Mohammad Khan, MPower Change
by Benjamin Fang
Feb 19, 2019 | 2840 views | 0 0 comments | 520 520 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Queens native Mohammad Khan stood alongside friends and colleagues in celebration after Amazon announced that it would not build a new campus in Long Island City.

“I’m happy Amazon isn’t coming,” he said. “It would have affected everyone New York.”

As the national campaign director for MPower Change, the country’s largest online organizing platform for Muslim communities and allies, Khan believed the corporation’s presence would not only skyrocket rents, but also strain local infrastructure.

“Particularly in this part of Queens, it’s in really bad shape,” he said. “25,000 more people on the 7 and G trains would’ve been a disaster. Our schools are overcrowded here.”

Khan also took issue with the company’s stance against unions, collaboration with law enforcement agencies against immigrants, and more.

“Amazon Web Services and its online marketplace have provided a platform for white nationalists and Islamophobes to not only sell products,” he said, “but host their websites and provide them with online tools they need to spread their hate.”

MPower Change, a national group co-founded by prominent Muslim organizers including Linda Sarsour, was part of the community coalition that fought against Amazon’s expansion to Queens at every turn.

“We see this as a fight that not only impacts Queens and New York, but really the whole country and our democracy,” Khan said.

In Minnesota, for instance, many of the Amazon warehouse workers are East African and Muslim, Khan said. He said organizers there have shared stories of discrimination and unfair work practices against Muslim employees.

In addition to taking on the technology giant, MPower Change is also focusing on national issues. They are soon pushing for legislation in Congress to overturn the president’s Muslim travel ban.

“That’s going to be a big focus of ours in the spring,” Khan said.
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