The Wisconsin Muslim Civic Alliance, a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to promoting voting, civics education, and other elements of a strong democracy issued a statement reflecting their disagreement with the Wisconsin Supreme Court decision to overturn Governor Ever’s safer at home policy and plans to gradually open businesses.
Their statement reads:
The Wisconsin Muslim Civic Alliance (WMCA) is disappointed that Wisconsin Supreme Court chose to overturn Governor Tony Evers’ reasonable policy that was working to contain the spread of the virus COVID-19. We recognize that the lawsuit and the decision were about a power play, not about protecting the people of Wisconsin.
The Supreme Court’s decision doesn’t “overturn” the virus – it only overturned the plan to keep us safe. We must keep doing common sense things like avoiding large gatherings and public places where people are not practicing social distancing, washing our hands often, and maintaining cleanliness in general. The wearing of a mask, in particular, is necessary to avoid spreading the disease since a person can be contagious for days or weeks before showing symptoms.
From a medical point of view, Dr. Waleed Najeeb shares this: “As people working on the front lines, we are concerned that many people will take the social distancing and the hygienic rules lightly which could erase the benefit which we have achieved from the stay-at-home order. We will likely see a surge in the number of cases. The hospital and the health care systems will be overwhelmed again. The number of cases in Kenosha and in Racine are still increasing. We support a safe and gradual easing of the restrictions step by step. Every two-to-three weeks we can monitor the behavior of the virus and we can adjust easing of the rules accordingly.”While many cities and counties, including the cities of Milwaukee and Madison, and Brown County, are keeping their safe-at-home orders for now, those surrounding them have re-opened with no restrictions, assuring that people traveling between cities and counties will be spreading the virus again.
Will Perry, president of the WMCA, reminds Muslims that they need look no further than their own faith for guidance. “ ‘Over 1,400 years ago our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) ordered his followers: In the event of an epidemic, those affected should stay at their locations and not travel or leave the affected location, as for those outside the affected area stay away and do not go toward the area or people affected.’ This was a Divine inspiration from the Creator. That Sunnah or “way of life” is still followed today. The Wisconsin Muslim Civic Alliance stands with Governor Evers’ strategy as it is in accordance with our beliefs to ‘Stay at Home’ in order to save lives.”
Awais Khaleel of Madison explained why this is especially personal for Muslims. “We have so many health care workers, small business owners, and state citizens on the front line. Muslim Wisconsinites have been committed to combating this public health crisis from day one, with our community members making huge sacrifices. We’ll continue to do the right thing, and ask all of our friends and neighbors to do the right thing and keep people safe.”