneficial if we simply ‘canceled’ them by past actions of some of its members. We must work to cultivate an ethics of compassion and transformative justice if we want to build a future in which all marginalized communities can achieve liberation.
Rumor #11: Only one or two people make all of the decisions within Emgage.
With a robust national team, six state chapters, and our boards,–state boards, C3, C4, and PAC boards–we work to ensure that a diverse cohort of voices are incorporated into all of our decision-making. We are always looking to further diversify our team to make it as inclusive of Muslim American voices as possible.