Saturday, August 24, 2013

Walking in the Light for Immigrant Rights

Today  Shakeel Syed is "walking in the Light" from Fresno to Bakersfield on behalf of immigrants along with a small group of activists. My friend and brother Shakeel is the executive director of the Shura Council of Southern California, and one of the most dedicated justice advocates I know. In his blog he jokes about talking too much and how he now wants to "walk the talk" literally. (See

Shakeel is indeed extremely eloquent, but I have found that his deeds match his words, which is the definition of integrity.

Please hold Shakeel in your prayers and "do the needful," as he suggests.

Shakeel is an immigrant who has contributed greatly to this country through his tireless advocacy and service on behalf of the marginalized and oppressed. I consider him a "true American" in the tradition of John Woolman, Thoreau, and Martin Luther King. Like Dr. King, Shakeel has a dream--that those who come to this land of opportunity be treated with respect and dignity, that they be given a path to citizenship, that they be recognized as children of God.

Let's help make this dream a reality! Si, se puede!

     From the eve of August 24, I will join a small group of conscientious people, who are  walking for dignity and also for freedom from the labels of ‘diseased,’ ‘undocumented’ and ‘illegal’ among others.
      I will walk (hopefully without talking) a symbolic 111 miles for the 11 million fellow human beings. As a collective, they have been the subjects of hate and bigotry for too long.
I will walk in the tradition of Moses who walked out of Pharaoh’s land to free the oppressed. I will walk in the tradition of Jesus who walked and protested the oppressors. And, I will also walk in the tradition of Muhammad who walked from his birthplace to a city afar, for a better tomorrow of his people. Walking is prophetic. May God’s choicest blessings always be with all of them.
I am hoping that my 111 miles long walk in 8 days from the city of Fresno to the city of Bakersfield, if not prophetic, would be pleasant. I invite you to come along and join me from this space. And if you are really curious of my daily walking itinerary, click here.
Friends, you have always helped and supported my many adventures – from Bosnia to Banda Aceh and Occupied Palestine to Occupy Los Angeles. Please do me two more favors.
  1. Call/Email or walk into Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s and tell him that you support full and complete immigration reform and demand that no person be called illegal or undocumented. Remind him that God did not create people with documents but with dignity and honor. And insist that he should stand with the 11 million people and seek full citizenship for them and without conditions and now.
  2. And secondly – open your wallet and pitch in a dollar or a million. Nope it is not for me but to help those who are helping others. Please click here to do the needful.

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