Asma Elhuni

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Asma Elhuni


Asma Elhuni is an New Hampshire/Vermont activist. She was a Georgia State University political science graduate student, and a legislative intern for State Rep. Brenda Lopez. [1]

She emigrated from Libya as a child.

Activism

Asma Elhuni is a college student working towards her bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies at Georgia State University. The recipient of the university’s 2016 MLK Humanitarian Award, Asma tries to listen to and uplift the voices of groups often times marginalized by society. Asma interns for Rep Brenda Lopez at the Georgia Assembly. She’s currently the Outreach Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Georgia and an organizer for the United Students Against Sweatshops at Georgia State University. As a volunteer with GA Close UP, a nonpartisan educational organization, Asma helps educate students, teachers, and citizens about public policy in Georgia.[2]

Immigration 101

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Upper Valley DSA October 24, 2019 ·

Upper Valley DSA is excited to spend Tuesday evening at Immigration 101 with Asma Elhuni and Kate Semple Barta: 6 pm Oct. 29, Faculty Lounge, Hopkins Center, Hanover. Sponsored by the Dartmouth Dems. Join us for an evening of learning and discussion about what's driving the assault on immigrants and how the Upper Valley is fighting back against checkpoints, deportation, racial profiling, and fear.

MLK Humanitarian Award

Asma Elhuni had no idea what the MLK Humanitarian Award was until she checked her email inbox with the nomination. The political science major has since made it a goal and a mission to not take the name of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. lightly.

For the year of 2016, Asma Elhuni was crowned a humanitarian in the eyes of Georgia State in accordance with the principles Dr. King spoke and died for.

Once a year, Georgia State’s Multicultural Center holds the 33rd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration. Here, the life and legacy of Dr. King is remembered and reimagined. Two awards are given, the Humanitarian Award and the Community Service award.

With that humanitarian title, Asma finds responsibility and a pressure.

“I am under pressure to Honor Dr. King’s legacy of promoting equality and justice which also includes economic justice,” Elhuni said.

By being considered a humanitarian, Elhuni has made it her mission to feel adequate of being uttered in the same sentence as the renowned champion of civil rights.

“I actually did not know anything about it until I was nominated by my wonderful teacher,” Elhuni said.

Dr. Peter Cava, professor of Gender Studies, nominated the 38-year-old when they witnessed the lengths Elhuni went to.

Elhuni was anointed the humanitarian due to, “trying to promote inclusion and understanding of Muslims and for supporting causes for all minorities,” Elhuni said.[3]

Presentations from Facing Race 2016

Presentations from Facing Race 2016:The War on Terror, 15 Years Later;

Muslim, Arab, Sikh and South Asian communities continue to face the consequences of the policies and actions taken after the attacks of September 11, 2001. In 2016, the year we marked the 15 year anniversary of 9/11, reports of hate violence, workplace discrimination and school bullying spiked around the nation. Surveillance and counterterrorism policies are placing communities in danger and setting the tone for a national climate of suspicion and fear. How are communities responding? Where do we go from here? How must broader racial justice movements include and incorporate issues confronting our communities? Our panelists - Kalia Abiade (Center for New Community), Azadeh Shahshahani (Project South), Arjun Sethi (Sikh Coalition), and Deepa Iyer (The Center for Social Inclusion) - provide analyses and best practices.

Speakers: Deepa Iyer, Kalia Abiade, Arjun Sethi, Asma Elhuni.[4]

Ban

According to Georgia State Dean of Students Darryl Holloman, the ban issued on student Asma Elhuni has been lifted.

Georgia State police issued Elhuni’s ban January 2017, after her removal from the Student Government Association (SGA) meeting on Jan. 26. Elhuni was escorted out of the meeting by GSUPD after refusing to stop talking, while addressing a question to Georgia State University President Mark Becker about the Turner Field Community Benefits Agreement (CBA).

Elhuni, fellow students, Turner Field residents and members of United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) marched to the Dean of Students’ office in Student Center East at 9 a.m. on Jan. 30 to ask Holloman to lift the ban. Elhuni was also accompanied by her attorney Ibrahim J. Awad.

Holloman allowed the group of over a dozen students into the office and said GSUPD had already lifted the ban on Friday, Jan. 27, 2017.

Elhuni had not been informed about the removal of the ban until speaking with Holloman, who said GSUPD Chief of Police Joe Spillane sent the update to Elhuni’s email just before 9 a.m. today.

“I talked to Chief of Police and the ban has been lifted,” Holloman said. “The disruption did not violate anything in the student code of conduct.”

Holloman added that he was aware the group may come to his office for an impromptu meeting and instructed staff members not to call the police.

Thursday, Jan. 26 was the second time Elhuni, who is a graduate student at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, had been issued a two-year ban. She said she was not surprised by GSUPD’s decision to revoke the ban.

“The ban is totally ridiculous and I thought there was no way it could be enforced,” she said. “This should not have happened and we need to make sure it does not happen to anyone else again.”

Elhuni’s husband, Khalil Abdullah, said that he was surprised by the quick reversal.

“I was surprised that they came prepared and had an answer ready, but I think it speaks to the need for them to reassess policies,” Abdullah said. “How do they make that decision right then, right there on the spot that it’s two years? So I think this has really brought out some of the inconsistencies and the need for deep change toward the university policies and their stances toward students free speech.”

Abdullah said he also saw the video of his wife’s removal from the SGA meeting that was posted online, and that he was taken aback by GSUPD’s actions.

“My wife is a fighter, so it wasn’t surprising to me as her husband that she would be the one to be the most vocal. I was surprised that they actually kind of dragged her out,” Abdullah said. “I think they could have handled that much better. And the fact that the police spoke to her even before she stood, that intimidation and bullying goes back to GSU police needing to reassess their treatment of students,” he said, referring to the warning university police gave Elhuni, that she would be arrested if she made any disruptions during the meeting.

After the meeting with Holloman, Elhuni’s attorney told students he would also defend them for free if they are arrested for protesting.

“If any one of you get arrested by doing a protest, I will personally represent you free of charge,” Awad told the crowd.“I’ve already been to court with Asma. Get my information and I will be there.”

USAS representative Patricio Cambias said the group has more actions planned for this week.[5] Asma Elhuni is a member of United Students Against Sweatshops.[6]

Also arrested with with Asma Elhuni, were Justin Christian and Gina Lopez.[7]

CAIR

Asma Elhuni serves as CAIR Georgia's Outreach Director, overseeing collaboration with civil rights groups, political activists, and community leaders outside the Muslim community.

Johnson connection

Rep. Keith Ellison, Asma Elhuni, center

(WASHINGTON, DC - 3/1/17) The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations today thankedd Rep. Hank Johnson for inviting Asma Elhuni, CAIR-GA's outreach director, to attend President Trump's first address to Congress. Elhuni also delivered remarks to congressional Democrats during her visit to Capitol Hill.

"I am here to remind Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and every other anti-Muslim, anti-Hispanic, anti-immigrant, anti-refugee extremist that we, too, are America," Elhuni said. "Maybe not the part of America President Trump ever thinks of. Maybe not the part of America he wants to make great again. But we, too, are America."

By inviting American Musims and others who targeted by President Trump's policies over the past month, members of Congress hoped to deliver a visual rebuke to the Trump Administration.

"We thank Rep. Johnson for giving Georgia Muslims a voice on Capitol Hill, as well as for his other efforts to defend our community from discrimination and bigotry," said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of CAIR-GA.[8]

Also arrested with with Asma Elhuni, were Justin Christian and Gina Lopez[9]

SURJ rally

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SURJ Atlanta: Showing Up for Racial Justice, March 10 2017;

The people of Atlanta reject the regime's continued oppression of our neighbors, friends, and family members. Join SURJ, GLAHR, Project South, CAIR Georgia, and Senator Vincent Fort this Saturday at noon to #resist Trump's immigration ban 2.0 #NoBanNoWallNoRaids #Sanctuary4All

ATLANTA, March 11, 2017 - Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Atlanta has organized a statewide rally on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 12 P.M. in front of the Atlanta Immigration Court on Ted Turner Drive in response to President Donald Trump's latest anti-refugee immigration order signed on March 6th, 2017. The executive order targets refugees entering the United States from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen while also continuing Trump’s larger xenophobic and racist agenda.
Georgians recognize that we must stand together and reject this agenda in all its forms. From the immigration ban that isolates communities to the broken window policies that hunt down peaceful community members, Georgians recognize the broad policies that make up this harmful agenda and will work to oppose them. To this end, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Atlanta will be hosting Project South, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and Mayoral Candidate Senator Vincent Fort to speak on how we can resist both nationally and locally.

Speakers – beginning at 12:30pm

Contacts: Jon Davila-Robertson, Hillary Holley.

IBM action

Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America member and 10-year IBM employee Daniel Hanley has spearheaded a petition campaign to demand that IBM CEO Ginni Rometty distance herself and the corporation from the Trump administration (and improve certain employee benefits and working conditions). Rometty joined the president's economic council after sending him a letter congratulating him on his election victory and offering to help carry out his programs. This contradicts the corporation's declared values of diversity and tolerance, according to the IBM workers who delivered their petition to the Atlanta headquarters Monday and to the New York City headquarters on March 2017, with the names of more than 1,000 of their fellow employees.

Hanley, joined by others at all levels of the company, urged that IBM workers support "democracy in the workplace, and resist any collaboration between our CEO and Trump that results in civil liberties violations impacting Muslims, immigrants, people of color, trans people, and other marginalized groups." In Atlanta, Asma Elhuni of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Jovan Julien of Project South spoke for some of the groups potentially affected by IBM's actions, and 10 MADSA members attended the event. (Note: IBM notoriously provided equipment to the German Nazis that helped them create a registry of Jews to be targeted by the Holocaust. Trump during his campaign called for a registry of Muslims in America.[10]

Travel ban protest

On Sunday, Jan. 29, Asma Elhuni attended the airport protest against President Trump’s travel ban.

Resisting the Trump/Republican Agenda

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On March 19 2017 the second Democratic Socialist Dialogue of the quarter focused on resistance on many levels: In the electoral arena, with mayoral candidate and long-time friend of Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America Sen. Vincent Fort; against racism and xenophobia, with Adelina Nicholls, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights; Asma Elhuni, Council on American Islamic Relations; and Elise Cohen, Jewish Voice for Peace; and MADSA’s Daniel Hanley sharing his vision for socialism and his experience organizing a workplace campaign to petition the CEO of IBM to leave President Trump’s economic council.[11]

References